It was music to my ears when the MTM engineer turned to me and said, "We increased the power yesterday to 730 hp from 702. You're the first to try it." Poor me.
You have to hand it to Motoren Technik Mayer. The outfit may be perfectly sized to take on the current worldwide economic rigor mortis and seize upon those several thousand eternally rich and oblivious. Following the recent 553-hp MTM R8, boss Roland Mayer aimed his shop kids at the burly C6 RS6 Avant and tossed them some modified turbochargers to throw into the engine bay. Chief challenge for the new RS6 Avant is its massive mass of 4,464 pounds. How do you enhance this Monster of Momentum yet make sure it's still a docile pet that's good with children?
One sure-fire approach is to give the 5.0-liter TFSI bi-turbo V10 in the RS6 Avant 149 more horses and 100 lb-ft more torque to drastically improve the power-to-weight ratio. The standard RS6 Avant reads 7.82 pounds per horse, while the MTM surgery changes that to a mere 6.20 pounds per. While maximum torque, 479 lb-ft on the factory car, can stay flat and full from 1500 to 6250 rpm, the RS6 R begs higher revs with its 579 lb-ft full-on between 2750 and 6280 rpm. Acceleration to 62 mph improves from the standard car's 4.6 seconds to 4.3, and top speed is comfortably let out to 193 mph versus the standard car's limited 155. More muscle to hoist things around with more authority is what I'm getting at.
Another secret lies in a more strict suspension setup to keep the RS6 firmly on the right track. Rather than stay put with the stock adaptive suspension and the optional sport suspension plus which mediates Comfort, Dynamic and Sport settings via onboard software, MTM has chucked all that and drilled the chassis to accept some supremely strong, ten-level-adjustable KW coilover dampers in back and an adjustable screw plate also developed by KW for the front towers. The simple frontal setup allows an adjustment range between 0.4 and 1.6 inches lower than stock, while in back the range is between 0.6 and 1.8 inches lower. My car was set up to the minimum chop, so not so much scraping over the ground.
The ride, with the huge 10.5x21-inch cast Bimoto alloys wearing sturdy 285/30 Michelin Pilot Sport Radial X tires, was a welcome shot of terrific responsiveness at all moments, both tracks widened by an eighth of an inch at each corner using spacers. Couple this wider contact patch and stance to an increase in front-end camber by 1.5 degrees at each wheel, and the standard 2.25 turns lock-to-lock, the RS6 R drives at times like a sports car half the weight and height.
Power and torque pounce up primarily due to the standard RS6 IHI turbochargers now modified to improve maximum boost pressure to 20.3 psi from the standard boost of 10.2. Working with ITG on an all-new air filter system for the intakes, clean, cool air flows much more rapidly to feed the need.
"Under that hood," says MTM development director Michael Weber, "there's almost no room for this modification using existing alternatives." The intake tube and filter phase basically wrap around the V10 and the execution is flawless. Once all is combusted and hurrying toward the tail of the underbody, the new performance exhaust bazookas from Top Gear, attached to a re-bent exhaust from an Audi S6, boom the good news across the landscape.
In an interesting less-is-more move, MTM switched out the ample 16.5-inch front discs and six-pot calipers for its own proven 15.9-inch drilled and granulated compound stoppers with customized Brembo six-pot monoblock calipers. These units stop like nuts, but the action is smooth.
As MTM normally does more or less nothing to its interiors, I'm left scanning the exterior for signs of change I can believe in. Luckily, there's a carbon-fiber front spoiler lip and a carbon rear diffuser, both of which add to the lowered car's low-down street cred and high-speed stability out on the autobahn.