Snapshot

  • ‘Performance’ trim adds 22kW, 50Nm
  • Most powerful RS6 and RS7 yet
  • Faster transmission, lighter weight
  • Australian plans not yet confirmed

Audi has announced full details of the 2023 RS6 and RS7 performance variants, with an extra 22kW of power and trimmed unsprung mass.

There are other changes for the performance models, including matte grey exterior highlights, lightweight 22-inch alloy wheels, the option of blue interior accents and recalibrated automatic transmission.

This launch marks the return of the RS division’s most focused performance trim for the RS7, giving Audi a direct rival for Munich’s M5 Competition.

The RS6 and RS7 follow in the footsteps of the RS6 plus that debuted in 2004, with the trim morphing into ‘performance’ for the 2016 RS6 and RS7.

Australian pricing and timing is yet to be confirmed. In Europe, each of the RS performance variants cost €135,000, equivalent to AU$208,800 at the current rate.

Given the RS6 Avant starts at $229,300 before on-road costs in Australia, though, we’d expect the performance versions to start from around AU$250K.

The RS7, meanwhile, is a little dearer in Oz, commanding $236,600 before on-roads, so expect the RS7 performance to be around $255K.

Audi RS6 and RS7 performance powertrain

Under the RS7 and RS6’s bonnets is the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8, but with its wick turned up to 463kW of power and 850Nm of torque – increases of 22kW and 50Nm over the regular car.

Audi has accomplished this by winding maximum boost pressure up from 2.4 to 2.6 bar. It’s still off this engine’s most powerful series production form in the Lamborghini Urus (478kW), but means the RS6 and RS7 both get from rest to 100km/h two tenths faster, in 3.4 seconds.

Along with bigger outputs, Audi has recalibrated the eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission for faster shifts.

The RS6 and RS7 performance retain a mechanical centre diff, its default torque split is 40F/60R, but up to 70 per cent of power can be sent to the front axle, and 85 per cent to the rear.

There are four core drive modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, plus two customisable individual RS1 and RS2 modes.

For the performance RS7 and RS7, only Efficiency mode allows coasting (where the engine switches off and the car runs off the 48-volt electrical system) at speed of up to 160km/h.

Performance means Improved handling and road-holding

In the pursuit of increased emotion Audi’s RS division removed eight kilograms of sound deadening from the RS6 and RS7. This also helped weight loss, with the RS6 hitting the scales at 2090kg and the RS7 2065kg.

The cars are fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 275/35 series tyres as standard (in Europe, though Australian examples get 22s standard), but 22-inch forged wheels are available.

Inching up to the five Y-spoke alloys brings wider 285/30 series Continental Sport Contact 7 tyres developed for Audi. The wheels are available in black, matte grey, matte black or gold and save five kilos at each corner, for a total of 20kg reduction.

Like Australian cars, European RS6 and RS7 performance variants get the RS Dynamic Pack as standard that raises the speed limiter to 280km/h, adds four-wheel steer and a Quattro Sport locking rear diff.

An RS Dynamic Plus Pack is available that teams ceramic brakes (clamping 440mm front rotors and saving 34kg of unsprung mass) with a raised 305km/h top speed.

More customisation is available

In addition to extra performance, there are more ways to customise the RS6 and RS7 performance with 16 paint colours – including matte Ascari blue and matte dew silver – available.

The performance grades are distinguished outside by matte grey detailing on the diffuser, roof rails and mirror caps, though this can be changed to gloss black.

Inside, there is now blue available alongside red and grey for contrasting interior trim. This includes on the seatbelts, beneath the perforations in the Dinamica suedecloth upholstery, and the stitching.

Audi also offers the Exclusive Customiser program, much like BMW’s Individual and Mercedes-Benz’s Manufaktur offerings, giving customers even more choice.

Finally, the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display now has a new screen with shift lights that illuminate green, yellow, red and then flash as you approach the red line when in manual mode.

RS6 and RS7 performance Australian Availability

Audi Australia is yet to confirm pricing or availability of the RS6 and RS7 performance for our market.

Unlike the RS3 performance – which won’t come here – the RS6 and RS7 are not limited runs, so hopefully an Aussie arrival is more likely.

If one happens, expect a local release in the first [quarter/half] of 2023 priced from about $250,000 before on-road costs.

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