20 Years and Four Generations of Superior Performance Suitable for Daily Use: Audi RS 6

Year and Four Generation Audi RS in Superior Performance Suitable for Daily Use
20 Years and Four Generations Audi RS 6 with Superior Performance Suitable for Daily Use

Setting the standards in the high-performance station wagon world with its impressive performance and superior daily use features, the Audi RS 6 celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The model bearing the signature of Audi Sport GmbH has gained a loyal fan base around the world for four generations in the 20 years it has left behind.
The model Audi RS 2002, which was first introduced to the market in 6 and has succeeded in setting the standards in its class with each new generation since then, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The journey, which started in 2002, continues on its way as a unique success story with a twin-turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. This basic concept has persisted in every RS 6 generation. The brand's 'One Step Ahead with Technology' approach is evident in many aspects, including the Dynamic Ride Control suspension. This technology has also been used in other Audi RS models for a long time.

The desire for performance in the upper middle class – C5

With the new millennium, the company, which was called quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport GmbH) in those years, was faced with the question of which car could give a sporty touch after the RS 4. It was a favorable period for the Audi A6. The first generation, called the C5, underwent a comprehensive update in 2001. Audi wanted to add more power under the hood of the upper mid-range model.

Audi already had a long history and experience in motorsport. The brand made its way to the podium in its first legendary 1999-hour Le Mans attempt in 24. Four halkalı The brand made history again in 2000, 2001 and 2002. With 13 wins, they are the second most successful team of all time at Le Mans, after Porsche.

Audi engineers at quattro GmbH put a lot of effort into making the A6 a sports car. This didn't just mean adapting the engine, suspension and transmission. Audi also put it on top visually. The vehicle has grown by four centimeters in both length and width. The emphasis on sportiness is reinforced with new bumpers, wider side skirts, a spoiler for the Avant, a separate spoiler for the Sedan, 18-inch or 19-inch wheels and two oval tailpipes.

No other Audi was more powerful in 2002

The aim was to add eight cylinders to the basic design of the A8, D2 series. The engine was already used in the S6 and produced 340 PS without a turbo. However, a lot of detail work was required. The powerful engine with a twin-turbocharged 4,2-liter volume did not fit in the body of the A6 at first. Thus, quattro GmbH widened the front and gave the V8 four centimeters more mounting space. The RS 6's engine is tuned in England, not Ingolstadt or Neckarsulm. British engine manufacturer Cosworth, which until 2004 was a subsidiary of AUDI AG, together with quattro GmbH achieved an impressive 450 PS and 560 Nm of torque. This put the model at the top of its class. The V6 in the RS 8 also served as a clear message to the racing world. For example, the DTM Audi of the ABT team that Laurent Aïello used in the 2002 championship also had 450 PS.

It requires a lot of power, very good control. The era of manual transmission was over. For the first time, a torque converter transmission provided an RS model with shorter shift times during gear shifts. There were five driving modes. This package made it possible to accelerate to 4,7 km/h in 100 seconds. To ensure that the RS 6 Avant and Sedan offer the ideal balance between supreme comfort and sportiness in everyday use, Audi used newly developed Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) suspension. “DRC reduces body oscillations in both straight and sporty driving on curves,” says Stephan Reil, who is responsible for developing the entire RS 6 series and is now Head of Technical Development at Neckarsulm. explains as. The system connects the car to the road better and provides superior handling, especially in dynamic bends. Dynamic Ride Control consists of steel springs with two opposing hydraulic shock absorbers. These meet the movement of the body of the vehicle without any delay without any electronics. In cornering, the damper response changes, so that the vertical lateral axis movements of the vehicle are significantly reduced.

All first generation RS 6 vehicles (C5) were built both on the production line and by hand. Although drivable, unfinished models were later fitted, for example, with special suspension, RS-specific components and distinctive trim.

The C5 was also the only RS 6 that was a racing car from the very first moment. Champion Racing's RS 6 Competition, piloted by Randy Pobst, beat its competitors in the same volume class in the 2003 SPEED GT World Challenge. The V8 biturbo produced 475 PS, had a manual transmission, and triumphed on its first try.

quattro GmbH strengthened the model before the series ended. Power increased from 560 PS to 450 PS while torque remained at 480 Nm. Added 'Plus' to the model name. Top speed increased from 250 km/h to 280 km/h as standard instead of optional.

The history of the greatest success in engine manufacturing continues – the C6

In 2008, six years after the first RS 6, the second generation arrived. Audi didn't just change power and volume. It also increased the number of cylinders to 10. Again, while using two turbochargers, the volume increased to 5,0 liters. So it delivered 580 PS and 1.600 Nm from just 650 rpm. These values ​​were also higher than the R8 at that time. The R8 GT had a maximum of 560 PS. For three years, Audi produced the largest RS engine to date. The V10 was a naturally powerful engine. It had a weight of 278 kg. Audi used the dry sump lubrication technique, a motorsport technique, to provide uninterrupted lubrication even in fast corners. In addition, the independent oil tank allowed the engine to be positioned lower. This lowered the vehicle's center of gravity. The solution designed for racing provided up to 1,2 g of oil in vertical and lateral acceleration. Stephan Reil well remembers how systematic the Audi engineers were in using every centimeter of assembly space: “With its two turbochargers and manifold, the V10 is a work of art in itself. And strong. I can't remember a better filled engine compartment than in the RS 6 C6.”

Like the C5, it needed a gearbox that could handle the power of the ten cylinders. The six-speed automatic transmission has been greatly overhauled. Everything has been overhauled, including cooling, shift speed and power transmission. With this engine and transmission combination, Audi achieved speeds of over 6 km/h – 300 km/h for the first time with the RS 303 plus. Top speed in the regular RS 6 was 250 km/h and peaked at 280 km/h as an option. The sedan completed the 4,5-4,6 km/h acceleration in 0 seconds and the Avant in 100 seconds. Such a high performance also required an effective braking performance. Ceramic brakes of 420 mm at the front and 356 mm at the rear were available as options. For the second time, Audi has used DRC suspension to give passengers a sporty and comfortable ride. It was standard equipment on Avant and Sedan. For greater everyday comfort in all driving conditions, the DRC suspension featured shock absorbers with three-stage adjustment for the first time. This function was offered as an option.

Like its predecessor, the new RS 6 was visually highlighted. 19-inch 255/40 tires are standard and 20-inch 275/35 tires are offered as an option. The vehicle had a width of 3,5 meters with an increase of 1,89 cm. The C6 was also transferred from the production line to the quattro GmbH assembly point. Like its predecessor, special RS complements were mounted here. Toward the end of its production life, special versions of the RS 6 plus Sport or RS 6 plus Audi Exclusive were offered for the C6. Each had a limited production number of 500 units. Inside, it featured a custom numbered plate, five-spoke custom alloy wheels, leather dashboard and floor mats with the RS 6 logo.

Achieved more with less – C7

Audi's switch to a four-liter twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine in 2013 instead of the ten-cylinder biturbo surprised customers. This was the smallest engine in RS 6 history. Also, Sedan has been removed from the program. It was replaced by the Audi RS 7 Sportback in the USA. Audi had created a package that surpassed previous RS 6 models in terms of driving dynamics and efficiency. First of all, this made it possible to reduce weight. Along with all other measures, including the heavy use of aluminium, the C7 generation was as much as 120 kg lighter. In addition, the Avant was 6 cm wider than the standard A6. In the C6, about 60 percent of the total mass was at the front axle. Audi cut that down to 55 percent. This meant a savings of about 100 kg. In addition, the engine was positioned 15 cm further back. The RS 6 made it clear that the loss of two cylinders and 20 PS does not affect the performance. With 700 Nm of torque and the new 8-speed tiptronic, the C7 accelerated from 0-100 km/h in just 3,9 seconds. So it was half a second faster than its predecessor. The instrument cluster showed a maximum speed of 305 km/h. What's more, it consumed 30 percent less fuel than its predecessor. Of course, the lighter body had a big share. But the real success was the cylinder shut-off function, which reduced the engine to four cylinders when there was no power requirement. Ceramic brakes with a diameter of 420 mm at the front and 365 mm at the rear provided effective braking performance and superior braking resistance, including tough use.

RS 6 customers demanded more comfort. In response to this requirement, air suspension was offered as standard for the first time. There was a 20mm lower and sportier setup. The adaptive air suspension supported the driving pleasure. Again as an increased comfort function, a drawbar was offered as an option for the first time. The DRC suspension had a good setup. Experts agreed that the RS 6 C7 differed from its predecessor in every area, be it drive system, suspension, comfort or efficiency. What it had in common with other generations was that the C7, like its predecessors, was a saloon replacement during assembly in Neckarsulm.

Over the years, Audi has drawn more and more power from its four-liter eight-cylinder engine. The power of the RS 6 has risen above 600 PS (605 to be exact) for the first time. It offered 750 Nm of torque with the overboost function.

Despite the decline in power and cylinder count, the C7 became the best-selling vehicle in the high-performance station wagon segment. It was the market leader in its segment. The RS 6 C7 Avant resonated all over the world. The United States, which traditionally favors sedans, also made requests for the RS 6 Avant, but they had to wait a little longer.

The best yet, but it's not over yet – C8

The fourth and current generation RS 6 hit the roads in 2019 with the code C8. It also has a 4,0 liter biturbo engine. It produces 600 PS of power and 800 Nm of torque. For the first time, an electrical system with a 48 Volt supply was put into operation to increase efficiency. Although slightly heavier, the RS 6 Avant completes 3,6-0 km/h acceleration in 100 seconds. It reaches 200 km/h in just 12 seconds. The C8 sets new standards for lateral acceleration and cornering.

The new all-wheel steering system improves stability at high speeds by turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels. When maneuvering at low speeds, they turn in the opposite direction with the front wheels to reduce the turning radius and make parking easier. Of course, comfortable parking is not the only desire of the RS 6 customers. They also want to tow trailers as before. “So far, more than half of our European customers have ordered and are ordering drawbars.” Stephan Reil added: “This shows that customers are not only looking for a sporty ride, but also for everyday ease of use.” Audi has responded to customer expectations. It also continues to offer air and DRC suspension options.

Some had to look more closely to realize that the C5, C6 and C7 generation RS 6s were a powerful station wagon. However, the C8 is different. Even ordinary people can immediately understand that this is not a regular A6. The only thing in common between the RS 6 Avant and the A6 Avant is the roof, front doors and tailgate. Other components were developed specifically for the RS. It's also 8 centimeters wider. Few people know that the fastest of all A6 models has an independent hood for the first time. Thus, the laser Matrix LED Headlights of the RS 7 can be applied to the RS 6. Of course, the wheels and tires have also grown. For the first time, 21-inch wheels and 275/35 tires are offered as standard, with 22-inch wheels and 285/30 tires as an option. Unlike its predecessors, the C8 is independent of the production line and is no longer completed in the workshop known as Audi Sport GmbH. Neckarsulm comes off the production line ready for delivery.

This shows how flexible these production facilities are. And in response to high demand, the C8 is offered in the US for the first time as the RS 6 Avant. The RS 6 C8 is transforming from a niche car into a global success story.

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