The Covid-19 pandemic has caused some serious damage to our lives and we are still feeling the effects.
One of the impacts of the pandemic was the delayed arrival of vehicles to Mzansi. To make up for this, Audi South Africa launched 15 new, as well as updated models, and we headed to Sandton to get cosy with them.
Called the Performance Experience, the event was held at the Sandton City rooftop and the sky was filled with the roaring cacophony of S and RS models.
According to Audi, it aims to sell more than 600 units of RS and R models for the rest of 2021. With that said, the R and RS dealerships have been increased to 20 across South Africa.
Audi South Africa has 38 dealerships across Mzansi. In simple terms, 20 of those are now permitted to sell high-performance R and RS models.
The high-performance SUV range comprises the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback, SQ7, SQ8 and RS Q8.
Adding to the line-up in the sedan stable is the RS5 Coupe and Sportback models, RS7 Sportback as well as the limousine S8.
There is the new Audi RS6 Avant as well as the RS4 Avant. There is the updated TT RS Coupe and a Roadster. The updated R8 Coupe and Convertible completes the range.
All the new and updated models will go on sale in Mzansi from April 1.
What went down?
After a brief presentation we headed out to the rooftop where Audi had its new S8 and RS6 Avant so we could see their suspension setups.
Lurking underneath the S8 is all-wheel steering as well as active suspension. It features a camera that analyzes the road and adjusts the suspension for some serious road comfort. What a car.
It is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 turbocharged engine, with 420 Nm and a whopping 800 Nm of torque.
The next test was the RS6 Avant that features RS Adaptive Air Suspension. Although different from the S8’s suspension, this one soaks up road bumps with so much aplomb – something rather surprising for a car of its stance.
The RS6 Avant employs a 4.0-litre V8 engine with 441 kW and 800 Nm and it is credited with a 3.6-second sprint to 100 km/h.
The second task was the off-road test and there we sampled the SQ7, SQ8 and RS Q8 SUVs.
Although you might not even consider taking one of these off-road, it is worth mentioning that they are capable, thanks to the adjustable air suspension that can be raised and lowered depending on the selected mode.
The SQ7 and SQ8 models are powered by a 4.0-litre V8 TDI engine with 310 kW and 900 Nm and can hurtle from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.
The RS Q8 has a 4.0-litre bi-turbocharged petrol engine with 441 kW and 800 Nm of torque. Its 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 3.8 seconds en route, to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Buyers can optionally raise that to 280 km/h.
Lastly, we got behind the wheel of the updated R8 and we drag raced fellow motoring journalists. The new R8 with its naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine with 449 kW and 560 Nm continues to impress.
It hurtles from a stop to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds and it felt quicker than that.
What is the price?
- Audi SQ7 R1 679 500
- Audi SQ8 R1 849 500
- Audi RS Q3 R1 094 000
- Audi RS4 Avant R1 296 000
- Audi RS5 R1 394 000
- Audi RS5 Sportback R1 409 500
- Audi TTRS R1 062 000
- Audi RS6 Avant R 2 070 000
- Audi RS7 Sportback R2 173 500
- Audi S8 saloon R2 484 000
- Audi RS Q8 R2 354 000
- Audi R8 Coupe R3 336 000
- Audi R8 Spyder R3 592 500
A 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan comes standard with the cars.