The World's Fastest Production Sedan in 2003


The Audi RS6 was the first vehicle to use the hydraulic active running dampening system know as Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). This damper system eliminated much of the body roll and pitch encountered during cornering as it would shift pressure to the weighted side. It however had some relialbility issues, along with a tendancy to sit unfavorably high (note the picture above). A brake system with disc diameters of 365 mm (front) and 335 mm (rear), is grabbed by massive 8-pot Brembo calipers up front, ensuring balanced deceleration. All this control was needed as the 4.2L twin-turbo V8 could easily get up to mind-warping speed. With its high-grade materials such as leather, Alcantara, and Carbon, the exclusive interior equipment of the Audi RS6 combines a sporty atmosphere with excellent comfort. Standard features include heated front and rear Recaro sports seats, carbon fiber or faux wood interior trim, a Symphony II 6-disc radio Bose sound system, and Xenon high intensity self-leveling headlights. Here's a great review from AudiWorld; at a time when the RS6 was still the fastest production sedan ever offered. Here's one more review from Super Street for good measure. Clearly an incredible car for the time, and still stronger than ever a decade later. The RS6 has developed a dedicated owner base, and many feel it is still one of the top cars being offered for all-season driving and aggressive looks, luxury, and performance.

There are a great number of subtle features that allow the RS6 to perform at the level it does. To help muffle sound, a noise insulating plate is fitted on the underside of the engine compartment. The three center vents play an essential part in providing the large amount of additional cooling air required for the engine and transmission. The flow of air is specifically directed to units subject to high thermal load. The two side vents enable the turbocharger cooling air to escape.


The engine was developed using the V8 engine of the Audi S6 as a base. The goal was to create an engine that could achieve high torque levels at low engine speeds. In line with the engine concept, the cylinder head made of a new Alumisil alloy is fitted with a four-layer sealing system at the cylinder block and crankcase. The increased power level with turbocharged engines produces higher firing pressures. The gasket materials are also an important factor in the structural integrity of the engine. Their different profile heights permit optimum force distribution within the components, and extend the service life of the sealing beads. As a central element, the gaskets are made up of beaded, elastomercoated spring steel layers.


The Audi RS6 has a dual-flow exhaust system. The two exhaust pipes of the V8 engine are routed separately from the engine to the two oval tailpipes, producing the unique RS6 sound. The standard exhaust is noted by the chrome tips, while the more open SE exhaust is noted by the matte black tips. Exhaust gas flows through individual pipes from the cylinders via the air-gap insulated manifolds directly downstream of the turbochargers to two primary catalytic converters of the metal substrate type. Further downstream, two isolating elements provide the necessary vibration compensation (and acoustic isolation) as well as compensation for engine movement in relation to the exhaust system. The following underfloor catalytic converters (metal substrate) achieve optimum emission control with low exhaust gas back pressure. All this completes a system that has a deep rumbling V8 tone, very subdued at low RPMs, and then an open roaring growl when under full power.


Engine torque is transmitted to the transmission by way of a hydrodynamic torque converter with lock-up clutch for improved efficiency at cruising speeds. The transmission is based on a proven design for vehicles with high engine torque; employing Tiptronic shifting and electronic throttle. It takes the form of an electro-hydraulically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission delivering full torque at 2,000-5,600 RPM. The five forward gears and reverse gear are accessed through a planetary transmission, and are controlled by both automatic Drive and Sport mode, or the manual Tiptronic mode. The clutchs, selector elements, and brakes are controlled electro-hydraulically, permitting gear selection under load with no loss of tractive power. Seamless shifting across all levels of accellerating and braking are acheived.

The following modifications have been made to strengthen the transmission:
• Reinforced transfer gear and transmission housings
• Increased clutch pressure
• Brake “D” reinforced (one additional coated disc)
• Reinforced spur gear drive splines (modified material)