Audi Sport GmbH: High-performance Models Made by quattro

“Today, our brand is mature enough to offer complete vehicles in the exclusive niche segment.”
— Rudolf Gölz, former Managing Director of quattro GmbH, 1995 to 1998

[source: Audi AG]

quattro GmbH systematically pursued the path of exclusive vehicle individualization and became a vehicle manufacturer in its own right in 1996. Under the motto “Experience individuality – Experience sportiness – Enjoy exclusivity,” the Audi subsidiary presented its first high-performance model at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of the same year: the Audi S6 plus. “Today, our brand is mature enough to offer complete vehicles in the exclusive niche segment,” says Rudolf Gölz, Managing Director of quattro GmbH from 1995 to 1998, on the occasion of the premiere in Switzerland.

The Audi S6 plus is based on the eight-cylinder model of the Audi S6 production model, which is offered in four variants. “Project Q1” is the internal name of the joint effort between quattro GmbH and AUDI AG. The Audi S6 plus was launched as a sedan and an Avant. Its eight-cylinder engine is based on the 4.2-liter powerplant of the Audi S6 4.2.

The engine developers at quattro GmbH are giving it a thorough performance makeover: they have taken the rotary valve intake manifold from the Audi A8 4.2 quattro. Combined with a larger mass air flow sensor and an optimized exhaust system, it improves the gas flow. The intake camshafts in the Audi S6 plus operate with increased lift and timing. The valve lash adjustment, which was previously hydraulicly operated in the standard concept, is now actuated mechanically on the intake side to increase performance. The compression ratio was raised from 10.8 to 11.6. A new control unit with adapted map data ensures the correct engine management and perfect interaction between the eight-cylinder engine and the six-speed manual transmission, which has a shorter ratio from third gear when compared to the standard model.

The increase in power from 213 to 240 kW (290 to 326 hp) is clearly reflected in the performance figures: The Audi S6 plus reaches 100 km/h from a standstill in 5.6 seconds. Its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). As was the case for all subsequent models, the standard for all quattro GmbH vehicles, the Audi S6 plus and Audi S6 plus Avant were offered exclusively with quattro permanent all-wheel drive from the outset.

Visual distinguishing features of the Audi S6 plus made by quattro GmbH were the 17-inch light-alloy wheels in a 6-spoke design, the black-painted frame of the Audi radiator grille and other accents in black. Also: the distinctive emblem placed at the front and rear, consisting of a red Audi rhombus combined with a blue and silver bar. Compared with its standard counterpart, the Avant model of the Audi S6 plus also has a roof spoiler with an integrated brake light. Exclusive leather/Alcantara upholstery in three different color combinations and a variety of extravagant interior details, such as the instrument insert available in blue, light gray and anthracite, provide the special plus ambience in the interior of the sedan and Avant.