Audi RS 6 to feature a mild hybrid drive
The concept of the super-fast Avant is more tightly woven into the Audi DNA than virtually any other hallmark of Vorsprung durch Technik, and that concept has been refined yet again in the creation of the new, fourth generation RS 6 Avant.
Bristling with the technological accomplishments already delivered by the new A6 Avant, the latest addition to the Audi Sport fold combines formidable twin-turbo eight-cylinder TFSI power with state-of-the-art efficiency features including mild hybrid drive and cylinder-on-demand technology, helping to deliver epic performance as responsibly as possible.
“Throughout our 25-year RS history, the Audi RS 6 Avant is one of our absolute icons with a large global fan base,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “We will also be offering the RS 6 Avant in North America for the very first time. As such, we will be tapping into a new market with huge potential and generating further growth.”
The 4.0 TFSI in the new Audi RS 6 Avant delivers 600PS and 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque, which is maintained at this high level between 2,050 and 4,500 rpm. In just 3.6 seconds the high-performance Avant sprints from zero to 62mph, and where conditions permit the driver can see 124mph by the time 12 seconds have elapsed. Top speed is electronically governed at 155mph.
Thanks to the 48-volt main electrical system the twin-turbo V8 combines maximum performance with high efficiency. A belt alternator starter lies at the heart of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Up to 12 kW of power can be recovered during light deceleration and stored in a separate lithium-ion battery.
If the driver lifts off the accelerator at a speed of between 34 and 99mph, the drive management selects one of two options: Depending on the driving situation and setting in the standard Audi drive select dynamic driving system the new RS 6 Avant recovers energy or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. Re-applying pressure on the accelerator instructs the belt alternator starter to restart the engine. MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation at speeds of up to 13mph. Fuel savings of up to 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres are possible in everyday driving.
Another key efficiency-focused component is the cylinder on demand (COD) system, which at low to intermediate loads and speeds deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 in the high gears by switching off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder operation the operating points in the active cylinders are displaced toward higher loads in areas of the characteristic map with higher efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders largely run without losses, like gas springs. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, they are reactivated instantly.
For all its efficiency the 4.0 TFSI remains a thoroughbred V8 in terms of character and sound. The driver can influence that sound using the Audi drive select system. In the new, customisable RS1 and RS2 modes accessible via Audi drive select, customers decide themselves whether the sound should be full-blooded or balanced.
The standard eight-speed tiptronic with optimised shift times and a new Launch Control function transmits the power of the 4.0 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axle in a ratio of 40:60 via the all-mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70% can be channelled to the front wheels and up to 85% to the rear wheels.
The wheel-selective torque control optimises the agile and safe handling of the new RS 6 Avant - it brakes the wheels with reduced load on the inside of a bend slightly before they can begin to spin. The quattro sport differential shifts the drive torque when cornering at speed as required between the rear wheels, thus improving traction, stability and dynamics.
In the new RS 6 Avant the front and rear axles use a five-link design to handle the induced longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminium. The track width is 1,668 millimetres at the front and 1,651 millimetres at the rear.
The driver can change the character of the RS 6 Avant using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. Six profiles are available: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, and the individually configurable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes, which can also be activated directly using the “RS MODE” steering wheel button. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays in the Audi virtual cockpit.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system influences the engine and transmission management, the power steering, the suspension, the dynamic all-wheel steering, the quattro sport differential, the engine sound and the characteristics of the automatic air conditioning. The RS2 mode exists specifically to influence the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) directly at the push of a button.
The new RS 6 Avant is fitted standard with 21-inch cast aluminium wheels in 10-spoke star design, which are shod with 275/35 size tyres. An RS-specific wheel in 22-inch 5-V-spoke trapezoid design with 285/30 tires will be available on the Vorsprung specification. The newly developed RS ceramic brake system weighs around 34 kilograms less than its steel counterpart, thus reducing unsprung masses. The Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) features a sport mode or can be switched off entirely.
In the Audi virtual cockpit, special RS displays provide information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration measurements and g forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the maximum engine speed is reached.