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Audi RS6's

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by simon355, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. simon355

    simon355 Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2003
    649
    W.Yorkshire, UK.
    Full Name:
    Simon George
    Just been for a blast in the 355,coming back from Leeds when an Audi RS6 appears in front.As it happens we were on a very long wide stretch of straight road and the Audi took off like a bat out of hell.I won't put on here what speeds we both backed off at but I had no idea these cars were so quick! I was hitting the rev limiter in every gear with the Tubi literally banging on every gearchange but I only just managed to stay with him.I had the roof down so i'm going to put it down to poor streamlining ha ha!Anyone got one on here?
     
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  3. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    I have been in one with over 400 bhp......and i want one, good for going to the shops in, along with the kids.
     
  4. 360CS

    360CS F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,641
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    Joe J

    Couple of guys on here have them. James/Stuart, they are very fast and have a 520 bhp upgrade available while remaining very tractable....Great car...id love one too....
     
  5. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    Dec 23, 2002
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    Tony H
    Haven't raced against one, but been a passenger in JRS'S RS6......Let's just say it don't hang around.
    I'm seriously considering chopping in my BMW Touring for one....
    Tony
     
  6. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    Dark Forces

    With its 469bhp supercharged V8, the Mercedes E55 AMG has the potential to make the Audi RS6 and BMW M5 feel weedy. But can you have too much of a good thing?

    February 2003


    E55 v RS6 v M5


    t's fascinating to watch the speedometer needle of the E55 AMG. Not because it's spookily spindle-less but because it sweeps around the dial at such an incredible rate. Even into three figures the pace of the magically suspended orange needle is astonishing. If we had filmed it and you could watch it, you'd reckon the footage had been speeded up like a car chase in a bad film, but hammering along Millbrook's mile straight with an insistent, immense accelerative force at our backs, it looks very real to Jethro and me.

    The needle is still going strong as it swings for the last marking on the dial, 160mph, when the acceleration abruptly but smoothly tails off - we've hit the 155mph speed limiter, and there's still a chunk of the straight to go. Jethro utters a raw expletive.

    How fast would the E55 go if there was no limiter and the straight was two miles long? One eighty? Easily. 200? Possibly. A derestricted SL55 with essentially the same 5.4-litre supercharged V8 made monkeys of a bunch of supercars at a Nardo test organised by Auto Motor und Sport magazine, topping out at 202mph and proving the most accelerative up to 170.

    A couple of months ago we attached our own VBOX timing gear to an SL55: 0-60 in 4.6sec and 0-150 in 24.0. Quick, huh? Yeah, but the more sober-looking E55 gets to 150mph in just 22.8sec... [insert your own expletive here].

    In at least one respect, the E55 redefines the term 'performance saloon'. In this class there isn't a quicker or more powerful four-door; with 469bhp the Merc has 25bhp in hand over its most potent rival, the Audi RS6, and almost 70bhp over the iconic BMW M5. In the time the Mercedes takes to get to 150mph, the Audi and BMW have just passed 130mph. And in terms of torque the E55 is even more impressive, its supercharged V8 generating an incredible 516lb ft, over 100lb ft more than the twin-turbo RS6 and no less than 147lb ft (almost 40 per cent) more than the normally aspirated M5.

    If this was a game of Top Trumps, you'd feel pretty confident with the E55 AMG in your hand. However, whether you'd feel so invincible with its steering wheel in your palms and a challenging road unfurling before you is more what evo is about. Having the power is one thing, making it effective, exploitable and enjoyable is quite another. 'Power is nothing without control', as Pirelli says.

    Power has its price, too; at £60,640 the E55 costs over £8000 more than the M5 and about £3000 more than the RS6, though here the gap to the Audi is less because we've chosen the five-door Avant which has distinctly more supple suspension than the saloon.

    However, view the E55 as a four-door, stealth-specification SL55 and it doesn't look so expensive. And stealthy it certainly is - it could be any version of the new E-class with optional AMG five-spoke alloys, only the quartet of tailpipes and a few discreet badges revealing its true identity. Another car that makes it look like a bargain is the Brabus EV12 that we drove back in issue five. The E55 is actually more accelerative than the 574bhp, 206mph Brabus (verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest saloon car in the world), and it costs about half the price.

    It was a perfect day when we turned up at Millbrook to figure the Merc - very cold, providing the dense air that the supercharger loves, and perfectly dry. On the ultra smooth asphalt, the auto-only E55 hooked up reasonably well and with no effort other than a stretching of the right leg bagged 0-60 in under five seconds and 0-100 in the low 10s. Incredible. We shaved off a mere tenth by switching ESP off and resorting to road tester skill, which shows how carefully optimised the system is, and how much the E55 relies on it - many runs were slower because the rear tyres lit up and squandered the performance.

    Compared with the SL55, the AMG E-class has a slightly lower power rating but that isn't the reason it can't quite match the SL's take-off. It has narrower rear tyres, is almost 200kg lighter (weight helps traction), and also has a longer wheelbase, so there's a smaller degree of helpful weight transfer to the rear on take-off. So with less launch bite, the E55 is a couple of tenths behind the SL up to 60mph (4.8 versus 4.6sec), but once traction has ceased to be an issue it closes the SL down. By 100mph it has drawn level on 10.2sec and by 150mph it's over a second ahead.

    Genuine supercars don't go much faster, so it's no surprise that the Audi and BMW are left in the Mercedes' wake. They're pretty evenly matched, but with its six-speed manual and rear-drive, there's a lot more technique involved in getting the M5 off the line to hit 60mph in 4.9sec and 100 in 11.5. With no special driver skill the automatic, four-wheel-drive RS6 will knock off 60 and 100mph in around 5 and 12 seconds all day but by turning off wheelspin control, holding it against the brakes and dialling in 3000rpm, it's possible to launch harder and get them down to 4.8 and 11.6.

    If you're tempted to think that on real roads the E55 won't feel that much quicker than its rivals, you'd be wrong. If anything, it feels more terrifyingly rapid than it did at the test track. The amount of thrust it can summon up seemingly in an instant is at times genuinely shocking. Don't be tempted to ferry fragile relatives around when you've got hay fever. The supercharged V8's peak torque - that truly monumental 516lb ft - arrives at just over 2500rpm, and the elastic nature of the auto 'box's fluid flywheel means that the engine hits those revs only a moment or two after the accelerator finds the carpet.

    The RS6 feels mighty quick when you stoke its rumbling, twin-turbo V8 up to full boost, no question. It delivers the sort of thrust that warrants a warning on its cup holders advising that full-power kickdown whilst carrying hot beverages is not recommended. And yet there's no doubt the E55 hits even harder and faster, exposing a minimal amount of lag that you otherwise wouldn't notice. Similarly, its linear, unrelenting thrust points up a slight flattening of the Audi's delivery in the mid-range.

    After this pair you have to consciously adapt to the BMW. It's so easy to forget it's a manual and sit there wondering why it's labouring in sixth when you've floored the throttle to overtake. Doh! The long, knuckly shift of the M5 has never been its best feature but after a while it becomes less obvious and it does give instant, direct access to the engine's performance.

    Hooked up to the appropriate ratio, the normally aspirated 5-litre V8 doesn't feel massively out-gunned by the forced induction V8s ranged against it, responding instantly and pulling for the redline with ever increasing and wholesome honesty - organic is the word that springs to mind.

    The M5 never delivers the knock-out thump of the E55, and what makes the Mercedes' sledgehammer thump all the more stunning is the fact that when you're just bimbling it feels like a regular, comfortable executive saloon. It rides over shoddy asphalt with suppleness, the gearbox shuffles the ratios almost seamlessly and the V8 is much less vocal than it is in the SL55. There are pointers that it's not your average E-class: deeply bolstered, snug-fitting seats, a leather-clad wheel that's small by Mercedes standards and a lovely set of AMG logo'd charcoal grey on opaque white dials.

    There's a meaty weighting to the E55's steering but it's not as responsive as you'd expect. It feels right a few degrees either side of centre but the first time you heft the Merc into a quick, moderately tight bend, the nose doesn't turn as much as anticipated. It's almost as if the steering ratio changes, becomes slower, as you approach a quarter of a turn of lock. You gradually adapt to it, but after a stint in the M5 or RS6, the first decent turn reminds you it's not quite right.

    If the E55's rear tyres had to survive without ESP, they would lead a short and violent life. Only two tyres are approved for it, a Dunlop and the Continental Sport Contact 2s fitted to this car, whose sidewalls carry the words 'Extra Load'. I imagine they have additional banding in the carcass to prevent the branding on the sidewalls becoming permanently distorted by the shearing loads between the rim and the tread chewing at the tarmac. Well, in perfect conditions, at least.

    If the road surface is cold, bumpy or at all greasy, the 265/35 ZR18s simply can't find enough purchase below 60mph to use all of the engine's massive grunt. Try to use much more than half throttle and the ESP traction control goes into overtime, its warning light flickering like it's sending a semaphore message. To its credit, ESP does a marvellous job and lives up to its monicker, shutting down wheelspin before it gets a chance to jab the tail out of line more than a few degrees and then feeding the power back in keenly but cautiously and remarkably smoothly.

    There are lots of nudges and squirms at the rear axle which you discover aren't solely down to ESP intervention (when you get either brave or foolish enough to turn the system off). And if the speed is high enough to give the tyres the chance to hold the road, you can feel a gentle shimmy as the level of grip on each side changes.

    Still, you'd reckon that with so much power on tap, the E55 would be a doddle to power-slide, right? Er, no. Although it lacks a limited slip diff, there's enough torque to get both wheels spinning and arc you into a slide (so far, so good) but the steering weighting changes after you've got the lock on and stabilised things, loading up when you try to wind a bit of lock off to trim your line. Alternatively, on a wet road the power escapes through one fizzing rear tyre, then the other, and then - just when you've given up hope of it sliding - both of them. Whoa! That's very exciting, I assure you.

    You look to the M5 with its long-established reputation to show how a big performance saloon should behave, and once you've slipped behind the wheel, it feels more right - the driving position is lower and you feel more sucked-in, more a part of the car. Its ride feels initially tauter but it's a surprise to see its traction control light flashing almost as often as the Merc's was on the same greasy roads.


    Dark Forces


    E55 v RS6 v M5

    The BMW's normally aspirated 5-litre V8 doesn't have anything like the low-end surge of the force-fed Merc and Audi V8s but work it through the rev range and it gains lusty strength and purpose above 4000rpm, lunging for the redline with a hard yet refined eight-cylinder whirr. The sensation of a big, heavy car beneath you is ever present but the difference is that after a few miles your tentative extending of the throttle and pushing against the grip in corners is building rather than eroding your confidence.

    For the keen driver there are two advantages that the M5 has over the E55 that can't be underestimated - the first is that it's normally aspirated, the second that it's manual. Together, they allow so much more control and precision when you're feeling your way but trying to go quickly. If you're up for it and you disengage DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), when the M5's tail slips mid-bend you can hold a steady throttle and ride it out, or even add a bit more throttle at the exit for a flourish of opposite lock. Its steering is light enough for easy handling around town yet weighted just-so for confident A- and B-road work, and there's decent feel through its fat rim, too.

    No question, you have to be confident to play an M5 beyond its grip because it's a hefty car but, compared with the E55, whenever you push harder, the picture coming through the wheel and seat sharpens rather than softens. Simply put, at the end of a rapid drive in the Merc, you feel you've survived. In the BMW, you want to go for a few more miles.

    And then there's the RS6. Initially, it's not so much the performance of its twin-turbo V8 that impresses but the fact that it has the traction - thanks to four-wheel drive, of course - to use every last ounce of the 444bhp that it delivers, almost all the time. Its traction control light might flicker occasionally but you rarely feel any electronic throttling back.

    In fact, after the rear-drivers here, the Audi's step-off is at times absolutely stunning. Sit at a junction in the RS6 waiting for a gap, tum-te-tum. See one, plant the throttle and BAM! With the help of 4wd, the accelerator lives up to its name, thumping the RS6 forward so firmly and instantly that you half expect to hear a metallic crunch and the tinkle of broken glass from the Transit van that just ploughed into the back of you at 30mph.

    Even before your first experience of total traction, you know that the RS6 takes its role of high-performance executive transport more seriously than the E55. Everything about the Audi is hard-edged, from the Recaro seats to the steering to the ride to the performance and even the keen down-shifting of its auto box as you coast down - this is a car that means business.

    The further you drive it, however, the more you feel that its primary business is more Merc-like than BMW-like, which is to say going very quickly in straight lines. There is more precision to the Audi's responses than the Merc's and traction is very rarely an issue but it lacks the detail feedback and poise sensitivity that allows you to get involved with the process of driving a road like an M5 does. Wind on lock and the RS6's steering goes rather lifeless just when you want more feel, and as the cornering loads build you notice the seat's lack of shoulder support. Grip and traction are still there in abundance... probably. And that's the problem if you're a real driver - you'd rather feel exactly how much there was and be able to go as close to the edge as you wanted to in a given situation, rather than place your faith in the systems.

    Sure, the RS6 will do things that the M5 won't. It will find traction, exploit it, and leave the BMW floundering (Merc too, of course) but that doesn't make it a better driver's car. There's no real depth to the experience - when you're not going very quickly, there isn't much to enjoy, and when you are, you don't feel involved. The RS6 is a device that gets the job done, not an instrument that relies on your skill to perform.

    What is 'enough power' for the road? Everyone has their own idea, and in this class, with rear-drive, I don't think the M5 is far off it. In the right circumstances, the E55 feels sensationally faster which, of course, is its own buzz and has an undeniable appeal. As we said at the outset, its extraordinary pace redefines the performance saloon: 0-100 in 10.2sec is simply astonishing. Whatever you drive, you'll think twice about messing with an E55 in a straight line, always assuming you spot what it is in the first place.

    Yet the M5 has only that to fear. In this class it remains on top because it is the complete package, blending excellent performance with peerless control and precision of chassis, throttle and steering. It would probably struggle to deploy the E55's massive torque and, frankly, it doesn't need it. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

    Words/Pictures: John Barker/Gus Gregory
     

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  8. 360CS

    360CS F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
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    #6 360CS, Mar 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    Tony

    Was an 03 model on Ebay couple weeks back ,"snatch back" ,went for 38k bargain i thought...
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  9. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    Dec 23, 2002
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    Is this like a repossession,Joe? I'd be very suspicious of buying a £50 k car on E bay !
    Tony
     
  10. jrs

    jrs Formula 3

    Jun 14, 2003
    1,672
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    James S
    As the lucky owner of both and RS6 and F355 I think I have the best of both worlds. The RS6 is an increadible motor car and it is amazing being able to take on pretty much anything and embaress it. I have taken it around Goodwood and although it is a big heavy car it has firm suspension and with 4wd it is amazing how fast you can get around corners.

    I am going to have the upgrade to 520bhp ( cost £2000 ) and will let you know what its like then.

    James
     
  11. KennyH

    KennyH F1 Veteran
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    Aug 13, 2001
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    What modifications get you another 70hp?
     
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  13. jrs

    jrs Formula 3

    Jun 14, 2003
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    Digitec do an ECU upgrade that basically ups the Turbo boost pressure a little. They also remove the speed limiter at the same time in case you have an urge to do more that 155 mph !. New software is downloaded to the cars computer and the Audi dealers are not able to detect the change and therefore no problem with warranty.

    Do you have an RS6 ?

    regards
    James
     
  14. KennyH

    KennyH F1 Veteran
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    Aug 13, 2001
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    Unfortunately not yet but someday-- can't wait to see your numbers when you get the upgrade!
     
  15. Robbo

    Robbo Karting

    Feb 16, 2004
    102
    'The RS6 is a device that gets the job done, not an instrument that relies on your skill to perform'.


    I was lucky enough to have an RS6 Avant, superb car, very capable. But that's just it, it seems to do it all for you. Massive torque, but you feel removed from what's happening due to the light/vague steering. You are the passenger in every sense of the word. The residuals are painful, I only kept mine for 7 months as unlike the RS4, Audi were and still are manufacturing. Many low milage examples are for sale on Audis web site, with a friend of mine being offered £38 K ( audi dealer) for an 11,000 miles 02/52 car worth new £ 61,500. 450 bhp is great, but for the drop you need more feel.
     
  16. mal

    mal Formula Junior

    Jan 12, 2004
    615
    Kent
    I have an RS6 Avant and in my opinion it is the most useable and practical performance car money can buy. On paper some cars are faster but in normal hands and on normal roads there is virtually nothing to touch it, and remember you can still get the kids the dog and the kitchen sink in the car.

    In fact buying the RS6 made me sell my Maserati and buy the Dino as with the Maser it couldnt match the Audi's performance so I decided to go a buy the car with the best balance and feel and looks ie - the Dino
     
  17. 355f

    355f Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    305
    I love the 355 and enjoy the sounds and 'expereince' of driving it.

    However if one goes down this route of being 'suprised' at the comparative lack of performance compared to some other vehicles this a a road to being very dissapointed.

    In real word driving mitsibishi, suburu, audi, are all cars that can leave a 355 behind
     
  18. jrs

    jrs Formula 3

    Jun 14, 2003
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    I agree

    Whilst my RS6 is a great drive it cannot be compared to driving the F355. The F car makes a statement, has the most magnificent sound and is great fun to drive.

    It would be wonderful to have an F car with the RS6 performance and servicing costs ! Cambelts at 100000 miles and annual service charge of £250.

    J
     
  19. mal

    mal Formula Junior

    Jan 12, 2004
    615
    Kent
    You buy an RS6 for totally different reasons to a Ferrari and therefore they are not comparable. The RS6 was built for people with cars like a Ferrari who wanted a fast but practical everyday / family car as well and that is exactly what it is.
     
  20. mal

    mal Formula Junior

    Jan 12, 2004
    615
    Kent
    With the exception of sevicing cost you may be talking about the Gallardo there!
     
  21. Steve275

    Steve275 Formula Junior
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    Jun 20, 2003
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    I've had a succession of Audi's in the last 8 or so years and I am constantly astounded by their speed, agility and build quality.
    I strated with and S4 avant (Old 2.7 Twin Turbo model), liked it so much I bought a RS4, Traded that for and S8, Bit of mistake, Thay are lovely cars but a bit big and heavy, but still managed to embarrass a M5 or two ! But now I have an RS6 Avant and love it, I have had the 520 BHP upgrade and although completely competent before this mod changes the car form just a superfast saloon too a near on 200 mph Wolf in sheep's clothing, Suffer's a bit from Torque Steer when you get a bit over zealous but it's an amazing car.

    Guess this makes a lucky bloke too ?

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  22. Robertb

    Robertb Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2003
    1,330
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    Robert
    In real world driving, the limitations to speed are usually traffic, safety or available vision.

    There is so much more to driving pleasure than from getting from a to b, fastest; Sound, style, interior trim.

    I drive my father's car sometimes, and this is the essence of driving pleasure: feelsome, unassisted steering, every gearchange has to be timed to perfection but so satisfying when you get it right, low limits so very challenging handling. In terms of a car to master, a 911 has nothing on this... The car? 1929 Austin Seven, top speed 30mph!
     
  23. mal

    mal Formula Junior

    Jan 12, 2004
    615
    Kent
    Steve which chip did you do the upgrade with?
     
  24. Steve275

    Steve275 Formula Junior
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    Jun 20, 2003
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    Steve
    Had mine done at QST by Kim Collins, It's the MTM UK Outlet, Good service, a little expensive but great quality.
    I went for the full 536 BHP & 531 lb/Ft in the end but it involves having the manifolds changed 380mm Brake discs etc, Engine out job !

    Changed the car completely though, Audi weren't happy when I took it in for it's service, So I got my F-Car mechanic to give it the once over, That was 22,000 mile ago, Never misseda beat since.

    Steve
     
  25. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    Dec 23, 2002
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    Christ,
    that thing must go like ***** off a shovel!! Does MTM conversion invalidate the warranty, Steve?
    T
     
  26. Steve275

    Steve275 Formula Junior
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    Yep - Sure does, According to Audi UK, We're still arguing ?

    SP

    T you have PM !
     
  27. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    I guess Audi don't offer an upgrade then, otherwise you would have gone to them?
     
  28. Badapple

    Badapple Formula Junior

    Nov 20, 2003
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    Phil
    Steve, have you bought a boxer?
     

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