The horsepower war between Germany’s big three automakers is raging. The latest move comes from the city of Ingolstadt, where Audi has just introduced more powerful versions of the RS 7 Sportback and the RS 6 Avant.
Called RS 7 Sportback performance and RS 6 Avant performance, respectively, both models are powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter TFSI V8 engine that has been tweaked to deliver 605 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, though an overboost function allows the eight-cylinder to make up to 553 lb-ft. for short bursts. In comparison, the regular RS 7 is rated at 560 hp and 516 lb-ft. of torque.
The extra grunt sends the RS 7 and the RS 6 from zero to 62 mph in a supercar-like 3.7 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 12.1 seconds, and on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph. Buyers who need to go even faster can order the optional dynamic package that increases the 7’s top speed to nearly 190 mph.
The eight-cylinder is bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Power is distributed to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. Surprisingly, the 605-hp engine returns about 25 mpg in a mixed European cycle thanks in part to a start/stop system and Audi’s cylinder-on-demand technology, which transforms the eight into a turbo four under partial load.
Both models ride on specific 21-inch alloy wheels. The list of visual modifications includes a new front bumper with bigger air dams, a bigger air diffuser built into the rear bumper, and matte titaninum trim. Inside, both cars boast sport seats and a performance-specific instrument cluster.
Audi’s performance-badged RS models will go on sale across Germany next month. The RS 6 Avant costs €117,000 (approximately $131,000), while the RS 7 carries a base price of €121,700 (roughly $136,000). It goes without saying that the 6 won’t make the trip across the Atlantic, but only time will tell if the 7 will be added to Audi’s North American lineup.
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