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    / #Audi / #Quattro Used #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi-RS6-Typ-4G / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-A6-Typ-4G / #Audi-A6 / #2016 /

    In your March Issue Roger Cartwright asked for comments about buying an early model used RS6 and future operating costs. My recommendation is that, unless he has a lot of money and a good RS6 certified dealer/ mechanic, don’t buy one of the original 4.2T V8 models. I will start out by saying I am a dedicated Audi enthusiast and owner. I have owned a 1991 #V8 quattro, 1998 A8, 2003 S8, 2003 RS 6 and now a 2013 TT RS (not counting family members who I have purchased other Audis for.)

    I put 207,000 miles on the 1991 V8 quattro and 156,000 on the RS 6. The V8 cost me basically nothing other than routine maintenance after 80,000 miles and the RS 6 cost almost as much as the car cost new in repairs after 60,000 miles.

    Fortunately, #Audi corporate and a great dealer, Winner Audi in Delaware, did all the work from day one, so I received significant discounts and subsidies along the way.

    I finally sold the RS6 last year when the transmission started slipping in second gear and it was going to cost $11,000 to rebuild it with no other options. The RS6 was a great, fast car to drive, but the electronics were horrible. Not only did every switch and button have to be replaced over the life of the car, but the engine and exhaust sensors all had to be replaced multiple times. A year before the transmission went, the catalytic converter temperature sensors went and they had to pull the engine to replace them. The cost: $11,000, but Audi picked up $9,500 as part of the loyal customer program.

    The DRC suspension went three times. They did give lifetime coverage for the shocks, but not the other parts. The suspension had to have multiple bushings and parts replaced many times, from just normal wear. There were many other parts that went wrong, like heating fan motors, radio; mirror retractors; the Navigation system and more. The engine was strong and had no internal issues, but sensor problems drove me crazy beginning as early as 60,000 miles.

    Oh, and by the way, the DOHC timing belts have to be replaced every 30,000 miles according to Audi; that costs $3,500 each time with the required tune-up, plugs, etc. Front brakes and rotors cost $1,750; rear $750. Audi says replace the rotors every time, but the fronts are good for at least two brake jobs unless you are on the Autobahn all day. If the starter motor goes you have to pull the engine, as you do for many other sensors and engine parts. When a turbo oil line leaked they had to pull the engine - another $6,000 plus. The dealer always gave me a discount and the hours were faster than book. Parts are all very expensive: any RS6 unique parts cost more than standard Audi parts.

    I changed my oil every 3,500 miles, followed and exceeded factory service requirements at the dealer and although I periodically drove it fast, it was more of a daily driver. I know other RS6 owners who have had the same type of problems as well.

    If you wonder why I kept it for so long, the answer is that after every major problem I couldn’t believe that something else could go wrong and my sunk cost was so great I didn’t want to give it away.

    As I told my Audi dealer, Audi can make an incredible car that is bulletproof and can win Le Mans and will hold up under any conditions for 24 hours, but after four years and 80,000 miles look out: they can’t hold together for more than six months at a time without some costly repairs!

    Caveat emptor! Buy a normallyaspirated V8 engine Audi to save money in the long term! By the way my 2013 TT RS six-speed (it’s the Plus specification in US) is incredible and the best Audi daily driver I have driven, and I say this having driven the R8 V8 and V10, the RS 5, the S5, S6, S7, S8, RS 4, and most of them on the track.
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    EXCLUSIVE CLUB #ABT-RS6 735hp 1 of 12 edition

    The ABT 1 of 12 is the most exclusive RS6 money can buy… Words Davy Lewis / Photography ABT

    The world of performance tuning can appear to be quite a recent phenomenon. The proliferation of high-tech software upgrades, in-car adjustable suspension and all manner of clever hybrid turbos, suggests that it’s all quite contemporary. It’s true that there’s a lot of very cool new tech available from companies that are less than 20 years old. But, what you may not realise, is that many of the companies that have developed this kit have a long and illustrious heritage. The likes of Bilstein, Eibach and others are well established, having supplied after market performance upgrades for decades.

    Perhaps the oldest of the lot though is ABT. Founded in 1896 by Herr ABT, this German company is celebrating its 120th year in business. And what better way to mark the occasion than by releasing a special edition RS6 – the 1 of 12…

    The car you see before you needs no introduction. The biturbo V8 super-estate is one of the most desirable Audis money can buy. They’re pretty epic things straight out of the factory, but, once the wick has been turned up, they become truly remarkable things. This latest offering from ABT is one of just 12, extra special cars being made available, which makes it very exclusive. Launched at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show, the highlight is an engine upgrade based around ABT’s renowned Power-S module, which boosts power from the 4.0 V8. It now produces 735hp – a staggering 175hp increase over standard. There’s also 920Nm of torque, which is what makes this big estate so devastatingly fast.

    It’s not just about the power though. The rest of this stunning RS6 has been upgraded to ABT’s 1 of 12 spec – if you like bare carbon fibre, then you’re sure to get very excited about this. The posh weave has been put to good use for the mirror caps, the rear diffuser, rear spoiler and front canards. It contrasts perfectly with the Nardo grey paint. ABT’s trademark wing vents add some drama to the flanks of the big RS – you either love them or hate them; but one thing’s for sure, they set this car apart from lesser RS6s.

    The wheels are real monsters – 10x22in FRs wrapped in Dunlop 295/25 rubber, which are rated for 180mph – something this RS6 will achieve without even breaking a sweat. 22in alloys may be a tad large for many, but that’s okay as ABT can supply them in 21 or even 20in, if required.

    Inside, the already well-equipped and luxurious Audi has been treated to even more goodies. The seats are finished in a leather and Alcantara mix that matches the exterior. The ABT logo is featured on the headrests, while the 1 of 12 logo is on the passenger side of the dash. All of the pillars and the headlining are finished in soft touch Alcantara. But that’s not all. The door frames, parts of the dash, door panels and even the steering wheel have been treated to a leather/Alcantara mix.

    So there you have it – the most exclusive RS6 currently available. A range of highly developed and quality enhancements have taken the big estate to the next level.

    SPECIFICATION ABT / #Audi-RS6 / 1 of 12 / #Audi-RS6-ABT / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-RS6-ABT-C7 / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi / #ABT / #Audi-A6

    Engine 4.0 #TFSI #V8 #biturbo , #ABT-Power-S New Generation control unit
    Power 735hp, 920Nm
    Brakes Audi carbon ceramic
    Wheels #ABT FR 10x22in with Dunlop 295/25 tyres
    Exterior ABT air inlet panels, front canards, rear diffuser, rear skirt, wing inserts, mirror covers, rear spoiler all made from carbon fibre
    Interior ABT leather and Alcantara used for headlining, tailgate, pillars, dash, steering wheel, door panels, centre console and sports seats, ABT floor mats, boot mat, integrated entrance light with 120 years logo, start stop switch cap
    Contact Richter Sport

    Above: The view most people will have of this RS6.
    Above: Front ends don’t get more menacing Left: They’ve even fitted ‘120 years’ logo puddle lights.
    Above: Bespoke interior features swathes of Alcantara Right: ABT logo seats are unique.
    “The ultimate RS6; exclusive and desirable”
    Far left: Carbon rear diffuser and quad tailpipes Left: Carbon mirror caps Bottom: The mighty 4.0 twin turbo V8.
    “A true monster – the only car you’ll ever need”
    22in alloys may be a bit OTT for some, but they do 21s and 20s too.
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    DRIVEN: LITCHFIELD AUDI RS6 RS6 C7 / Litchfield’s 750bhp monster

    We drive Litchfield’s 750bhp Stage 3 RS6 – quite possibly the perfect daily driver for those with deep pockets… Words Paul Cowland. Photography Chris Wallbank.

    When Audi created the RS Avant range, it almost made the perfect car. Practical and stylish, yet exclusive without being flashy or pretentious. While the latest RS6 is potent enough for many, for a burgeoning group of owners, it really only forms the basis for creating something even more accomplished. For those lucky enthusiasts, when the thrill of a 552bhp commute becomes too mundane, Iain Litchfield is the man they increasingly turn to, in order to make things better. As a serial super-car tamer and tuner, with Land Speed Records and race championships to his name, Litchfield was quick to recognise the potential in this platform. To capably prove this point, the company’s latest incarnation of its all-new demo car puts out a genuine 750bhp… or put simply, at least 150 more than pretty much anything attainable to come out of Woking, Stuttgart or Maranello.

    “The idea for this package really came from our clients,” smiles Iain Litchfield. “A great many of our customers have a selection of supercars to choose from, with their RS6 being their everyday transport. Dozens of them have come to us with a view to creating something a bit more special, but we’ve always rather liked the idea of creating a car that could be all things at once; a perfect family troop transport, an accomplished track machine and an effortless tourer. The Audi RS6 is the perfect blank canvas for that, but with our trademark car being our totally usable 1200bhp Nissan GT-R conversions, our customers rightly expected a little more performance in all areas. While, in theory, it’s totally possible for our R&D team to create a package that ultimately endowed the RS6 with that sort of power, we didn’t feel that it was the kind of car that needed that kind of conversion. Chatting to our clients, their RS6 is the car they use every single day, as a ‘sensible’ way of getting around. When we set out to improve this car, that easy drivability and docile nature was important to keep in the car. Speaking personally, this is the car I take my kids out in as a family hack, so keeping things usable, sensible and fit-for-purpose over-ruled any headline-grabbing figures. We were always much more interested in the overall feel of the car, rather than the outright numbers. It’s how we always approach the tuning process.”

    While that’s an admirable stance, it’s hard to argue that 750bhp isn’t a stellar amount of power for a family estate. For context, let’s look at a few key players. The Lamborghini Huracán has ‘just’ 602 bhp. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS – a scanty 500. Of course, these cars weigh very little, but even when you look at 2.2 tonne heavyweight performance leviathans like Bentley’s GT3-R (which uses the same VAG sourced 4.0 TT engine) , with its grin-inducing 572bhp, then you start to understand that Litchfield really has made the RS6 very fast indeed.

    It has achieved this in its usual, efficient fashion, and with a cast of reassuringly accomplished names. After extensive flow analysis of the standard turbos and injectors, Litchfield’s team was happy that they could easily cope with the proposed power and torque figures. Next on the agenda would be improved breathing, as this was clearly where the standard Audi system was strangling the RS6’s potential.

    On the intake side, the factory airbox has been removed entirely. To be replaced with a rather smart carbon fibre airbox of Litchfield’s own design. Dyno tests proved this to be able to flow significantly more than the OEM set-up, which would bode well for what was to come. Balancing this new-found efficiency, Litchfield then fitted a full Akropovic exhaust system, allied to their own customfabricated 90mm downpipes, which replace the restrictive factory catalysts. The exhaust is a key part of this conversion, as it gives the RS6 an aerobic capacity that the factory, with its need to tick its many legislative boxes, could only ever dream of.

    As well as looking much nicer and flowing more efficiently (the exhaust adds decent torque and power by itself), the Akrapovic saves a useful 8kg over the OEM system. It also creates a soundtrack that wouldn’t disgrace itself at the Albert Hall – but we’ll come to that in a moment. Crafted in lightweight titanium, this exhaust system has cast collectors and consists of three silencers. The central version of which features a cross-piece inside, which helps to improve power and ‘tune’ the exhaust note – particularly under full throttle. The valves of the system are designed to open and close in line with the RS’ standard electronics, giving this system the full functionality of the Ingolstadt parts, even if the flow rates and sublime noise that emanate from it across the rev range are anything but! These two components really are key to the Stage 3 conversion, as they allow the car to make an additional 50bhp above Litchfield’s Stage 2 package – which has to make do with a mere 700bhp, of course.

    With this new found lack of restriction, Litchfield’s team was then free to move the car to its in-house dyno in order to perfect a software solution that would really make the most of the new components. Keen to maintain all of the Audi’s useful CAN-BUS features (like the immobiliser and interactive functions) but increase control, Litchfield has developed a solution that has allowed them to enhance boost, fuelling and ignition parameters, while maintaining all of the factory failsafes in place. After many miles and hours of dial twiddling and key tapping, the result is a verified dyno trace that now reads 750bhp, with 680ft/lb torque… from a factory starting point of 552bhp and 516 ft/lb. “In theory, we could actually extract more from this set-up,” explains Iain. “But that would mean running the turbo, fuel pump and injectors too close to their maximum efficiency. At this current level, the whole engine is well within its capabilities, and reliability and longevity are assured. Back to that original brief; we’re not trying to chase numbers, we’re trying to create a family-friendly supercar.” All very sensible… well, as sensible as one can be when designing a 750bhp estate car…

    With the powertrain package fully signed off, Litchfield fettled the edges of the Audi’s already excellent chassis with a couple of tried-and-tested upgrades that really make a difference to the surefooted feel of the whole package. A couple of hours spent on Litchfield’s laser-alignment rig has resulted in a minute-perfect toe, camber and caster set-up that means the big #Audi can now be placed with the utmost precision on the road, while a full set of Goodridge brake lines give a subtle improvement in feel and precision to the feel of the brake pedal. Allied to race-spec brake fluid, they ensure that the Audi’s stopping capabilities more than keep up with its new-found performance. Currently, the factory rubber provides the grip on this demo car, but with a set of sticky Michelin SuperSports about to be added into the mix, expect the bar to go higher still in future.

    Out on the road, the work that has gone into this conversion is immediately apparent. On a micro level, the small suspension changes make a big difference to the crispness of this big estate. The steering is exceptionally communicative for a large 4WD car, and the weight and feedback are just right, with the car feeling very neutral in the turns. During our chat, Iain was keen to point out how much refinement has been applied to the throttle maps on this car, particularly with regard to low-speed cruising and bimbling around town. Here, the RS6 feels no different to its factory forebear.

    Sure, it’s able to shout a little louder if you want it to, thanks to the Akrapovic’s integration with the Audi’s exhaust control, but if you keep everything in ‘Comfort’ the Litchfield RS6 does a very passable impression of a docile, refined, well-behaved family commuter.

    That all changes in an instant however, the second you flick the #Akrapovic into shouty ‘Dynamic’ mode and start mashing the accelerator into the carpet. At this point, all 750 horses make it abundantly clear that they’re very angry and willing to gallop – bellowing with a raucous, sonorous holler through those fat titanium pipes. The effect is mind-blowing. This car can pick up its skirts and shovel like no big estate I have ever sat in. Let’s be honest, it’s faster than most of the exotica I have ever sat in too! When asked to do so, the Litchfield car simply squats and fires – with the immediacy and drama of a high explosive device. If you’re going to play at this level, prepare yourself for a visceral assault as your ears revel in that simply delicious exhaust note while your eyes struggle to adjust to how fast the horizon approaches and your brain realises just how fast it is having to think at this velocity. Iain wasn’t lying, it IS a very civilised car, but on a public road, with that much immediate power and that much gut-wrenching torque, it does make you adjust your driving style in order to make the most of what’s on offer. This car isn’t just fast, it can be in the next postcode before your cerebral cortex has had the chance to realise that you’ve even started moving. Not concentrating is not an option when you invite this car to play.

    As we approach the traffic lights, the speed is quickly scrubbed off by the impressive factory stoppers – those Goodridge lines giving impressive modulation as the nose squats heavily towards the tarmac – and in an instant, it’s a pussycat again. No barking, popping exhaust. No crackling downshifts. Just a big estate car, happy to pootle to whichever school run, shopping trip or holiday that you need it to. Iain’s right. This really is the only car you’ll ever need. More exciting and involving than a factory-level supercar, yet practical and usable enough to handle the boring and sensible stuff that life throws at us. If your budget stretches to an RS6, and you’re debating as to whether you need a supercar or an estate car as your next purchase, then why compromise? Why not have both? This really is the only car you’ll ever need.

    One of the best seats you’ll find anywhere.

    Below: RS6 looks stunning in white Right: 750bhp delivers epic performance Bottom right: Many hours were spent on the dyno perfecting the map.

    “A raucous, sonorous holler through those fat titanium pipes...”

    SPECIFICATION Litchfield / #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi / #2016 / #Litchfield / #Audi-RS6-Litchfield-C7 /

    Engine 4.0 V8 #TFSI bi-turbo, #Litchfield-Stage-3 Conversion, Litchfield Stage 3 remap, Litchfield carbon airbox, full #Akrapovic evolution exhaust system, custom 90mm Downpipes.

    Power 750bhp and 680lb/ft
    Transmission 8-speed tiptronic / #ZF / #ZF8HP
    Brakes Factory RS6 (non ceramic) with #Goodrige uprated hoses
    Suspension Full laser alignment
    Contacts/thanks Litchfield

    Left: Litchfield Stage 3 includes custom carbon airbox. Below: Akrapovic exhaust Bottom: Stock turbos are retained.

    Quiet and civilised, until you wake up that V8 biturbo!
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