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New 2009 Audi RS 6 Sedan In-Detail - (Global) - Continued.....

September 9th, 2008
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The suspension

You cannot afford to have weaknesses if you want to dominate the competition. This motto also bears true for the suspension of the new RS 6. The advanced suspension, the high-tech Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) damping system and the mighty braking system form a package that perfectly controls the enormous power of the drive system. The suspension of the new RS 6 combines a high standard of long-distance comfort and relaxed straight-line driving with impressive performance. Dynamic steering characteristics, an exact response, uncompromising precision and supreme stability forge links between the race circuit and the freeway.

Most of the wheel suspension components are made of lightweight aluminum – a construction style that reduces unsprung masses and gives the handling a reflex-like spontaneity. On the front axle, each wheel is guided by four aluminum links. The elastokinematics have been configured to be especially dynamic.

The track width is an impressive 1,614 millimeters (63.54 in). The track-controlled trapezoidal link rear axle even has a track width of 1,637 millimeters (64.45 in). Here, the kinematics have also been modified in favor of sportiness.

The maps of the servotronic speed-dependent steering system have also been reconfigured. The steering gear has a dynamic and direct transmission ratio of 12.5:1. With its sensitive workings, the steering links the driver closely and precisely with the road.

The new Audi RS 6 assumes an unrivaled position on the global sedan market. A major factor in this is the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), fitted as standard, a similar form of which was also found in the predecessor model. The advanced DRC reduces pitching and rolling movements around the lateral and longitudinal axes. It is purely mechanical in its operation and so completely lag-free. It is compact and lightweight in its construction.

The operating principle of the DRC is simple. The diagonally opposite shock absorbers are linked by two oil lines and a central valve. If the RS 6 takes a corner at high speed, the valves react instantaneously to the oil flow at the compressed shock absorber for the front wheel on the outside of the bend. They strengthen the support provided, reduce lateral tilt and so increase dynamism.

If requested, Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) can be supplemented by three-stage variable damping characteristics. The so-called sports suspension plus allows the driver to customize his driving experience at the MMI control terminal according to the route profile and his own wants and desires. In the "comfort" setting, the sports suspension plus provides for a good level of ride comfort. The "dynamic" mode allows a highly active driving style, while "sport" mode provides for maximum driving precision.

Fun and stability: ESP

The electronic stabilization program (ESP) rounds off the dynamic performance. It only intervenes at a very late point to provide maximum driving enjoyment with full driving safety. The driver selects sport mode by briefly pressing a button. Engine intervention – ASR, a subfunction of ESP – is then largely deactivated, and brake intervention is triggered at a later point.

This enables expert drivers to execute superb drifts in the new RS 6 on road surfaces with a very low coefficient of friction. Furthermore, this setting helps when pulling away in deep snow. Both functions can be fully deactivated by pressing and holding the ESP button.

The new Audi RS 6 runs on cast alloy wheels of 10-spoke design and of size 9 J x 19. Size 255/40 R 19 tires are fitted, and these are monitored as standard by an indirect, maintenance-free tire pressure monitoring system. On request, Audi will supply the RS 6 on 20-inch cast wheels in size 9.5 J x 20. These are of 5 segment-spoke design and available in either aluminum or titanium look. Alternatively, there are also cast aluminum wheels of 7 twin-spoke design available in the same size. The tires are of the thoroughly impressive 275/35 R 20 format and also feature a pressure monitoring system.

For any exceptional athlete, slowing down is at least as important as sprinting ability. The new Audi RS 6 is equipped with a high-performance brake system that is built to withstand extreme loads. Even the standard steel disks are designed to withstand maximum loads. Their aluminum brake disk chamber is linked to the cast iron friction ring with metal pins – a floating mount that boosts performance at high loads while reducing weight. The cooling ducts and the axial perforation of the disks fulfill the same tasks.

The front brake disks have a diameter of 390 millimeters (15.35 in) and are actuated by fixed six-piston aluminum calipers. The rear disks have a diameter of 365 millimeters (14.37 in) and single-piston floating calipers. The calipers are painted black and adorned with the RS logo at the front.

In conjunction with the 20-inch wheels, Audi can also fit a ceramic brake system. This also has ventilated and perforated disks that are made from a composite material in which high-strength carbon fibers are embedded in hard, abrasion-resistant silicon carbide. They have an impressive diameter of 420 millimeters (16.54 in) at the front and 356 millimeters (14.02 in) at the rear, yet they weigh 12.2 kilograms (26.90 lb) less than the steel disks, reducing unsprung masses in favor of driving dynamics.

The ceramic brakes give an uncompromising performance. They withstand the most extreme loads without any problem, remain free of corrosion and as a rule achieve a service life covering some 300,000 km (190,000 miles). The brake calipers – with eight pistons at the front – are painted in anthracite and bear the lettering "Audi ceramic" at the front.

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