JOHANNESBURG - Performance vehicles have changed dramatically over the past decade and continue to evolve as consumers expect vehicles that balance performance, luxury and intelligent driving technology. Audi’s recently launched R and RS performance range is designed to meet that need – offering sophistication, innovation and performance that’s brutally powerful.
We’ll be putting the latest Audi R and RS cars to the test in the coming weeks at the Gerotek test facility, but before we tuck into that, let’s take a look at six reasons why we think the Audi performance model line-up will suit anyone’s automotive needs:
1) Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D Advanced Sound System
Audi’s performance range of vehicles are outfitted with Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System, with two unique acoustic lenses that emerge from the dashboard. These specially designed tweeters drive sound 180 degrees around the cabin to reflect mid- and high-frequency sounds off the lens. With up to 23 speakers throughout the cabin, including high up in the A-pillars and even in the vehicle headliner, you get a natural listening environment that makes you feel like you’re in a concert hall.
2) Inspired by racing cars: the design of Audi R and RS models
With striking exterior design elements, the Audi performance models are very much inspired by motorsports, combining cool understatement with a dynamic edge. According to the principle of “form follows function,” it is therefore natural that the use of high-performance technologies from Audi’s motorsport heritage is also reflected in the visual appearance of R and RS vehicles.
In many of these newly launched performance models, the proportion and position of the Singleframe grille is wider and lower, for an aggressive and sporty look. Some models even have horizontal slits between the grille and the hood that are reminiscent of the iconic Audi Sport quattro from 1984. Mighty air inlets and large elliptical tailpipes also symbolise the power of the turbocharged engines.
3) Endurance tested for maximum durability
Test engineers from Audi spend extensive time and expertise into endurance testing of the performance models. For example, engineers spent around two years on the road in the all-new Audi RS Q8, covering more than 1.2 million kilometres, the equivalent of driving around the world 30 times, with development vehicles and prototypes. The test drives took them to Finland, Sweden, France, Italy, South Africa, China, and the USA. They were conducted on all types of racing tracks and roads.
Testing areas like the high-speed circular track in the southern Italian town of Nardò were used to test the resilience of all components at a consistently high speed. The ice and snow in Scandinavia offered ideal conditions for putting the finishing touches to the response characteristics of the suspension and control systems. The heat and elevation in South Africa presented tests to the air conditioning, engine cooling, and overall vehicle performance characteristics.
4) Cylinder on demand to reduce impact
The efficiency system cylinder on demand (COD) involves cylinder deactivation on the performance engines. At low to medium load and engine speed, the system deactivates half of the cylinders to allow for efficient performance.
The system therefore shuts off fuel injection and ignition within milliseconds, and the driver virtually does not even notice it. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the deactivated cylinders are reactivated. The COD system can reduce fuel consumption by several tenths of a litre per 100 kilometres in real-life, daily commutes. Audi’s R and RS vehicles are excellent and efficient machines on the road.
5) Audi Virtual cockpit with performance dials
The Audi virtual cockpit is a fully digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch TFT screen. Depending on the vehicle, it has a resolution of 1 440 x 540 pixels or a full HD resolution of 1 920 x 720 pixels. Its display graphics are exceptionally sharp and highly detailed.
The digital display includes traditional speed and rpm figures as well as information on navigation, media and driver assistance systems. Graphical indicators also show the outside temperature, time and odometer readings as well as warning and information symbols. The images are refreshed 60 times per second so that the virtual needle of the rev counter tracks smoothly and very precisely.
The driver can use the View button on the multifunction steering wheel to switch the Audi virtual cockpit between various views. In the performance models, viewing options specifically feature red graphic details. A performance layout where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the performance and torque are shown as percentages can also be selected, to allow for a sports car type of driving experience.
6) Matrix LED headlights
Excellent performance comes standard with outstanding lighting technology in the new Audi R and RS models. With their intelligent function, the Matrix LED headlights illuminate the road superbly without blinding other drivers. The headlights produce high beam with tiny light-emitting diodes that are bundled together for excellent line of sight. The controller system can also detect other objects ahead and will automatically dim the lights to mask out other vehicles while continuing to fully illuminate the zones between and adjacent to them. In some models, HD Matrix LED headlights are available thereby ensuring an even stronger illumination of the road ahead for a safer driving experience.
CLICK HERE TO READ about the latest Audi R and RS car line-up for free in our monthly IOL MOTORING magazine (on your smartphone, tablet or laptop).