Audi, in its infinite wisdom, has decided the RS6 and its RS7 Sportback sibling, needs more power. With 552bhp, it was hardly lacking in the first place, but now the big brute’s twin-turbocharged V8 has been boosted to 597bhp and 553lb ft from extra rpm and boost pressure a respective increase of 45bhp and 37lb ft.
The two Audi RS high-performance models sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the respective standard RS model, and need just 12.1 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 124mph, giving them a 1.4-second advantage. In each case the governed 155mph top speed can be increased as an option to 174mph, or 189mph if the dynamic package plus is specified.
Despite the 45PS output boost, the sonorous V8 biturbo power unit returns up to 29.4mpg in the RS 6 Avant performance and 29.7mpg in the RS 7 Sportback performance.
The standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission has been designed to maximize the potential of the even more extreme engine in both the new RS 6 Avant performance and the new RS 7 Sportback performance. The driver can choose between the modes D and S or change gears manually either by tapping the selector lever or by using the shift paddles. In manual mode, a shift indicator in the driver information system or optional head-up display indicates the rev limit.
In both Audi RS performance models, 21‑inch cast aluminum wheels channel the output with the help of 285/30 tires in the RS 6 Avant performance and 275/30 tires in the RS 7 Sportback performance. The four internally ventilated brake discs have a weight-saving wave design, and can be replaced by carbon fiber-ceramic discs as an option.
Striking design details reinforce the preeminent position of the two new RS performance models. These include the accentuated bumpers with large air inlets up front and the heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear, the gloss black honeycomb grille typical of the RS models and the flared side sills.
The RS performance-specific exterior is distinguished by a quattro logo on the air inlet duct and matt titanium-look detailing. RS super sports seats with pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints are standard, and are upholstered in a black and blue Alcantara and leather combination with a honeycomb pattern and matching stitching on the armrests which also extends to the control elements and floor mats. The knee pads are also finished in Alcantara and the inlays in carbon with blue thread. This sophisticated and exclusive carbon material is interwoven with a blue thread.
The Performance pair launches in Germany at the beginning of November. The bad news unfortunately neither of these Performance variants will be sold in the U.S.