By: Jamie Vondruska
Audi of America made several significant announcements at the New York International Auto Show this past week:
Audi RS6 - Audi of America Vice President Len Hunt formally announced that Audi of America will indeed offer their stunning 450hp RS6 sport sedan here in the United States starting in the Spring of 2003. The RS6 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.2l V8 rated at 450hp and 415 lbs-ft of peak torque. Audi quotes a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds. Standard equipment includes new Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) active suspension which employs shock absorbers that are diagonally connected hydraulically to dampen and counteract movement along longitudinal and transverse axes, virtually eliminating vehicle roll and pitch in cornering maneuvers. Overall, the RS6 suspension sits 25mm lower, with firmer shocks, springs and stabilizers as compared to the A6. ESP and Brembo 8-piston calipers painted red with RS6 logos are also included. 18" x 8.5" 9-spoke RS alloy wheels with 255/40ZR-18 high-performance rubber round out the performance enhancements. Approximately 850 units will be sold here in the U.S. And only in a sedan configuration. See the complete press release for more information.
Satellite Radio Services - starting with the A8, all 2004 Audis will be prewired for both XM and Sirius satellite radio services and all that will be required is the receiver for which ever service you choose. Right now, virtually all manufacturers, including competitors such as BMW and Volvo, have chosen one service only, making Audi the first to offer both options to customers.
A4 Cabriolet - The Audi A4 Cabriolet will go on sale this fall with a 200hp 3.0l V6, front-wheel-drive only with Multitronic standard.
MMI - Audi had on display their answer to BMW's i-Drive system Audi calls Multi Media Interface or MMI. For more information see the accompanying press release and photos.
Rumor Mill - Finally, we spoke to Audi engineers present at the show that told us to rest assured that turbo-charging in future Audi models (including S-models) is not dead. Audi is working on a twin-turbo version of the 3.0L V6 (which in turbocharged form will be a 2.9L) for use "in future models". Audi was coy to quote horsepower or specifics on the next Audi S4 other than to say we won't be disappointed. Rumors outside of Audi of America suggest that the next S4 may be sold in both twin-turbo V6 and V8 versions in Europe, but will likely only be sold was a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 here in the States. We'll know for sure within a year as the new S4 is slated for introduction sometime in the next 12 months.