Audi has decided to break the gentlemen's agreement between the top luxury carmakers to limit top speeds to 250 km/h. The limited-edition RS6 Plus has its sights set on 280 km/h. Will Audi’s competitors follow suit?
Audi has decided to break the gentlemen's agreement between the top luxury carmakers to limit top speeds to 250 km/h, and the limited-edition RS6 Plus has its sights on 280 km/h. Will Audi’s competitors follow suit?
Until recently, there was a voluntary arrangement between volume carmakers Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, VW, BMW and Audi to electronically limit their cars to 250 km/h.
With the introduction of the RS6 Plus (available in saloon and estate versions), Audi plans to dump the status quo and limit the car to 280 km/h instead. The RS6 Plus follows on the RS6, recently introduced in South Africa, and will be produced as run-out model before production of the current A6 range ceases soon.
Rudi Venter, spokesperson for Audi SA, said the RS6 Plus would probably not make it to South Africa since the RS6 is already available on the local market.
"The current A6 is close to run-out and the RS6 Plus will be available in very limited quantities and probably in left hand drive only," Venter said.
Audi said that the advances it has made in roadholding and braking makes it possible to travel safely at higher speeds.
The dissolution of the agreement was alluded to in RS6 road test published in the January edition of CAR : "With safety systems ever improving, it seems only a matter of time before the so-called gentlemen's agreement is completely abolished."
In that test, the RS6 reached a top speed of 267 km/h, while in the November 2003 CAR Audi S4 road test it was able to reach a top speed of 265 km/h.
If limited to 280 km/h, the Audi RS6 Plus will officially be the fastest passenger car in the world. This in itself is not surprising considering that there has been an increasing demand by consumers worldwide for manufacturers to produce cars capable of achieving tremendous straight-line speed.
The 250 km/h limit was first used in 1987 with the introduction of BMW's V12 750i saloon. Though the car was able to go faster, BMW chose to restrict its speed and the other manufacturers followed suit.
The RS6 Plus could be a one off, but how long will it be before Munich-based manufacturer BMW and other carmakers institute higher electronic speed limits for their cars – or delimit them entirely?
When the next-generation BMW M5 is launched in the near future, it will be capable of producing at least 370 kW and 500 N.m of torque. Tyre capability permitting, the super saloon should be able to reach a top speed in the region of 300 km/h.
It’s also sobering to think what speeds the 450 kW twin-turbo V12-powered CL65 AMG would be capable of should Mercedes-Benz allow its Affalterbach-based AMG division to delimit the vehicle…
Original article from Car