2024 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance and RS 7 Sportback Performance First Drive

Capital P Performance.

By Lee Bailie Wheels.ca

Jul 11, 2023 5 min. read

Article was updated 3 months ago

Join the Conversation (0)
HELENA, CA. – If you’re considering an Audi RS 6 Avant purchase, but are wondering if an even spicier, faster version of the hot wagon exists, I have good news.

Thanks to Audi Sport engineers at the mothership in Neckarsulm, Germany, who have laboured to birth the RS 6 Avant Performance, your dreams have been made real.

As the name suggests, it’s the same car, only faster. Two-tenths faster, to be precise. It can rocket to 100 km/h from rest in 3.4 seconds thanks mostly to an extra 30 horsepower and 37 lb-ft. of torque from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. More on that, and other performance tweaks, shortly.

But if the sleek RS 7 Sportback sedan is more your speed, your prayers have been answered too. The RS 7 Sportback Performance also goes from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds thanks to the same upgrades.

The fourth-gen RS 6 Avant and second-gen RS 7 Sportback both debuted in 2019 as 2020 models so there’s no mid-cycle styling or content update for either just yet. But there’s a lot to unpack with the Performance offerings, so let’s dive in.

Audi RS 7 performance

On the powertrain front, the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 621 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. of torque, increases of 30 and 37 respectively, due to the use of larger turbochargers and increased boost pressure.

Both cars are also roughly eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) lighter than the base models thanks to the removal of some sound insulation. Audi has also equipped each with a self-locking centre differential with a 40:60 rear bias torque split, but more torque can be sent to the axle with more grip if slippage is detected. Audi notes that up to 70 percent of torque can flow to the front axle and 85 percent to the rear.

Special wheels and tires are also part of the Performance package. Both cars come with standard 21-inch wheels and 273/35R21 summer tires. Optional 22-inch wheels are about five kg lighter per corner.

2024 Audi RS 7 performance

Both cars come with four main drive modes – efficiency, comfort, auto, and dynamic – along with programmable RS1 and RS2 modes. These modes cover aspects such as engine and transmission performance, power steering, dynamic all-wheel steering, quattro sport differential and engine sound, all of which can be adjusted individually and stored in the MMI (multimedia interface) and can be changed via a shortcut button located on the steering wheel. A 48-volt mild hybrid system is also standard.

The RS Dynamic Package, which is optional in Canada increases maximum speed to 280 km/h (180 mph). Steel brakes are standard on both cars, but RS ceramic brakes are optional and reduce unsprung weight by about 34 kg (75 pounds) and can be paired with red, blue, or grey calipers.

2024 Audi RS 7 performance

Okay, so how do these cars drive? I’ll get right to it – they’re blindingly fast, handle like they’re on rails and have incredible braking power. Steering is precise, the 22-inch wheel and tire combo sheds weight yet provide loads of grip and the twin-turbo V8 sounds magnificent, especially under hard acceleration. The shedding of some sound insulation also allows the V8 to fill the cabin with a louder soundtrack, which is delightful to these ears.

For context, the cars I drove differed in that the matte Ascari blue RS 7 tester was outfitted with ceramic brakes and dynamic ride control (optional in Canada), while the Mythos black metallic RS 6 came with steel brakes and an air suspension. Both were European spec pre-production models, so there were no Pop Rocks or Lithium tunes on the Bang & Olufsen sound system, as SiriusXM isn’t offered in Europe.

I drove the RS 7 first and toggled frequently with the drive mode selector to get a sense of the delta between the drive modes. Except for efficiency, which really limits the engine’s power, the other modes deliver varying degrees of heightened aggression. Dialled to dynamic in all settings, throttle mapping is at its most sensitive, the eight-speed automatic in its most aggressive shift pattern, and suspension damping at its firmest. It’s white-knuckle stuff.

2024 Audi RS 7 performance

2024 Audi RS 6 Avant performance

But on winding and undulating Napa Valley roads, I found the RS 7 to be especially more hospitable with the drive mode set to auto, where damping is a bit softer, the engine doesn’t wail as much, and the transmission keeps revs around 2,000 rpm.

The RS 6, with its air suspension and steel brakes, is just as fast as the RS 7, but calmer drive modes, such as auto and comfort, feel further apart regarding performance, which is something Audi has done deliberately via updated software in the transmission’s control unit. This is true for both cars, by the way, but I noticed the spread more in the RS 6. With that said, tapping the RS mode button instantly turns the car back into a piping hot wagon that blurs scenery without hesitation.

2024 Audi RS 7 performance

In sum, it’s pleasing to see Audi cram so much performance into cars that have such practical form factors. A 3.4-second 0-100 km/h time tends to obscure other attributes, but the RS 6 and RS 7 remain finely crafted, comfortable, spacious, and tech-laden cars that are fun to drive year-round thanks in part to their quattro all-wheel drive systems.

For an extra $2,265 for the RS 6 Avant Performance, and another $2,365 for the RS 7 Sportback Performance, both present a compelling value proposition. The base cars carry MSRPs well north of $100K, so what’s a few thousand more to fully unlock their performance potential? If you have the means, it seems like a no-brainer.

The 2024 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance and RS 7 Sportback Performance are available for order now.

2024 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance / Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

BODY STYLE: mid-size high-performance wagon and liftback sedan
DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic transmission
ENGINE: 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 (621 hp / 627 lb-ft.)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium 91+) TBA
CARGO VOLUME: RS 6 – 1,680 / 565 litres (59.3 / 20 cu ft.), RS 7 – 1,390 / 535 (49.1 / 18.9 cu ft.) (behind first / second row)
 $135,215 / $140,515 (RS 6 / RS 7) base, excl. freight, taxes, and fees
WEBSITE: www.audi.ca


Read more about:


More from Wheels & Partners