In Audi-speak, its S models are somewhat of an equal blend of performance and luxury, while its RS models favor acceleration and handling above all else. Only the R designator (currently reserved for the Audi R8) sits above the RS models on Audi’s pyramid of performance, but a refreshed variant seems to be emerging.
Last year, Audi showed a version of its TT RS in Geneva dubbed the TT RS Plus
, and as you’d guess the car came with more of just about everything. Output from the 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine was bumped to 360 horsepower and 343 pound feet of torque, giving European customers the same thrust as U.S.-spec TT RS models.
The Euro-only car came shod with 19-inch wheels wearing a new “Rotor” design, as well as unique RS Plus trim on the grille, mirror caps, engine cover, exhaust tips, gear selector and outside badges. It wasn’t the first use of the RS Plus name, but it seemed to mark the revival of the sub-category.
Audi’s uber-wagon, the RS 6 Avant
, has long been a hit with European buyers (although those of us on this side of the Atlantic are excluded from its charms), and previous generations debuted the RS Plus trim. Now comes word from Britain's Car
magazine that the current RS 6 Avant is next in line for the RS Plus treatment, joining the TT RS Plus and the R8 V10 Plus.
Just in case an all-wheel-drive wagon making 552 horsepower (the RS 6 Avant’s rated output) is too slow for your tastes, word is that the RS6 Avant Plus will make 600 horsepower and may even shave some pounds from the RS version. It’s safe to assume the car will see suspension and brake upgrades to match its increased performance, too.
Unlike earlier RS 6 Plus models, production won’t be limited, just as production of the TT RS Plus and the R8 V10 Plus isn’t limited today. There’s more good news from Stephan Reil, head of Audi’s quattro GmbH division, too: the RS Plus treatment could spill over into other models in the future, increasing the likelihood of a U.S. debut.
Future RS Plus models could include the RS 5 Plus and even the RS 7 Plus, which would be a fitting counterpart to the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model
. The “add horsepower and shave weight” model isn’t universal, either, as some RS Plus models could shed pounds without seeing an additional horsepower boost.
That’s fine with us, since we’re in favor of anything that ups a car’s performance numbers.