Over twenty years and four generations, the Audi RS6 is a memory between high performance station wagons. The line began in 2002 with a simple proposition: a biturbo engine and all-wheel drive, a concept that has accompanied the model in all its updates.
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The adoption of new technology – such as the Adaptive Cruise Control suspension – was also used as a benchmark for other models in the line. Audi RS6 since then.
the beginning of the journey
It was the beginning of a new millennium and a high performance division Audi Sport GmbHthen still called quattro GmbH, faced the challenge of renewing the automaker’s supersport family after the success of the RS 4.
At that time, the four ring brand was participating in a competitive race. After taking a third-place podium with the R8 model in its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999, the automaker cemented its name in the legendary race with back-to-back victories in the following three years – 2000, 2001 and 2002.
That year, Audi engineers used all their track expertise to turn the A6 into an excellent sports car, with modifications to a set of mechanics – engine, suspension and transmission – and appearance, which improved its sports performance with side skirts, sills, oval . and wheels up to 19 inches.
was born Audi RS6
The first generation of Audi RS6 he used the C5 platform and took the eight-cylinder engine already in the A6 and S6 – at that time with 340 horses – to a new level. Developed by Audi Sport in collaboration with Cosworth, the British subsidiary of the German manufacturer until 2004, the new V8 4.2 biturbo engine delivered no less than 450 horses and 560 Nm of torque.
Such power required the engineers involved in the project to modify the front of the model, which had to be lengthened by four centimeters to accommodate the engine.
The new reference in the segment was almost a road car dedicated to the streets, after all, the power of 450 horsepower was the same as the Audi TT-R model used by the French driver Laurent Aïello, from the ABT team, in the victory of the competition of cars of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) tour of the year.
The manual transmission was replaced by an automatic transmission with a torque converter, which provided a shorter drive and more gear changes. The result was an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. And five types of riding are available, the Audi RS6 It offered everything from a quiet ride to a more sporty feel.
Contributing to this versatility is the newly designed Suspension Assisted Ride Control (DRC), which consists of steel springs with two diagonally opposed hydraulics that react to body movements, without electronics.
When cornering, the response of the shock absorber is changed so that the movement of the car is significantly reduced along the longitudinal axis (roll) and the transverse axis. With this, the car sits better on the pavement and provides a more agile and predictable behavior, especially in sharp curves.
Stephan Reil, responsible for the development of Audi RS6 and currently head of technical development at the Neckarsulm plant (Germany), summarizes. “DRC reduces body rotations in straight and corner driving.”
All first-generation (C5) cars were rolled off the assembly line and hand-built, with special features of the RS line. Not coincidentally, the finishing took place in the nearby German factory hall in Neckarsulm, where workers worked individually on each car for about 15 hours in a water lift.
To this day, the first generation represents only the RS 6 that was also used on the track.
Second generation (C6)
After six years, Audi launched in 2008 the second generation of Audi RS6. The automaker installed two turbochargers, but now it took five liters of displacement and ten cylinders. As a result, the power of the new V10 5.0 biturbo engine grew to 580 horsepower and torque to 650 Nm, available from 1,500 rpm. The thrust weight was 278 kg.
To ensure fuel supply when driving around corners at high speed, Audi opted for dry sump lubrication, a principle borrowed from motorsport. A separate fuel tank allowed the V10 engine to be positioned lower, lowering the car’s center of gravity.
The system is designed for racing, providing up to 1.2g of fuel for longitudinal and lateral acceleration. Stephan Reil remembers well how systematic Audi’s developers were in using every inch of engine space.
“With its twin turbochargers and manifolds, the V10 already looks like a work of art. It’s powerful. I don’t know any part of the engine that’s better filled than the second-generation RS 6,” said the expert.
The six-speed automatic transmission that was used has been significantly redesigned: cooling, shifting speed, power distribution – everything has been improved.
With a new improved engine and transmission set, the model reached a top speed of 303 km/h for the first time and RS 6 togethertime The classic Audi RS 6 reach 250 km/h, or 280 km/h is available as an option at an additional cost.
The sedan needed 4.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h, while the Avant version took 4.6 seconds. The braking systems received special attention, with ceramic brakes (optional) and discs of 420 mm (front) and 356 mm (rear) that stopped the car very reliably.
Audi again used the DRC suspension, which became standard equipment on the Avant and sedan versions. Visually, the model maintained the moderate style of its predecessor, with protruding fenders and wheels up to 20 inches.
Third generation (C7)
With more compact dimensions and greater use of aluminum in its components, the 4.0 V8 biturbo engine was reduced in weight by approximately 120 kg.
In terms of bodywork, the weight distribution has been redefined to 55% on the front axle and 45% on the rear, compared to 60% and 40% respectively of the previous version, which contributed to reducing the car’s weight by 100 kg, despite the fact that. The Avant is six centimeters wider than the standard A6.
The engine was also repositioned and moved 15 centimeters further back. When accelerating, Audi RS6 he made it clear that the original set of machines will not be sorely missed. With 560 horsepower, 700 Nm of torque and an eight-speed gearbox, the third-generation RS 6 needed just 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h.
A new feature in the third generation RS 6 was the adoption of air suspension, in response to customer needs for more comfort. Now 20 millimeters down, the Audi RS 6 introduced sportier fit and adaptive air suspension
In the end, it shared with the predecessors, apart from the name, only the last stop in the hall near the assembly line in Neckarsulm for the final finishing touches. In the following years, Audi was able to extract more power from the 4.0 V8 engine – 605 horses and 750 Nm of torque, to be more precise.
Fourth generation (C8)
In 2019, three years before turning 20, the fourth generation of Audi RS 6 (C8) he arrived at the market. The 4.0 V8 biturbo engine with 600 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque got, for the first time, a 48-volt mild hybrid system, further improving its efficiency.
Although heavier than its predecessor, Audi RS 6 Avant It reaches 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and 200 km/h in 12 seconds. Top speed is 305 km/h with ceramic brakes (optional).
Straight-line and cornering performance also sets a new benchmark, while the new all-wheel drive improves stability at high speeds, when the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels. When driving at low speed, they turn against the front wheels to reduce the turning radius and make parking easier.
If the first three generations were different, the fourth and last generation of the generation Audi RS6 have a different proposal. The roof and the front and rear doors are the only things the RS 6 Avant shares with the basic A6 Avant design. Other features were modified specifically for the RS and the bodywork was increased by eight visible centimeters.
For the first time, Audi RS6 it has an independent hood and Matrix LED lights with laser lights of the RS 7. The wheels have also increased to 22 inches.
The fourth generation (C8) is not manufactured in separate rooms and leaves the assembly line in Neckarsulm directly in the showroom. This is indicative of the flexibility of these production sites.
In Brazil, the current generation of the model is produced in Audi RS6 avant at a price of BRL 1,083,990.