AUDI RS6 DOWNSIZES TO 560HP V8
Hard-hitting twin-turbo V10 makes way for new-school downsized V8 that's faster, lighter and more frugal too
BMW and Mercedes now offer meaty twin-turbo V8s in place of their zingy naturally-aspirated engines, matching Audi’s engine tech blow for blow. Time for a new RS6, then – one that drops a couple of cylinders and 100kg, and chucks in a ton of interesting new tech to maintain the old Vorsprung Durch Technik thing.
So it’s a return to a twin-turbo V8, like the Cosworth-built one in the first-generation RS6, then. A ‘mere’ 4.0 litres, the new engine puts induction on the ‘outside’ of the cylinder heads, while the turbos and exhausts sit inside the V, which should enable faster throttle response. It also shuts down four cylinders when not needed, improving fuel consumption by five per cent and nudging 30mpg (28.8 officially) when trundling along.
The new engine will be bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, though it’s interesting to note that Audi has opted not to fit a DSG box here. The reason for that, Audi claims, is that the work that’s been done by ZF on this transmission, and the resultant speed of its shifts, makes it better-suited to the RS6. The proof of the pudding, as they say...
Inside, there’ll be the sort of high-spec interior you’ll be expecting from a car like this, featuring swathes of leather and alcantara, unique sports seats, and a raft of toys. One of the more interesting among those will be a driver information system that’ll include a shift light, plus displays for boost pressure, oil temperature, gear selected and digital speed.
All of which will doubtless make for a very impressive car. But the real test will be whether the company’s chassis men have managed to sharpen up the RS6’s dynamics to make it more about the driving experience, and less about the headline figures. Judging by the company’s latest new models, there’s reason to be optimistic.
original V8 Biturbo model for under £10,000 these days. This one, finished in a nicely understated Mugello Blue, has reasonable mileage and main dealer history, too, and seems to be free of any unnecessary aftermarket trinketry.
If nothing but the big V10 version will do, though, you’ll have to stretch your budget up to £32,000, for which sum you could be driving away in this example. Again, the mileage isn’t ridiculous, and the all-important full history is here, too; the Daytona Grey paintwork seems to be the most common colour, but it does at least add ten Q-car points.