February 12, 2002

New Audi RS 6 from quattro GmbH
Text and photos courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi RS 6 is making its international début at the Geneva Motor Show, with Avant and saloon versions appearing simultaneously. The new model line has been created by quattro GmbH as an entirely independent model and developed in conjunction with AUDI AG. The V8 biturbo engine of the Audi RS 6 has an output of 331 kW (450 bhp) and is capable of the performance of a thoroughbred sports car. With its innovative DRC (Dynamic Ride Control) suspension system, the Audi RS 6 opens up new dimensions of operating dynamics. The design of this extreme sports specialist is deliberately restrained.

The Audi RS 6 will have a unique high-tech package at launch. Its immense power characteristic, quattro permanent four-wheel drive, high-tech brake system and innovative DRC suspension set new standards in the segment of high-performance vehicles.

As there is more to everyday driving than sports action, the Audi RS 6 has not settled for any compromises when it comes to practical utility, comfort or convenience. Both saloon and Avant body versions will be available, making it perfect for every type of work, family and leisure use.

It is only logical that the Audi RS 6's elegant appearance should communicate an air of restrained pre-eminence, for all its insistent emphasis on top performance. This is entirely in keeping with the inner values of its target audience.

The low front apron with three specific air intake apertures, 18-inch or (optionally) 19-inch alloy wheels, discreet side sills and a rear spoiler above a redesigned rear apron accentuate the body's forceful bulk.

Engine and transmission

The eight-cylinder V-engine with a displacement of 4.2 litres has been specially developed for the Audi RS 6. It achieves a permanent maximum power output of 331 kW (450 bhp) between 5700 and 6400 rpm. Its peak torque of 560 Newton-metres is available across an extremely wide range of engine speeds, from 1950 to 5600 rpm.

Development work on the V8 biturbo engine, which has five valves per cylinder unit, intake camshafts with hydraulic adjustment and two-stage intake manifolds, was spearheaded by quattro GmbH in close collaboration with AUDI AG's engine development department at Neckarsulm.

Most of the impressive power gain is attributable to the two turbochargers, the efficiency of which is further enhanced by two pressure-loss optimised intercoolers. There is one turbocharger per bank of cylinders. The admission and exhaust ports have been modified in line with the engine's higher performance, and the cross-section of the air ducts enlarged at both the intake and thrust side.

The adapted engine management is another key aspect of the RS 6 engine's efficiency. The Motronic ME 7.1.1 operates with boost pressure, knock and exhaust-gas temperature control. quattro GmbH has developed a dual-branch exhaust system with backpressure-optimised middle and rear silencers, larger-section pipes, and primary and main catalytic converters with a metal base. The RS 6 thus satisfies the EU3 emission standard.

To distribute the weight more effectively throughout the vehicle, the battery has been moved further back, into the spare wheel's recess. The upper section of the air cleaner is made from a carbon fibre composite material; together with a further carbon fibre cover over the front section of the engine compartment, it gives the engine a striking appearance.

Performance

quattro permanent four-wheel drive and a version of the tiptronic five-speed automatic transmission that has been specially refined for the RS 6 convert the V8 biturbo's high torque into propulsive power with impressive efficiency and directional stability. The Audi RS 6 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 4.9 seconds, and hits the 200 km/h mark after 18 seconds. The top speed is governed smoothly at 250 km/h by electronic means.

To maintain the emphasis on an overtly sporty driving style, the tiptronic five-speed automatic transmission for the RS 6 incorporates a dynamic Sport program: the S drive position on the one hand pushes each individual gear up to higher speed at full throttle, and on the other hand permits swifter downshifts. Depending on the level of lateral acceleration, the transmission management can adjust the shift points upwards. This avoids undesirable gearshifts on a bend.

The RS 6 driver can of course also operate the transmission manually: either by briefly pressing the selector lever or by pressing a shift paddle on the steering wheel, like in motor racing. When the driver operates the shift paddle, his choice of gear overrides the driving program currently in use.

In keeping with the car's high performance, quattro GmbH has developed a completely new brake system for the RS 6. Large brake discs of a composite design have been fitted on both the front and rear wheels. This technology, which originated in the world of motor sport, involves fixing a cast friction ring to an aluminium brake-disc chamber by means of 14 pins. This "floating" arrangement improves the stability of the brake discs, particularly when exposed to extreme loads and at high operating temperatures.

The ventilated, perforated disc brakes have a diameter of 365 millimetres at the front, and 335 millimetres at the rear. The grip is achieved by means of eight-piston brake callipers at the front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear. The parameters of the ABS system and the electronic brake-force distribution system have been specifically redefined for the high-performance brake system.

Running gear

18-inch wheels create space for the generously dimensioned brake system of the Audi RS 6. The 8.5 J x 18 cast aluminium wheels of nine-spoke design are fitted with 255/40 R 18 tyres at the front and rear. The Audi RS 6 is available with 19-inch alloy wheels as an optional extra. The 9 J x 19 aluminium wheels with the new five-arm design come with 255/35 R 19 tyres. The five-spoke wheels for winter tyres are of the 7.5 J x 18 dimension and have substantial 225/45 R 18 M+S tyres.

The swivel bearings and the control arms of the four-link front suspension are of aluminium. The spring/shock absorber units and elastokinematics have been retuned to suit the altered axle weights and modified axle geometry. The rack-and-pinion steering with a direct ratio also contributes towards the vehicle's distinctly sporty handling.

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