The all-new Audi RS6 Avant will need just 3.9 seconds to dispel any doubt that its ultra-efficient new downsized V8 TFSI engine has compromised on muscle for the sake of miles-per-gallon.
The latest super Avant will firmly cement its RS credentials by outrunning its mighty V10-powered predecessor with an exceptional sub-four-second 0-62mph sprint time. At the same time its smaller displacement and cylinder-on-demand technology will make 28.8mpg economy potential a reality.
The snazzy new RS6 Avant’s two large twin-scroll turbochargers enable the RS 6 Avant to gather momentum with remarkable intensity. They are mounted together with the intercooler in the inside V of the cylinder banks. The exhaust side of the cylinder heads is also on the inside, while the intake side is on the outside. This concept allows for a compact design and short gas paths with minimal flow losses. After catapulting to 62mph from rest in a best-in-class 3.9 seconds, the RS6 Avant in its standard form will be capable of continuing to an electronically limited 155mph top speed where conditions allow. It will be possible to increase this top speed to 174mph by specifying the optional Dynamic package, and to go a step further still with the Dynamic plus package, which curbs acceleration only when the new super Avant reaches 189mph.
Despite straying even further into the realms of the supercar, the latest nevertheless manages to register a fuel economy improvement of approximately 40 per cent, thanks partly to an engine start-stop system and innovative thermal management technology, but primarily to the new engine’s cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to intermediate loads and engine speeds, it shuts down the intake and exhaust valves of cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8. The 4.0-litre TFSI then runs as a four-cylinder engine until the driver accelerates more forcibly again. Efficiency in the active cylinders is increased because the operating points are displaced toward higher loads.
The switch between four and eight-cylinder operation takes just a few hundredths of a second, and the only real indication to the driver that it is taking place is a visual signal within the instrument cluster. The COD technology reduces ECE fuel consumption by roughly five per cent. Even greater savings of approximately 10 per cent are possible when driving at moderate speeds. Active engine mounts use out-of-phase counter-oscillations to compensate for the vibrations that occur during four-cylinder operation.
The 4.0-litre TFSI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic transmission featuring shortened shift times and offering ‘Sport’ and ‘Manual’ modes in addition to the standard ‘Drive’ setting. To shift for themselves drivers can use the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever, which is of a unique RS design. The lower gears of the tiptronic are tightly spaced for optimum performance, while a tall eighth gear reduces fuel consumption.
At the heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring is a self-locking centre differential with an elevated locking value. A sport differential is also active on the rear axle to distribute power steplessly between the rear wheels for even greater agility and stability.
It is also the first Audi RS model to feature adaptive air suspension. The specially tuned set-up lowers the body by 20 millimetres, and incorporates controlled damping which takes into account road conditions, driving style and the mode chosen in the standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, with which the driver can influence the function of key components in multiple steps. As an alternative, sports suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) will also be available. This system employs steel springs and three-way adjustable shock absorbers that are interconnected diagonally by means of oil lines and a central valve for improved body roll stability. Dynamic steering will be another option which will allow the driver to steplessly vary the ratio and boost of the steering. This system can also be integrated into Audi drive select and, just like the standard electromechanical power steering, is tailored specifically for the RS 6 Avant.
Not surprisingly, the brakes have also been engineered to take extreme performance in their stride. The four internally vented discs feature a weight-saving wave design with a wave-like outer contour. The front discs measure 390 millimetres in diameter and are gripped by six-piston calipers which are available in either black or red. One thing is for sure, it is one heck of a ride…