The much loved combination of venom and versatility that is the Audi RS6 Avant returns to the UK priced from £92,700 OTR with a choice of four specification packages - RS6, RS6 Carbon Black, RS6 Vorsprung and a limited run RS6 Launch Edition, while the bullish yet beautiful RS7 Sportback five-door coupé starts from £97,050 OTR and is also initially available in these four versions.
"These incredible new successors to firm favourites from Audi Sport made their world debuts to great critical acclaim earlier in the year, and for their arrival in the UK we have created a range of market-specific equipment packages that fully capitalise on all that they have to offer," says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. "Whether they prefer the unadulterated brawn of the RS6 or the more elegantly framed extremity of the RS7, our customers can choose from four carefully considered UK specification options that show each model in its very best light."
The extraordinary accelerative force and uncannily surefooted handling that justifies the overt, muscle-bound styling of these two executive class RS models comes courtesy of a V8 twin-turbo TFSI engine delivering 600PS and an 800Nm torque peak, allied to advanced centre differential-based quattro all-wheel-drive backed up by the sport differential acting on the rear axle.
Dynamic all-wheel steering is also standard throughout the ranges to enhance low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability, and three of the four variants in each line-up combine this with RS-specific adaptive air suspension. The conventionally sprung RS sport suspension plus with diagonally linked adaptive dampers that are the basis of the Dynamic Ride Control system is standard for the top-tier Vorsprung versions in each case, and can be optionally specified for all other versions.
Broad and powerful: the exterior design
Externally, RS6 and RS7 Sportback models combine this exceptional dynamic specification with 21-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and lighting animations, privacy glass and aluminium mirror housings and detailing. Carbon Black versions upgrade to a 22-inch wheel with a black finish and add a carbon black styling package that finishes elements such as mirror housings, window trim strips, spoilers and inserts in gloss carbon and gloss black. The top Vorsprung models also feature a 22-inch wheel in a titanium matt gloss design and a gloss black styling package. In addition, their trademark twin oval tailpipes are exclusively finished in black to illustrate the fact that the sport exhaust system with its enhanced acoustics is also a standard Vorsprung feature.
Inside, all models are equipped with heated and ventilated front RS sport seats with integrated headrests, electric adjustment and honeycomb-stitched Valcona leather upholstery. These are complemented by an electrically adjustable RS flat-bottomed steering wheel incorporating new, larger aluminium shift paddles and a new RS mode button that gives instant access to two additional personalised driver profiles - RS 1 and RS 2 - that can be set and saved via the Audi drive select system.
The all-digital operating system with its black-panel design is of course also standard for all versions, as is the Audi virtual cockpit plus with its 12.3-inch binnacle display, which also offers the option of special RS screens providing information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration measurements and g forces. A shift light is also included to prompt the driver to upshift when the maximum engine speed is reached. Naturally, the generic specification also includes everything from MMI Navigation Plus to Audi connect internet-based services and Audi Phone Box wireless charging, plus useful assistance systems such as camera-based traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and a rear-view camera.
RS6 and RS7 Sportback Carbon Black models are marked out internally by striking carbon twill inlays and an RS design package that adds to the luxury feel through additional inserts in either grey Fine Nappa leather or grey Alcantara for areas such as the centre console sides and door armrests.
Vorsprung variants place even more emphasis on occupant comfort and contentment with features such as a panoramic glass sunroof, power door closure, Bang & Olufsen 3D audio and front and rear seat heating. They also include a configurable head-up display for even greater driver convenience, plus the Tour and City Assist packs, equipping them with virtually every advanced driver aid available for the model lines, from adaptive cruise assist and the predictive efficiency assistant to Audi side assist and cross traffic assist front.
Limited run Launch Edition models
For maximum choice the RS6 and RS7 Sportback models will also be offered for a limited period in an exclusive Launch Edition specification that combines highlights from all the variants. Externally, red brake callipers that are unique to this version are visible through 22-inch alloy wheels with a black gloss turned finish, and these are complemented by the gloss black styling pack. The panoramic glass sunroof and the sport exhaust are also standard, as is top speed de-restriction to 174mph. Inside, the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is a key enhancement.
Among the headline options for the two ranges are five matt-effect paint finishes, the sport exhaust system (standard for Vorsprung and Launch Edition versions), ceramic brakes and de-restriction of top speed from 155mph to 174mph (also standard for Vorsprung and Launch Edition models).
In just 3.6 seconds the Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback with eight-speed tiptronic transmission can touch 62mph from a standing start, and where conditions permit the driver can see 124mph by the time 12 seconds have elapsed. Top speed is electronically governed at 155mph, or 174mph in the Vorsprung and Launch Edition versions.
The awe-inspiring performance is delivered as responsibly as possible through the use of mild hybrid technology. A belt alternator starter powered by a 48-volt main electrical system lies at the heart of the MHEV system, which can harvest energy during light deceleration and store it in a separate lithium-ion battery, and also initiate coasting at speeds of between 34 and 99mph for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. A cylinder on demand (COD) system is also incorporated, and at low to intermediate loads and speeds deactivates four of the V8's eight cylinders to conserve fuel.