When Audi release a new high-end performance vehicle there’s really only one place worth taking it for a spin. Not the suburban roads of Sydney, not the motorways around town. Phillip Island Raceway. Over 200km an hour in a $200,000 vehicle is both exhilarating and daunting.
Under the guidance of the Audi Driving Experience’s Chief Instructor Steve Pizzati I was given the chance to put a range of Audi vehicles from RS4 to RSQ models along with the new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback through a range of exercises to push the limits of the vehicles and also experience what almost 1,500 other Aussies will learn through the Audi driving experience in 2015.
And then some laps, lots of laps. Driving the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback at full pace around one of Australia’s most iconic circuits.
Audi know what they are up against with these new models. The RS 6 is pitched head to head with the E63 AMG and the BMW M5. At $229,500 it’s only slightly cheaper than the M5 but a good $20,000 lower than the E63.
The 4.0litre twin-turbo V8 engine delivers the most important thing you’ll be looking for in this car. Sound. The sound is immense, the blips down gears, the roar on acceleration are enough to have me asking “where do I send the money?”.
412kW power, and 700Nm of torque is felt off the line, and on every turn and the 3.9 second 0-100 time puts the E63 and M5 to rest.
As standard you’re looking at 21 inch wheels, active lane assistance, adaptive cruise control, park assistance, the stunning Matrix LED headlights with the dynamic turn indicators which flash outward in the direction of turn, 360 degree cameras, beautiful sports seats and a whole lot more – including DAB Digital Radio.
For the added customisation you’re up for $8,500 for the Carbon styling package, $2,200 for the Black style package.
Add Dynamic steering, ride control and a lift in top speed by 30km/h to 280km/h for $4,900.
I would take the $12,000 Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound system just for the pop up tweeters on the dash, while red brake callipers will set you back $980.
But for the discerning buyer, none of that is much to fuss about.
What matters most is the look, the ride, the handling and the performance. You won’t be let down on any front by Audi’s continued commitment in every one of those areas.
You’re going to pull close to 10 litres per 100km’s in fuel economy as you commute to work and back, but gosh you’re doing it in style.
There won’t be many chances to feel the raw power that’s available – so I’d recommend the odd road trip with some country winding roads in there to get real value for the money.
Audi offers their Driving Experience program nationally, with top class instructors and a tiered approach to making your way up to an R8 LMS race car if you choose, no matter what level you get to, you’ll learn more than you could imagine under the supervision of some top class drivers. You don’t need to own an Audi to take part, but if you do own an Audi – especially a sports or performance model, it’s going to feel fantastic.
The new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback are available now, so head on down to your local Audi dealer and drool. Take an instagram photo, could be the closest you get to having the key in your pocket. If you’re considering buying one – come visit – let’s go for a drive.