Audi has honed the performance edge of its RS 6 and RS 7 models for the debut of their new Performance variants. The 2023 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance and RS 7 Sportback Performance boast even more power than the already potent base models with handling and styling upgrades to match.
In the engine room, you'll find larger turbochargers spooling to the tune of 37.7 pounds per square inch, up from the standard model's 34.8 psi. The increased boost adds an additional 30 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque to the 4.0-liter TFSI V8's output, which now sits at 621 hp and 627 lb-ft. Power flows through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission before being split between the axles via a Quattro self-locking center differential with a rear-biased 40:60 default torque split.
A reduction in cabin insulation saves the RS Performance models around 17.6 pounds while also letting more sound in from the engine bay and rear of the vehicles. More power and less weight is a formula for improved acceleration, shaving the 0-to-62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) sprint to 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than base RS 6 or RS 7.
The RS Performance models roll out on standard 21-inch cast aluminum wheels, but if you're going the whole Performance route you'll probably want to spring for the new forged 22-inch lightweight wheel option. Constructed using a forging-milling process, the lightweight 22s save about 11-pounds per wheel when compared to the 22-inch cast aluminum wheels on the base RS 6 and RS 7. That's a 44-pound overall reduction in unsprung mass for the set, which should boost throttle and suspension response. The lightweight wheels are fitted with new 285/30 R22 Continental Sport Contact 7 high-performance tires that promise to shorten the stopping distance at 62 mph by 6.7 feet while improving wet and dry grip.
Audi's RS Dynamic Package is standard equipment for the RS 6 and RS 7 Performance models, including a Quattro Sport rear differential, all-wheel steering and a top speed increase to 180 mph. The Avant and Sportback's drive select modes, engine control and dynamic handling software have all been tweaked to complement the increased power. Owners looking for even more of an edge can opt for the RS Dynamics Package Plus to increase the top speed to 190 mph and upgrade to RS ceramic brakes with 17.3-inch front rotors and 14.6-inch rears. The exotic stoppers are said to save an additional 75 pounds of unsprung weight.
There are16 exterior color options available for the new RS 6 and RS 7 Performance models, including new metallic and matte Ascari Blue finishes and matte Dew Silver. Performance models stand apart with matte gray RS exterior components, including the mirror caps, spoiler, roof rails, window trim, rear diffuser and various aerodynamic bits. "RS Performance" puddle light projections are another telltale sign at night.
Inside, the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus is upgraded with a new blinking shift light indicator when the transmission is in its manual mode and a new traffic light display that signals when launch control is ready. Surrounding the screen, the cockpit's red or gray RS Design interior packages are joined by a new blue option. Check that box to add blue accents to the stitching on the steering wheel, floor mats and shifter boot, the seat belts and the ambient lighting. Strands of blue are even added to the carbon fiber trim on the dashboard and doors.
In European markets, Audi is opening the order books on the 2023 RS 6 Avant Performance and RS 7 Sportback Performance on Dec. 8 for starting at 135,000 euros each. North American pricing and availability are still TBD, but watch this space for updates when they're announced.