While at the 2019 LA Auto Show, I had the chance to talk with the Senior Product Manager for Audi USA, Anthony Foulk. During our quick interview, Foulk was able to give us some good info on the all-new Audi RS6 Avant and even a bit about the RS Q8, the two biggest cars that launched in LA.
We were all bit pressed for time and Foulk kindly squeezed us into his busy schedule, so we very much appreciate that.
QuattroDaily: This Audi RS6 Avant is the first-ever RS wagon to come to America. So I guess the biggest question is: Why now?
Anthony Foulk: It’s interesting (laughs) a lot of people have been asking that. So, when it comes to Avants in the US. We had the C6-generation, so two generations ago, we had the A6. We also had, with the B8, we brought in the A4 Avant and the A4 Allroad. The Allroad was such a big hit, we actually phased out the Avant and moved only to Allroads. With that, the enthusiasm we had from the previous-generation A6 Avant and the A4 Allroad. We said, “We should be looking at the A6 Allroad”. Once you start looking at the A6 Allroad, the RS6 Avant has been something people have been clamoring for, for years. Once you do the body style, we have this new V8 engine, you can do the high-performance version.
QD: The suspension is different in this car. Tell us a little about that.
AF: So we do, in the US, standard RS Adaptinve Air Suspension and then on top you can get the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) which, in the C-segment (A6, A7), is the second-generation. It’s a steel suspension with hydraulic connection from opposite corners. It basically keeps the car very flat through corners. And there’s a new control system and new hydraulic pump at the back. It’s a new generation of the whole system. And really what the designers of the system have been talking about is that there’s a wider spread of how it feels from Comfort to Dynamic. Even the previous generaiton, the Comfort mode was quite firm and the sport mode was too hard. Now, the sport mode is tight without being harsh and the comfort mode is soft without being floaty.
QD: Is that cross-link hydraulic setup new or has that been around on other systems because it’s it’s really being emphasized in the media on the RS6?
AF: No, actually. There are versions of this in the TT RS, also. That’s really what DRC is, the opposite linkage of the hydraulics.
QD: It’s getting famous now, because of McLaren.
AF: (Laughs) Mini did it 60 years ago! That’s why I kind it find of funny. McLaren did not invent that.
QD: Any possibility for a future higher performance model, maybe an RS6 Performance?
AF: There are possibilities for that. Right now we’re introducing this. You can see, that’s a family V8 block that’s in a few different applications, throughout a few different brands. So yes, we have to look at having a life cycle.
QD: Now the RS Q8, that just broke the Nurburgring lap record. Tell us about that?
AF: So that’s the first RS SUV in the US. It also has the ‘Ring record for SUVs. My comment on that really would be, I’ve spent time on the Nurburgring and know for a fact, you don’t get a fast lap time there from just having a ton of power. You have to be able to carry a ton of speed through the corners. And that is a huge point with, actually all these cars, but with the RS Q8 we’re bringing a new electro-mechanical active roll stabilization that the 48-volt [system] powers. So we have that to keep it flat through corners, we have the Quattro sport differential in it, as well as all-wheel steering. So it has the hardware to handle like a sport sedan, a high-performance sport sedan, it just also happens to have 600 hp. You’re not getting around the ‘Ring — you can have 1,000 hp but there’s a hundred and forty-something corners there — you have to be able to carry speed through there.
QD: Okay, Anthony, thanks for your time, we appreciate the interview.