Along the introduction of the new RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, Audi is also launching a special edition of both models. The performance vehicles will be offered for a limited period in an exclusive Launch Edition specification that combines highlights from all the variants. Externally, red brake callipers that are unique to this version are visible through 22-inch alloy wheels with a black gloss turned finish, and these are complemented by the gloss black styling pack. The panoramic glass sunroof and the sport exhaust are also standard, as is top speed de-restriction to 174mph. Inside, the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is a key enhancement.

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Among the headline options for the two ranges are five matt-effect paint finishes, the sport exhaust system (standard for Vorsprung and Launch Edition versions), ceramic brakes and de-restriction of top speed from 155mph to 174mph (also standard for Vorsprung and Launch Edition models).

In just 3.6 seconds the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback with eight-speed tiptronic transmission can touch 62mph from a standing start, and where conditions permit the driver can see 124mph by the time 12 seconds have elapsed. Top speed is electronically governed at 155mph, or 174mph in the Vorsprung and Launch Edition versions.

The awe-inspiring performance is delivered as responsibly as possible through the use of mild hybrid technology. A belt alternator starter powered by a 48-volt main electrical system lies at the heart of the MHEV system, which can harvest energy during light deceleration and store it in a separate lithium-ion battery, and also initiate coasting at speeds of between 34 and 99mph for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. A cylinder on demand (COD) system is also incorporated, and at low to intermediate loads and speeds deactivates four of the V8’s eight cylinders to conserve fuel.

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