Is Audi Keeping Its Hottest New Performance Car in Europe?
Audi is great at two things: building all-wheel drive, tech-laden luxury vehicles, and making sure its best stuff never falls into the hands of us unenlightened Americans. Case in point: the 1994-’95 RS 2 Avant. A collaboration between Audi and Porsche, it was a 315 horsepower all-wheel drive wagon that was built on the former Porsche 959 assembly line, and has since gone on to become one of the most desirable performance cars of the ’90s. Did we get it here? No. And we only got the RS 4 for two years. Hell, Audis in Europe even have laser headlights now. Laser headlights! And don’t bother asking, because we won’t be getting those anytime soon either.
So in this spirit of not sharing, Audi has released not one, but two new performance models to make us yankees long for the old world, with the first being the RS 6 Avant Performance, which, really, is kind of salt in the wound. It’s an even more hardcore version of the brand’s current Europe-only RS 6 Avant. And while the Audi’s hot long-roof is already more than enough to make us lust after it – it is an all-wheel drive, 560 horsepower twin-turbo V8-powered sport wagon, after all – the Avant Performance found a way to suddenly make the “base” car look about as exciting as a Toyota Yaris.
In Audi’s second, even hotter wagon, power jumps to a whopping 605 horsepower (or the output of 4.65 1985 Chevrolet Caprice wagons, if that’s how you still measure performance), while fuel economy stays exactly the same thanks to a revised engine management unit. That 4.0 liter V8 makes 553 pound-feet of torque, and while the company says zero to 60 comes in 3.7 seconds, there’s no there’s no word on whether or not you could still hit those numbers while helping your brother move, because it is a station wagon, and people would still ask you to do things like that regardless of how fast it goes.
But we can’t be too mad at Audi. It did take pity on us Americans and gave us the RS 7 Sportback, the four-door screamer that puts the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and Mercedes CLS63 AMG to shame and makes it look easy. On top of being arguably the best-designed sedan in Audi’s lineup, the RS 7 shares its 560 horsepower twin-turbo mill with the Euro-spec RS 6 Avant, and can hit 60 from a standstill in 3.9 seconds.
But on the heels of its newer, hotter longroof, an RS 7 Performance is on the way too, and according to Autoblog, this one’s actually coming our way. Like the long-roof, zero to 60 will come in 3.7 seconds (or 2.94 times quicker than a 1985 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, if that’s how you still measure zero to 60 sprints). And on top of the power boost, both Performance Audis will come with adaptive air suspension, 21-inch aluminum wheels, a performance-focused suspension setup, unique front fascia, Dynamic Ride Control, and adjustable dynamic steering too. Both cars have an electronically limited top speed of 155, unless you opt for the dynamic package, then both cars will top out at an alarmingly fast 189.5 miles per hour.
But all this extra power doesn’t come cheap. The RS 6 Avant Performance will start at 117,000€, with the RS 7 Sportback Performance starting at 121,700€, or about $130,000 and $135,000, respectively (though there’s no word on an official U.S. price yet). Even while these cars are niche versions of already niche models, we can’t help but be thrilled that Audi’s tossing one of them our way. We’d love to be able to roast Corvettes and Porsches in a station wagon, but hey, the RS 7 Sportback Performance is one hell of a consolation prize.
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