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Lighter, more powerful Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed

With an all-electric future looming, Audi has unveiled the most powerful iterations of the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback to date in the guise of the upgraded Performance models.

End of an era?

Monikers returning to both models after last being offered on their respective predecessors, the designation more than likely signals the final encore for Ingolstadt’s flagship Audi Sport sedan and estate ahead of a switch to plug-in hybrid and then electric propulsion by 2025.

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As such, the seemingly tribute models receive not only a number of visual and interior upgrades, but also reworked dynamics, less weight and an uprated mild-hybrid 4.0 TFSI V8 engine.

On offer outside

Compared to the standard RS6 and RS7, the Performance’s exterior enhancements consists of chrome or black accents, matte grey mirror caps, matte grey roof rails in the case of the former and a matte grey finish for the door sills, front spoiler and diffuser.

Turned-up Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed
Bulging wheel arches accommodate standard 21-inch or optional 22-inch alloy wheels.

While mounted as standard on ten-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels, the optional 22-inch 5 Y-spoke, finished in matte black, grey, gold or burned metallic black, tick the scales at five kilograms lighter each as a result of a claimed motorsport design the Four Rings says aids brake cooling while additionally providing better grip as a result of the Continental SportContact 7 rubber wrapped around it.

Turned-up Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed
Matte Grey roof rails a new addition to the RS6 Avant Performance.

The exterior is rounded off by an optional carbon fibre package, plus 16 colours made-up of two new hues; Matte Dew Silver and Matte Ascari Blue.

Step inside

Inside, the revisions are even smaller and limited to the RS Design Package that offers three colours for the various inlays and stitching on the seats, doors and dashboard – grey, red and blue – a black Alcantara trimmed steering wheel with Mercato Blue stitching and Valcona leather seats, also with Mercato Blue stitch work and a perforated honeycomb pattern.

Turned-up Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed
Mercato Blue inserts and stitching a hallmark of the interior changes.

A shift indicator light that turns the RPM display within the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster from green to yellow when in manual mode rounds the interior off, together with expanded Mercato Blue stitching on the seatbelts and centre console.

Power and dynamics

As mentioned though, the biggest uptakes have taken place underneath where Audi has fitted both the RS6 and RS7 Performance with a new centre locking differential, improved steering and updated software said to sharpened-up the shift quality of the seven-speed S tronic gearbox when in Dynamic or S modes.

An otherwise optional extra on the standard models, the performance becomes the recipient of the RS Driver’s Package that not only ups the top speed to 280 km/h, but adds the dynamic all-wheel steering system and rear axle sport differential.

Turned-up Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed
RS Design Package adds grey, red or blue accents to the interior.

Forking out extra for the step-up RS Dynamics Package, however, nets a 305 km/h limited top speed and the carbon ceramic brakes that weigh 34kg less than the standard steel stoppers.

Unchanged is the 440mm at the front and 370mm at the rear discs, as well as the option of having the calipers painted grey, red or blue.

Turned-up Audi RS6 and RS7 Performance revealed
Set to be phased-out soon, the mild-hybrid 4.0 TFSI V8 has been upgraded from 441kW/800Nm to 463kW/850Nm.

On the mentioned power front, the mild-hybrid V8, as per the Performance nomenclature, receives larger twin-turbochargers with an uptick in boost pressure from 2.4 to 2.6 bar.

The result in a 22 kW power increase from 441 kW to 463 kW and a 50 Nm torque uptake from 800 Nm to 850 Nm. Despite the unchanged top speeds from the standard models, the performance is marginally faster, by 0.2 seconds, from 0-100 km/h with a time of 3.4 seconds.

When?

On-sale in Europe from early December priced at €135 000 (R2 374 768), both the Audi RS6 Avant Performance and RS7 Sportback Performance are still to be confirmed for South Africa, but should be approval be given, expect both to become available next year.

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