Audi RS6 2013 review
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We had a run in the wild Walkinshaw Performance supercharged V8 Commodore a few years back and it was a mind bending experience as well as chassis bending.
The blown 6.2-litre engine was too much for the car. Great fun, but... However, the formula must have rung a bell with HSV, which spent the past few years developing its own supercharged Commodore HSV that is available now as the latest GTS. Ideas from the Walky car have filtered through to the HSV except the latest hyper performance V8 is a much more refined vehicle that now rivals the Germans in some respects.
The GTS goes for a sobering $92,990 for the six-speed manual with twin-clutch system while the six-speed performance auto adds $2500. Compare that to the GTS's most direct rival in terms of configuration, size, power and performance -- the Mercedes-Benz E63AMG S, and you will save $150,000. Good value huh?
The car was set up with assistance from V8 Supercar racer Garth Tander and is unequivocally the most powerful production car ever made in Australia -- as well as one of the fastest and quickest.
Even though it's getting up towards two tonnes, the GTS can put away a 0-100kmh sprint in an astonishing 4.0-seconds, possibly better, and has eye watering roll-on acceleration from its supercharged, 6.2-litre V8 mill that achieves some 430kW/740Nm output. It's not the torque king, but with these numbers, who cares... any car with 430kW is going to kick butt.
The additional poke from the overhead valve 6.2 LSA engine is provided by a four lobe Eaton supercharger pumping a rather conservative 9psi into the inlet manifold after being first fed through an intercooler. HSV added plenty of other go fast bits like a bi-modal intake and bi-modal exhaust along with a strengthened tailshaft and strengthened manual and auto transmissions. Practically every dynamic component on the GTS is upgraded to cope with the demands of ultra-high performance.
It runs six piston AP brakes on huge discs, magnetic ride control suspension with Touring, Sport and Track modes, a driver preference dial that recalibrates stability control, launch control, torque vectoring, steering, suspension and exhaust to suit tastes.
On the outside you can't miss the GTS with its aggressive face, LED daytime driving lights, quad exhausts, aero body kit and 20-inch alloys shod with low profile Continental rubber - and yellow painted brake calipers.
The interior is up to luxury car standard with a stitched suede and carbon-look dash complete with comprehensive cluster instrumentation, multiple dials, a large MyLink infotainment screen, eight-way electric adjust front sports seats, head-up display, leather upholstery, high end Bose audio, satnav, dual zone climate control, push button start and remote key function as well as a whole raft of driver assist feature that spring from the new VF Commodore.
About the only thing it misses out on is paddle shift. But there's so much grunt instantly available it's almost irrelevant.
The real question here is what's it like to drive? Everything you could imagine -- and more -- is the easiest way to describe wheel time in the GTS (auto) we had. Having jumped straight from the Benz E63AMG, the surprising thing is how similar the two cars are. The Benz is more refined with more kit but they both have that explosive acceleration and sharp dynamics that are fabulous to feel from the driver's seat. The bi-modal exhaust on the GTS only delivers a decent burble at idle, then it shuts flips over to about half decibels and there's no over-ride.
It has precise steering and the suspension is adjustable to suit a range of driving styles and environments. Inside the car is luxurious and engaging, lacking only the really out there electronic stuff found in the Germans like WiFi hotspot and other unnecessary stuff. It likes a drink, but that's only a small thing is what is the greatest car ever made in this country -- safest, best performance, looks great, feels awesome to drive and you can even cruise in the lap of luxury.
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