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Frankfurt show: Audi’s RS6 Avant kicks off RS blitz

305km/h Audi RS6 Avant pioneers new Darth Vader design for Audi Sport

21 Aug 2019

AUDI has kicked off an unprecedented burst of Audi Sport new-model activity with the reveal overnight of its fourth-generation RS6 Avant ahead of its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

 

Due in Australian showrooms in the middle of next year, the big wagon is one of six new RS sledgehammer models on the launch pad for the remainder of this year as the Ingolstadt brand takes its sporting credentials to the next level.

 

All external panels except the roof, front doors and tailgate are new compared with the standard A6 Avant, giving the RS6 version a distinctive muscular look via strong haunches – 40mm wider on each side to cater for the fatter 21-inch alloy wheels – and a “power bulge” up the centre of the bonnet in a first for the RS6.

 

Get used to the new-look sharp-edged Darth Vader grille with its R8-style honeycomb mesh – it is central to the latest RS design language that will appear across the range through the next generation. This look includes thinner headlights that, in this case, are borrowed from the A7.

 

The latest RS6 Avant is powered by Audi’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that, with 441kW of peak power and 800Nm of torque can blitz the 0-100km/h dash in 3.6 seconds and top out – with the optional dynamic package plus – at a supercar-like 305km/h.

 

Compared with the previous RS6 Avant, power is up 29kW and torque has risen 100Nm.

 

For the first time, the RS6 Avant gets mild-hybrid assistance via a 48-volt, belt-driven generator starter that can recoup and re-deliver 12kW of power for fuel savings of up to 0.8 litres per 100km.

 

The system can automatically choose between recouping energy via regenerative braking or or engine-off coasting when the driver lifts off the gas, depending on the circumstances.

 

The system also can restart the engine at up to 22km/h in start/stop driving.

 

Another contributor to more frugal motoring is the General Motors-style cylinder deactivation system that cuts out four of the eight cylinders in cruise mode.

 

Drive force is delivered via an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and – naturally – quattro all-wheel drive that normally splits the torque 40:60 between the front and back but can switch that to as much as 70 per cent to the front and 85 per cent to the rear, depending on traction.

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system provides six modes – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and configurable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 that are activated by an RS Mode steering wheel button.

 

The RS6 Avant rides 20mm closer to Mother Earth on adaptive air suspension in regular driving, but once speed tips over 120km/h, the system drops the ride height a further 10mm.

 

At slow speeds, the system goes into reverse, lifting the car 20mm to help negotiate kerbs, speed humps and other obstacles.

 

Purists can opt for a steel-spring suspension with three-stage adjustable dampers. All-wheel steering is also available with optional dynamic packages.

 

Also optional are 22-inch alloy wheels for those who think 21-inch alloys are too puny.

 

Stopping force is delivered via 420mm front discs and 370mm rear discs. Newly developed carbon-ceramic discs that cut vehicle weight by 34kg are on the options list.

 

The interior fit-out includes deep Audi Sport seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Audi’s virtual cockpit with special RS displays with information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, lap timings, acceleration measurements and G forces.

 

A race-style shift light prompts the driver to upshift at peak revs.

 

Australian pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.


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