The venue that Audi bussed us to from downtown Munich – an abandoned train repair shed – was absolutely enormous. Think of the biggest space you’ve ever been in and multiply it by eighteen, and you’re getting close.
Scattered across one small corner of the venue was a selection of old and new Audi Sport products – some that we’re allowed to talk about now, and others you’ll have to wait for.
A line-up of every hot Audi wagon since the dawn of time, starting with the 25-year-old RS2 and finishing with the as-yet-unreleased fourth-generation RS6 Avant, though, holds my attention.
A B7 RS4 Avant is my dream ride, and the former PCOTY winner is in the house, alongside the V10-powered second-generation RS6 Avant. A Lambo-powered monster, in other words.
The team from Audi Sport walked us around the RS6, and I managed to grab a few slivers of info that are definitely worth sharing.
2020 Audi RS6 design details
- Exterior designer Tobias Hoss told us that there was a deliberate strategy to winds way back on the level of brightwork and garnish, to give the RS6 – and another one we can’t yet tell you about – a cleaner, more aggressive look.
- “Until today, the positioning of the RS6 has never changed,” said Michael Binder, the product manager of the RS7 and the Other One. “We’ve used a lot of iconic elements on this car, like the Daytona Grey paintjob, which was availabe from the first RS6 Avant. The interior colour is called Cognac, and we’ve decided to take that from the Audi Exclusive range and offer it on the RS6 and others as a standard colour.”
- The new RS6’s nose wears A7 LED lights, which won’t be seen on the A6 Avant (which won’t be coming to Australia anyway). The lamps are much thinner, and the nose is actually 15mm lower than the stock car. The RS6 will be the only 6 to offer Audi’s laser LED light tech, as well.
- The bonnet is new and unique to the RS6, with a powerdome. Only the roof, front doors and tailgate are shared with the regular A6. “These are the only metal pieces shared with the A6s,” said Tobias Hoff, the designer.
- The front and rear track is 1951mm, which is a massive 80mm wider than the stock car, and 20mm wider than the third-gen RS6.
- The rear guards have what Audi called ‘quattro blisters’, which are plucked from the design of the famous IMSA Audi quattro race car.
- The wheels are some of the most deeply dished rims available across the entire Audi range. They measure 22 by 10.5 inches!
- “The RS is easy to recognise just by its stance, and this one takes it to the next level,” says Tobias.
- There is a retractable wing and a very flat underfloor to help achieve downforce. “We had an issue with front axle lift, so we reshaped the spoilers to fix that. There are small spoilers in front of each wheel also.”
- The RS6 has been extensively tested in a wind tunnel, right from the conception of the first design models. “We have one of the best wind tunnel facilities in the industry,” says Michael. “We start with quarter-scale models, then move to full-size. We work with the design team to get good air flow around the wheels and down the sides of the car. We spent two to three days a month in the tunnel. Many people ask why does it take three years to design a car; we have to take our design and work it in loops with all parts of the car, like powertrain, aerodynamics and so on, then we go back and adjust it.”
2020 Audi RS6 driveline and software
- The RS6 has more grunt than the Panamera Turbo S, with which it shares a driveline.
- Instead of an individual drive mode, the RS6 now offers not one, but two RS mode buttons on the steering wheel. This means you can have it totally angry with minimal stability control, or marginally angry with more stability.
- It comes with launch control, lap timer and acceleration measurement, as well as the ability to turn the ESC all the way off with a three-second press of the button.
- The RS monitor displays gearbox, oil, water, diff and engine temps.
- The shifter paddles are brand new, and are made from milled alloy, rather than the formless plastic of the previous car
- The new multimedia touchscreen system will be rolled out across other cars, including the RS4.
- The engine has 3mm bigger turbo impellers, 0.2bar more boost as well as a new belt-driven starter generator to create 12kW of power to charge a 0.5kW battery to restart the engine after it goes into coasting mode. It doesn’t boost the engine, though.
- It’ll do 0-100km/h in 3.6sec, as opposed to 3.9sec of the previous car. The extra 50Nm more torque can be felt higher in the rev range, according to Andrei.
- The gearbox is a conventional eight-speed and has been completely made over for the new model.
2020 Audi RS6 suspension
- Rear-wheel steering is controlled via a central control unit to match with the variable-ratio front steering. 100km/h is the transition point between five-degree counter and two-degree complementary steering.
- Air springs are 50 per cent stiffer in spring rate, and there is new damper hardware at all four corners.
- “The car would even be faster than 305km/h, but the tyres are the limit,” says Michael
- A standard coil spring system with diagonally connected dampers can control roll and pitch. The RS6 doesn’t need the active anti-roll bars, because roll control is achieved via the connected dampers.
- 420mm steel rotors are standard, while optional 440m diameter carbon front and 370mm rear carbon rotors are available.
- When you opt for the Dynamic package, you get all-wheel steering, quattro sport differential, steel brakes and 280km/h top speed. Opt for the plus package and you get carbon rotors and raise the speed to 305km/h. On the previous RS6, the dynamic package was a standard fit to Aussie-spec cars.