Audi has taken the wraps off the 2023 RS 7 Sportback Performance and RS 6 Avant Performance, scheduled to go on sale in Europe starting December 8, 2023, with prices starting at €135,000 for both models.
Visually, the Performance models don’t look all that different compared with the regular RS models except for new wheel designs, and exterior components in matte gray—including the mirrors, the front spoiler, the front side flaps, the side sill inserts, the roof rails, and the side window surrounds and rear diffuser insert. A matte carbon/black optics package is an option, in which the roof rails and the side window surrounds are black. The Audi rings and model name is available in the customer’s choice of chrome or black. The color palette of 16 colors includes Ascari Blue and matte Dew Silver.
Both models roll off the assembly line on standard 21-inch cast-aluminum wheels in a 10-spoke star design, while 22-inch lightweight forged options are also available—which are said to be 5 kg (11 lbs) lighter (per wheel) compared with the 22-inch aluminum wheels on the current RS 6 Avant or RS 7 Sportback—resulting in 20 kg (44 lbs) weight reduction in unsprung masses. The lightweight wheels come wrapped with high-performance Continental Sport Contact 7 285/30 tires.
Both models get the RS Dynamic Package as standard, which gets you a top speed increase to 280 km/h (174 mph), dynamic all-wheel steering (the RS-specific software update helps the driver with active steering corrections on the front and rear axles), and the quattro sport differential on the rear axle. Still not satisfied? Well then, Audi will happily sell you the RS Dynamics Package Plus, raising the top speed to 305 km/h (190 mph) and adding RS ceramic brake system (440 mm front and 370 mm rear). The RS ceramic brake system weighs approx 34 kg (75 lbs) less than its steel counterpart.
On the inside, the familiar RS design packages in gray and red have been expanded to include contrast blue highlights. The decorative inlays in a carbon twill pattern can also be specified to include blue accents. The materials used include Dinamica microfiber—which is said to contain around 45% recycled PET fibers. The sports seats are upholstered in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and contrasting stitching in Mercato blue, of course.
Another key highlight is that the front door LED projects the “RS performance” logo onto the ground. The standard 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus features a blinking shift indicator in manual transmission mode which changes the rpm display from green to yellow to red, blinking in a manner identical to that used in motorsport, indicating the optimal time to change gears. Plus, the Launch Control signals the ideal moment to accelerate off the line with new traffic light icons.
Moving on to the juicy bits of the story then, both models pack a 4.0L V8 biturbo powerplant. But the difference between the regular RS models and the Performance variants is that the latter boast larger turbochargers and an increase in boost pressure from 2.4 to 2.6 bar, resulting in 22 kW (30 metric hp) and 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) more, bringing the grand total to 463 kW (630 metric hp) and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft). The performance models are claimed to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the regular siblings.
Reduced insulation material has further cut down 8 kg (18 lbs). The RS 6 Avant performance has an unladen weight of 2,090 kg (4608 lbs) while the RS 7 Sportback performance weighs 2,065 kg (4,553 lbs).