Audi extends its RS range with two new models
Audi RS 7 Sportback and Audi RS Q3 now available in South Africa
Audi RS models are unique in the sense that they offer high power performance without compromising on everyday usability with each RS model having its own distinct character. All RS models are produced by quattro GmbH, a subsidiary of AUDI AG, at the Neckarsulm factory. This company is also responsible for the hand-built Audi R8, as well as vehicle individualisation in the form of Audi exclusive.
The Audi RS range has enjoyed 30 years of powerful heritage, with the first RS model, the Audi RS 2 Avant, launched in 1994. At the time, it was established as a trendsetter and the only high-performance station wagon in the market. Since 1994 to date, quattro GmbH has produced in excess of 77,000 high-performance vehicles for the world markets with a significant rise in output – from 2,500 cars in the year 2000, to around 15,000 in the year 2013.
The Audi RS brand was launched in South Africa with the introduction of a limited volume of Audi RS 2 Avant’s in the early nineties. This was followed by the Audi RS4 Sedan and Avant of which the brand sold 487 units. The brand was bolstered by the launch of the Audi RS3 Sportback in 2011, of which South Africa received a limited volume of 150 units to satisfy South African demand.
Audi South Africa currently offers four high performance siblings as part of the model range. The Audi RS 4 Avant, RS 5 Coupé, RS 5 Cabriolet and TTRS Coupé represent the spearheads of their respective model ranges. January 2014 sees the introduction of two further RS models, the Audi RS 7 Sportback and the Audi RS Q3.
Audi South Africa is now presenting a formidable product range for the discerning Audi customer, extending Audi’s RS offering to six models. Audi South Africa is also currently considering the RS 6 Avant for introduction in 2015 due to the popular demand of this model.
Beauty and the Beast: The Audi RS 7 Sportback
Aesthetic design, innovative technology and impressive sportiness: The RS 7 Sportback, the large five-door coupe from Audi, which combines much strength to produce a fascinating character. Its strong heart is the 4.0 TFSI, which takes Audi’s downsizing strategy to the high-end category. The twin-turbo V8 displaces 3,993 cc and develops tremendous power, with 412 kW available between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm. A constant 700 Nm of torque are available between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm.
Because the high-revving four-litre engine has been rigorously designed for low load-change and flow losses, it develops this power quickly and spontaneously. The two twin-scroll turbochargers, which produce up to 1.2 bars of relative boost pressure, are located together with the intercooler in the inside V of the cylinder banks. Consequently, the gas paths are very short and response is excellent. The RS-specific engine management and un-throttled intake system also contribute to the dynamic character of the twin-turbo V8. Switchable flaps in the exhaust system make the engine sound even louder at the push of a button or under strong acceleration. Audi also offers an optional sport exhaust system.
The RS 7 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Audi limits the top speed in the standard configuration to 250 km/h. When specified with the Dynamic Package Plus, the top speed is increased to 305 km/h. The RS 7 Sportback consumes on average just 9.8 litres of fuel per 100 km. This value is due in part to the standard start-stop system and innovative thermal management standard on this high performance thoroughbred.
The most innovative efficiency technology in the new Audi RS 7 Sportback is the cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to medium loads and engine speeds, it deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 by closing their valves via electromechanical actuators. The 4.0 TFSI then runs as a four-cylinder engine until the driver accelerates more strongly. The operating points in the active cylinders are displaced toward higher loads, increasing efficiency. All of these operations take just a few hundredths of a second and occur so smoothly and quickly that they can hardly be felt or heard.
Active engine bearings, another high-end solution from Audi, use out-of-phase counter-oscillations to compensate for the slight vibrations that occur during four-cylinder operation. The COD technology reduces NEDC fuel consumption by roughly 5 %, and even greater savings of approximately 10 % are possible when driving at moderate speeds. The standard eight-speed tiptronic is specially tuned to the sporty character of the Audi RS 7 Sportback. Drivers can choose between the modes D and S or change gears themselves using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever, which sports a unique RS design.
The Audi RS 7 Sportback comes standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive for its decisive advantage in traction and driving safety compared with its two-wheel-drive competitors. At the heart of the quattro system is a centre differential with a high locking rate and separate oil cooler to regulate its temperature. It distributes the power as needed within a wide range between the front and rear axles. In the standard configuration, 60 percent flows to the rear and 40 percent to the front.
An intelligent software solution called torque vectoring supports the work of the differential at the cornering limit with minimal braking of the wheels that are under a reduced load. Audi also offers the optional sport differential for the rear axle, which uses two superposition gears to actively distribute the power between the wheels. The Audi RS 7 Sportback comes standard with polished, 21-inch cast aluminium wheels in a five-blade titanium design. The four internally vented discs feature a weight-saving wave design and measure 390 millimetres in diameter up front. Audi also offers optional 420 millimetre carbon fibre ceramic discs with anthracite grey callipers as part of the Dynamic Package plus.
Equipped with the air suspension, which harmonizes perfectly with the dynamic character of a sport coupé, the new RS 7 Sportback is sporty, yet still comfortable. The RS 7 adaptive air suspension lowers the body by 20 millimetres. Adaptive damping, another of the system’s features, adjusts the suspension’s response to the condition of the road, the driver’s style and the mode selected in the Audi drive select system, with which the driver can alter the function of key components in multiple steps.
The body of the Audi RS 7 Sportback includes up to 20 percent aluminium and includes many parts of high-strength and ultra
high-strength steels. Its high rigidity is the foundation for the precise handling, excellent workmanship and quiet cabin free of intrusive noise.
The character of the Audi RS 7 Sportback is immediately obvious. A series of specific design details give a sporty edge to its flowing coupe design. These include the distinctive bumpers and high-gloss black protective grille with honeycomb structure at the front of the car as well as add-on parts in matt aluminium. At the rear of the car, which features a power extending spoiler, the diffuser and the two large, elliptical tailpipe trims of the exhaust system catch the eye. The standard matt aluminium styling package further customizes the appearance. With this, the front centre air inlet also sports a quattro badge.
The elegant dynamics carry over to the cockpit of the Audi RS 7 Sportback. The dial instruments have black faces, white scales and red needles. A 3D RS 7 logo in the tachometer is a further accent. The flat-bottomed, three-spoke leather steering wheel, the illuminated door entry sills and the displays for the MMI and driver information system also sport RS badges. The driver information system includes a shift light, which indicates when the rev limit is reached. Displays for boost pressure and oil temperature as well as a lap timer conclude the RS 7-specific menu. Carbon inlays are standard, with the headlining in black cloth. The Audi RS 7 Sportback can also be personalized using the Audi exclusive program.
RS sport seats with pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and RS 7 logos are standard. They are covered in a combination of black Alcantara and leather, and the centre sections feature diamond quilting. The seats can also be covered alternatively in high-grade, honeycomb-quilted Valcona leather in either black or lunar silver. The two rear seats are powerfully contoured. Luggage capacity ranges from 535 to 1,390 litres depending on the position of the rear seat backs.
The Bluetooth online car phone is an ideal complement to the standard MMI navigation plus. Its UMTS module delivers the tailored Audi connect services to the on-board monitor, and a WLAN hotspot connects the passengers’ mobile devices. Topping the range of audio modules is the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen.
The Audi RS 7 Sportback is priced at R 1,450,500 including all taxes and the standard five-year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan. The following equipment is offered as standard on the Audi RS 7 Sportback:
- High-gloss black radiator grille with honeycomb structure and one-piece trim frame in matt aluminium look with "quattro" logo.
- Exterior mirror housings, trim strips and front spoiler blade in matt aluminium look.
- Front and rear RS bumpers.
- Diffuser insert painted in high-gloss black.
- 21inch forged aluminium wheels in 5-spoke blade titanium look design, machine-polished.
- 19-inch RS brake system.
- Dual-branch RS exhaust system.
- LED headlights and tail lights.
- RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims.
First RS model in the Q series: The Audi RS Q3
Audi is presenting the first RS model for the successful Q line-up. The RS Q3 combines typical RS properties such as high performance and driving pleasure with lifestyle qualities and high utility value.
An award-winning high-performance engine, the 2.5 TFSI is at work under the hood of the RS Q3. This five-cylinder engine has been named “International Engine of the Year” in its class for three consecutive years since 2010 by an international jury of automotive specialists. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, the turbocharged direct-injection engine produces a maximum power of 228 kW at 5,200-6,700 rpm; its maximum torque of 420 Nm is available between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. These two values signify that the RS Q3 is unrivalled in its competitive field. This five-cylinder is a special engine, beginning with its fundamental concept. It is familiar from the TT RS and RS 3 Sportback, modified for use in the Audi RS Q3.
Drivers can influence the flap control for the exhaust system and the accelerator characteristic by choosing one of the modes: auto, comfort and dynamic, using the standard Audi drive select system. In the dynamic mode, engine response is sharper and the engine sound more intensive.
The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the Audi RS Q3 from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds – the best performance value in this segment. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. In the RS Q3, the Audi five-cylinder engine is working together with a standard start-stop-system for the first time. Other efficiency measures such as a regulated oil pump, which only pumps lubricant when needed, contribute to the car’s low average fuel consumption of 8.8 litres of fuel per 100 km, which equates to 206 grams CO?per km.
A standard seven-speed S tronic gearbox delivers power to the drivetrain. It was designed in a compact three-shaft configuration, and its seventh gear has a long gear ratio to save on fuel. Drivers can choose between the D and S modes for automatic shifting of the dual clutch transmission, or they can shift manually – using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever that sports a unique RS design. The Launch Control function controls acceleration from a standstill to attain optimal traction.
The heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is the hydraulically operated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch located at the rear axle. It ensures proper distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. The Audi RS Q3 impresses with dynamic and stable handling without sacrificing comfort. The RS sports suspension lowers the body of the compact high-performance SUV by 25 mm.
In the RS Q3, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front wheels have a wave design with wave-shaped outer contours, which saves approx. one kilogram of weight at the front wheels. The discs have a diameter of 365 mm and they are gripped by eight-piston callipers painted black with RS logos. The Audi RS Q3 will be offered in South Africa with standard 19-inch alloy wheels.
In addition to its engine, the Audi RS Q3 also demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with a number of visual highlights. RS-specific design details emphasize the confident look of the compact, high-performance SUV. They consist of body accents and roof rails in matt aluminium, special door sill plates and door trim strips, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper and quattro emblem in the front air intake.
A large roof spoiler, rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, large elliptical tailpipe and an RS Q3 logo accentuate the rear. At a length of 4,410 mm, the dynamic top model is 25 mm longer than the Audi Q3, and weighs in at 1,730 kg.
The Audi RS Q3 will also be offered as standard with the matt aluminium styling package. Styling features include the flaps in the side air intakes, the trim on the diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler. The sporty lines of the exterior are continued in the interior styling. The instrument cluster has grey gauges with white scales and red pointers. Drivers can call up the boost pressure, oil temperature and a lap timer via the RS menu in the driver information system. Along with the pedals, a foot support also shines in aluminium look, and the standard inlays are in piano finish black with black headlining as standard.
Sport seats with embossed RS Q3 logos are also standard and are upholstered in black Alcantara leather. The cargo area has a base capacity of 356 litres, which can be increased to 1,261 litres by folding down the split rear seat backs. A practical reversible loadliner is standard.
In the infotainment area, the hard-drive based navigation system MMI Navigation plus is standard, along with the Bose surround sound system containing 14 loudspeakers with up to 465 watts of output power.
The Audi RS Q3 is priced at R 696,500 including all taxes and the standard five-year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan. It will be offered with the following standard equipment:
- 18-inch cast aluminium wheels in 5-arm structured design.
- RS sport suspension.
- Xenon plus including headlight cleaning system and LED rear lights.
- Door sill trims with aluminium insert and RS Q3 logo.
- Aluminium styling package with "quattro" logo.
- RS-specific wave disc brake design.
- Exterior mirror housings in matt aluminium.
- Loading sill protector in stainless steel.
- RS exhaust system.
- Reversible load liner.