Audi Has Been Spending a Lot of Time at Nürburgring-Nordschleife


audi has been spending a lot of time at nrburgring nordschleife

Audi has been throwing a lot of vehicles at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife for late. Last month saw the RS 3 having achieved the fastest lap among the stock compact class. Days later, the automaker made another announcement that the RS Q8 Performance had achieved the same for SUVs.

The RS 3 was a pre-production of the updated model, setting a lap time of 7:33.123 minutes. Audi said this was a whopping five seconds quicker than the previous segment record. Driver Frank Stippler claimed it was the vehicle’s improved agility that made the difference.

audi has been spending a lot of time at nrburgring nordschleife

“That was the key to our success. The new RS 3 turns in more willingly at corner entry thanks to fine-tuning — including brake torque vectoring — which allows the vehicle to be positioned earlier and better for corner exit from the apex, at the latest,” he said. “The result is a lower steering angle from apex to corner exit, which leads to less friction and earlier acceleration, allowing you to carry more momentum and speed onto each subsequent straight.”

Audi then used the remainder of the press release to hype the changes to RS, highlighting that the torque split is fully viable between the rear wheels. The vehicle in question likewise benefited from the optional adjective dampers, which all work in tandem with the latest stability control system. Apparently, a lot of code went into improving the vehicle’s lateral dynamics. But computer software is boring so Audi didn’t bother driving into the details.

audi has been spending a lot of time at nrburgring nordschleife

Days later, the RS Q8 Performance set its own lap record of 7:36.698. While not as fast as the smaller Audi, this is still rather impressive and makes it the fastest production SUV ever to run the course.

“The RS Q8 performance owes its lap record to the interplay of the V8 engine and chassis components as well as the passion of the Audi Sport GmbH team for absolute performance,” claimed Audi Sport head Rolf Michl.

The Q8 also received lighter wheels as part of an update. However, Audi seemed more interested in promoting how good they look than citing the performance advantages they might offer. That’s all fine because it’s the upgraded powertrain that comes with the new Performance trim that’s doing all the heavy lifting.

audi has been spending a lot of time at nrburgring nordschleife

In Europe, the new RS Q8 offers up 441 kW (600 PS) and 800 Nm of torque, the latter of which arrives between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. But the twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine pushes those numbers up to 471 kW (640 PS) and 850 Nm of torque. Since I’m not a German engineer who wears a lab coat to bed, I have no clue what that actually means.

But my crude math has the more expensive RS Q8 enjoying roughly 37 more lb-ft of torque and about 40 more horsepower. That means the Performance is pushing 631 hp and 630 lb-ft all in. Audi said that the improvements take the standard RS Q8’s 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.8 seconds and shaves off two tenths.

Those differences obviously helped aid the vehicle in its quest to tackle the track. While that’s not always the most important thing for passenger vehicles, including those of a sporting nature, it’s nice to know that Audi still has a competitive mindset with its RS models and is conducting the kind of track testing that would warrant some bragging rights.

audi has been spending a lot of time at nrburgring nordschleife

[Images: Audi]

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