JOHANNESBURG - With the launch of the BMW M3 and M4 this week you might not have expected to hear the term ‘terror twins’ again for a while, but now Audi has announced the local availability of its own speedy set of siblings, albeit in the segment above.
Audi South Africa says its new RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback will be on sale locally from the beginning of April, priced at R2 070 000 (RS6) and R2 173 500 (RS7). Yes, that’s a lot of moolah, but the pair do undercut the slightly more powerful (460kW) BMW M5 Competition, which currently retails at R2 328 224.
Both are powered by an updated 4-litre twin-turbo V8 powertrain that puts out 441kW and 800Nm, the latter available between 2050 and 4500rpm. That’s enough to get both bulky beasts from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 250km/h.
To improve fuel economy, albeit only slightly, the vehicles are equipped with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology as well as a cylinder deactivation system.
The V8 is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox and a quattro all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 85 percent of the torque to the back wheels. Handling is tidied up further by a sport differential on the back axle, which regulates the torque distribution between the back wheels. All-wheel steering is also part of the deal for those opting for the RS dynamic package.
The RS6 and RS7 are perched 20mm lower to the ground than regular models, and the air suspension system lowers them by another 10mm at speeds above 120km/h. Also available is a ‘lift mode’ that can raise the cars by 20mm for speed bumps and the like.
Both performance twins boast a bolder look inside out, thanks to standard 22-inch alloys and a design package that includes more striking bumpers, and RS sports seats upholstered in Valcona leather, among all the usual RS-specific garnishes.
Inside you’ll also find Audi’s new multi-screen MMI system that debuted in the regular A6 and A7 models, and this includes the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster as standard, albeit with added RS flavour in the form of Performance and Sport graphic layouts. The Audi virtual cockpit plus is available as an optional extra and features an all new layout called the RS Runway. There’s also an RS-specific flat-bottomed steering wheel, which also gives drivers easy access to the ‘RS1’ and ‘RS2’ configurable driving modes.
The big drawcard to these Audis are the way they combine manic performance with everyday practicality, and the RS6 Avant is a particular champion in that regard, with its 565 litre luggage compartment. The RS7 Sportback is not far behind with its 535 litre boot capacity, albeit with less vertical packing space, and another bonus is that it’s now sold with a three-seater rear bench in place of its predecessor’s two-seat layout.
Both cars come with a five-year Audi Freeway Plan.
Audi RS6 Avant quattro - R2 070 000
Audi RS7 Sportback quattro - R2 173 500