Audi's RS Legacy

The RS models

With their high-performance engines and quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the Audi RS models have formed the dynamic spearhead of the Audi model program since 1994. quattro GmbH has been responsible for these vehicles since 2000.

The first model – the RS 2 based on the Audi 80 Avant – was developed in collaboration with Porsche in 1994. Its 2.2-liter, five-cylinder engine used four-valve technology and turbocharging to produce a powerful 232 kW (315 hp). Both performance and the brakes were in the same league as those of powerful sports cars. The RS 2 was only on the market for two years, but it established a new vehicle class – the high-performance sports station wagon.

The first RS 4 Avant in the year 2000 carried on with this concept. It was powered by a 2.7-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers, generating 279 kW (380 hp). The second generation RS 4 introduced in 2005, on the other hand, used a high-revving, normally aspirated V8. The engine featured direct fuel injection and generated 309 kW (420 hp), which it delivered to the wheels via a newly developed center differential biased toward the rear axle. The new RS 4 was the first to be offered in three body styles: Sedan, Avant and Cabriolet.

331 kW (450 hp): The V8 turbo in the RS 6

The RS 6 appeared in the A6 family in 2002 and both Sedan and Avant models were available. It featured the versatile 4.2-liter V8; with twin turbos supplying the boost, the engine generated 331 kW (450 hp). DRC Dynamic Ride Control effectively offset pitch and yaw. The 2005 RS 4 also benefited from this technology. The limited edition RS 6 plus with 353 kW (480 hp) followed in 2004.

The second generation of the RS 6 appeared in 2008. Under the hood it had a 5.0-liter FSI V10 with twin turbochargers for 426 kW (580 hp), the most powerful engine ever in an Audi passenger car. An RS 6 plus returned to the lineup in spring 2010, but once again as a limited production vehicle. Power has remained the same, but the top speed has been increased to 303 km/h (188.28 mph)

Since 2009, dynamic RS models have also represented the top-of-the-line in the compact class as well. The TT RS and the TT RS Roadster both take up the Audi tradition of five-cylinder engines, with their 2.5-liter power plant with direct injection producing 250 kW (340 hp). Coupled with the lightweight Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made primarily of aluminum, this unit not only provides for explosive performance but also high fuel efficiency.


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