- This special Audi has an incredible 1018 hp!
- No energy recovery when braking
- Getting involved in Formula E pays off
This special Audi has an incredible 1018 hp!
The 1018 PS strong Abt RS6-E is based on the Audi RS6 Avant, which has a standard output of 560 PS
Source: Stefan Anker
Faster thanks to battery operation: the Abt RS6-E could usher in a new era for performance cars. It has an unbelievable 1018 hp. An acceleration test at an airport in the Allgau.
M.ut doesn’t do any of that here. "At no point in time are people allowed to stay within the vehicle fund!" Or also: “The vehicle may only be driven if there is no dust, no moisture and no salt on the road surface.” Welcome to the world of prototypes, they can be quite dangerous.
On the other hand: Everyone who is responsible for this one-off, the Abt RS6-E based on an Audi RS6 Avant, make a very relaxed impression. Possibly because really no moisture is to be expected on the roadway in this summer of the century.
The green and black foiled RS6-E is available for testing on a side area of the Memmingen airport in the Allgau, but you can only drive it straight ahead. The dead straight test track is 1.1 kilometers long, 850 meters of which are approved for an acceleration drive that has never been seen before. Because only at first glance is the RS6-E a normal hybrid.
The hybrid drive in the Abt is neither about minimizing consumption nor about purely electric driving, but only about the kick during kickdown
Source: Stefan Anker
"Abt stands for sport," says managing director Hans-Jurgen Abt, whose company has made a name for itself as the biggest tuner for VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda, as a DTM racing team and now also as a victorious team in Formula E. That is no contradiction to the company’s 120-year history, says Hans-Jurgen Abt, “Electromobility can be limitless fun ".
In fact, the RS6-E was designed as a fun and spurt mobile, reducing consumption was not intended when developing this hybrid. What makes it so unique can be seen when accelerating at full throttle from a standing start: the electric motor, otherwise always used at the beginning in hybrids, does not move.
The V8 petrol engine itself already has 730 hp and 920 Newton meters of torque and can reach 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds. And only now, exactly when the 100 mark is exceeded, does the electric motor come into play. It has to be activated by the driver, which is done by pressing a bright green button on the steering wheel, and then 1018 hp and 1291 Newton meters are available in one fell swoop.
No energy recovery when braking
It only works from 100 km / h, because the incredible power of the overall system would otherwise bend the car’s drive shafts. But if you expect that pressing the green button at 100 km / h would kick in the back as if the unbelievable Hulk were sitting on the back seat, you are wrong. Not only because nobody is allowed to sit in the back, but also because the development of power begins with gentle pressure, which is sustainable.
You can feel that the car is pulling its last aces out of its sleeve, but it doesn’t feel like a brute boost, rather the additional power simply extends the already strong acceleration experience – felt into infinity. Normally a car runs out of breath the faster it gets, but that is not the case with the Abt RS6-E.
The car pushes and pushes and pushes until – much too early – the 850 meter mark is reached and you have to take off the gas. 238 km / h, it would go up to 320, then the RS6-E is governed, as Abt says.
Hans-Jurgen Abt is firmly convinced: "Electromobility can be unlimited fun"
Source: Stefan Anker
The question is: why is it all? Why cut out part of the cardan shaft and use a 70 centimeter long tubular motor? Why configure it so that it can only boost for ten, a maximum of 15 seconds? Why construct a hybrid whose batteries have a lot of capacity (13.6 kilowatt hours), but which never needs to be plugged in because it is charged while driving?
The batteries benefit from the enormous power of the internal combustion engine, which it rarely uses in full. In short: there is no energy recovery when braking or coasting, but whenever the accelerator pedal is depressed less than 75 percent, energy flows back into the batteries.
Even if project manager Peter Haberle says that the 537 kW V8 only uses ten kilowatts for charging: Ultimately, gasoline fills the batteries, but that’s not yet a stroke of genius in terms of efficiency.
Getting involved in Formula E pays off
But it shouldn’t be. Hans-Jurgen Abt wants to “make a premium vehicle even sexier”, that’s what tuning is generally about. And the requirement here was to use electrical engineering. "My father always said you had to keep up with the times," says Abt. "We don’t look into the past, we just talk about the future."
That is why Hans-Jurgen Abt, of all people, in whose veins one can assume a large proportion of gasoline, had an electrically powered VW Caddy developed as early as 2009, as well as a van based on a VW bus with an electric motor. Right at the beginning of 2014, Abt also competed in Formula E. Committed, with success: In the 2016/17 season the team from Kempten im Allgau won the title for the first time with the Brazilian Audi works driver Lucas di Grassi, a year later di Grassi came second, for which Abt Sportsline won the team championship.
As it turned out, the step into electrically powered formula racing was exactly the right one, because Formula E is growing and thriving. The Abt team has now been converted into an Audi works team (with Hans-Jurgen Abt as boss), works teams from BMW and Mercedes will join the team next season, and Porsche will follow in 2019/2020.
Gloria von Thurn and Taxis
"Feeling a lot of horsepower is an incredibly sensual experience"
So when motorsport is becoming more and more electric, tuned sports cars can also experiment with electrical engineering. However, Hans-Jurgen Abt has no intention of ever having the RS6-E go into series production. This car is just a test balloon, a rock in the water and also a signal to the competition: Look, we can use a set of batteries and an electric motor not only to reduce consumption, but also to increase performance and the driving experience.
And who knows, maybe at some point the efficiency can be reconciled with the tuning measure. "Our core competence is control units," says project manager Haberle, "in this case we had to integrate everything into the Audi on-board network."
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It took seven months to develop and convert the prototype, and another three months were required for commissioning. "Then there was the testing department," says Haberle – the Abt people are also allowed to move the approved car on public roads, but this is not allowed for people outside the company.
If you want to see the RS6-E in action, you can do so on YouTube, the search words are “RS6-E” and “Daniel Abt”. The son of the company boss is a Formula E driver and introduces the souped-up Audi in about 15 minutes – the video received a million views within three weeks.
If you watch the good-humored Daniel Abt, you could consider the RS6-E to be a successful experiment. But if it were, if there weren’t any such warnings: "A failure of the electrical system can lead to an abrupt locking of the rear axle."
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