How the Audi RS are born


CIRCUIT OR GYM? – Formula 1 has not raced there since 1976, but the old German Nürburgring circuit (known as Nordschleife) is still among the most famous and fascinating tracks in Europe: it is 20.832 km long and not only alternates long straight and demanding curves, but also jumps, compressions and hairpin bends. The Nürburgring is a circuit for expert drivers and where cars are put to the test, so much so that many new models develop between its curves. Among the houses that have chosen it as a test bed there isAudi, who at the Nürburgring performs some tests for his cars sports, the RS, those developed by the Audi Sport division: in Inferno Verde (this is the nickname of the Nürburgring), its most experienced test drivers are able to evaluate the car’s behavior when cornering, handling, stability and even robustness.

THE RECORD IS HER – Audi’s leading tester at Nürburgring is Frank Stippler, a 45-year-old born in Cologne who combines training as an engineer with the ability to drive on the track, so much so that he boasts two first places at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Stippler has the task of developing racing cars for customer and road teams, including theAudi RS Q8, large SUV that holds the lap record at the Nürburgring for SUVs: in autumn 2019, Stippler stopped the stopwatch after 7 minutes, 42 seconds and 253 thousandths, about 12 seconds less than the previous record held by Mercedes- AMG GLC 63 S. To prepare for the record, and to test the engine, gearbox, set-up and brakes, the Audi RS Q8 (like any other RS) has traveled about 8,000 km at the Nürburgring: in this scenario, according to the German manufacturer , the commitment of the car may correspond to what it would sustain on the road during its “life”.

WORLDWIDE TESTS – In addition to the 8,000 km in Green Hell, theAudi RS Q8 has traveled 1,200,000 in 2 years between China, Finland, France, Italy, the United States, South Africa and Sweden, where testers and designers have been able to put it to the “whip” in the most diverse environmental conditions, before choosing the final set-ups and give the green light to production. In Italy, on the Apulian circuit of Nardò, Audi carried out tests at high speed; in Sweden, 4×4 and grip on frozen or snowy surfaces were tested; in South Africa, the house conducted tests at high altitudes and in extremely hot conditions.

FOR EVERY DAY – Tests in cold and extreme heat show that Audi RS they are high-performance cars suitable not only for the track, but also for everyday driving: most customers appreciate them for their usability and travel tens of thousands of km each year. It is no coincidence, therefore, that some models are equipped with technical solutions to reduce fuel consumption: the V8 of the RS Q8, shared with the RS 6 Avant is RS 7 Sportback, has the function to disable 4 pistons at reduced speeds and is combined with the light hybrid, which improves driving distances in the city. The usability of the Audi RS is also dictated by the look, dynamic but not too exasperated: to distinguish the compact RS 3 Sportback and the coupe RS 5 are the increased air intakes, the black finish of the front bezel and the two oval exhausts in the fascia, a real distinctive feature of the Audi RS.

13 MODELS IN 5 FACTORIES – La production of the RS takes place in 5 factories, the same ones in which the Audi from which they are made are manufactured: the RS 3 Sportback, RS 3 Sedan, RS 4 Avant, RS 5 Coupé and RS 5 Sportback have “houses” in Ingolstadt, Germany; the Audi RS 6 Avant and RS7 Sportback are always produced in Germany, but a Neckarsulm; the plant of the TT RS Coupé, TT RS Roadster, RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback is located in Gyor, Hungary, in Bratislava (Slovakia) the RS Q8 is manufactured. Each model, after the so-called wedding (the union procedure between body and engine), is customized with the parts developed by Audi Sport, namely the fascias, the side skirts, the aerodynamic appendages, the exhaust and the wheels. The Audi R8 supercar is the only one produced (handcrafted) in the plant near that of Neckarsulm, where the race versions are also made.

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