At the GIMS 2002, Audi presented the Audi RS6.
After the success of the RS4 (B5) launched in 1999, Audi and its subsidiary Quattro Gmbh – which has since become Audi Sport – tackled the upper segment by offering a high-performance version of the A6 (C5). The idea was to mark a notable difference with the S6 (340 PS) and to knock out the competition, while keeping a discreet aesthetic like “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Developed in collaboration with the British magicians at Cosworth – at that time subsidiary of Audi AG – the RS6’s 4.2 V8 is based on that of the S6 and S8, to which two turbos have been added. The result is a power output of 450 PS and 560 Nm for a 0-100 kph in 4.7 s, which put the RS6 at the top of its class.
The first RS6 also introduced Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). This system hydraulically links diagonally opposed dampers to counteract vehicle movements without the use of electronics. It is a configuration that is still in use on the RS6 and also found on some supercars.
From 2002 till today, the Audi RS6 has been produced in four generations, without ever forgetting its goal of being the best in its class.
The second model (C6), launched in 2008, took the 5-Litre V10 from the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo, to which 2 turbochargers were added to reach the power of 580 PS/650 Nm and exceed 300 kph in top speed.
The 3rd generation (C7) returns to the twin-turbo V8 with a 4-Litre unit delivering 560 PS/700 Nm. Less power, perhaps, but a significant gain in weight balance, comfort and agility. A “Performance” version with 605 PS/750 Nm is offered.
The current generation (C8) has a much more aggressive look than its predecessors and is more distinct from the current A6 range. Under the bonnet, it switches to light hybridisation. Its 600 PS/800 Nm 4-Litre twin-turbo V8 is backed by a 48V starter-alternator. In addition to the traditional 4WD Quattro, it has four-wheel steering. Available for the first time in Avant (estate) body style in the USA, the RS6 C8 has become the world leader in its segment.