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HomeCar TalkBuilt For Speed

Built For Speed

8 min read
These special models pull out all the stops when it comes to delivering performance.

AUDI RS 7 SPORTBACK

One thing about the brand with the four circles is that they never shy away from extrapolating from their existing product lines towards new, exciting models.
Such is the case with the all-new Audi RS 7 Sportback, which parlays the handsome A7 into an awe-inspiring, tarmac-burning, heart-pumping V8 twin turbo monster that pumps out 600 horsepower and a neck-breaking 800Nm in torque.

Drum roll, please — the Sportback can get you from standstill to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds. Yes, faster than you can say its name!

At the heart of this high-performance model is a 4.0 TFSI machine that marries power with efficiency. Its mild hybrid system (MHEV) incorporates a belt alternator starter that can can recover up to 12kW of power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. Furthermore, ‘cylinder on demand’ (COD) is a system that helps the vehicle with efficiency. Depending on the load and engine speed, the RS 7 Sportback can shut down select cylinders to improve fuel consumption. When the accelerator pedal is depressed again, the dormant cylinders fire up. Each switchover takes mere milliseconds, and is virtually undetectable by the driver and passengers.

Audi’s famous quattro permanent all-wheel drive found here is optimised with the eight-speed tiptronic transmission. Drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio via the purely mechanical centre differential. Where there is loss of grip at any of the wheels, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70% can flow to the front wheels and up to 85% to the back wheels.

Of course, all this power is not much use without control. Being an RS, the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is tuned specifically to suit the RS 7, enabling the car to maintain stability at speed. The new air spring module, with a spring rate 50% higher than the first-generation RS 7 Sportback (which was not offered in Singapore). The sport air suspension can be set to three modes and includes automatic level control.

In addition, the sporty grand tourer is also equipped with dynamic all-wheel steering, where the rear wheels can turn as much as five degrees in the opposite direction relative to the front to help reduce turning radius, thus increasing the car’s agility.

The new Audi RS 7 Sportback looks as good as it goes. The car has a wider stance — 40mm wider than the Audi A7 Sportback — with flared wheel arches that emphasise its athletic nature. RS-specific exterior includes elements such as a broad, flat Singleframe, radiator protective grille with three-dimensional honeycomb structure in gloss black, and large front air inlets with vertical fins in gloss black for that added aggressive styling.

Sporty accents continue inside as well, with the interior design language featuring taut, sinewy surfaces with defined contours. The upper MMI touch response display blends seamlessly into the black-panelled environment. Drivers can call up the upper RS monitor to check on things such as drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces, and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures.

RS sport seats upholstered with perforated Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing is the most premium combination possible, and they come standard for Singapore. The multifunction, flat-bottomed steering wheel is wrapped in RS sport leather, and comes with large RS aluminium shift paddles.

One nice touch is that the Audi Sport emblem is projected onto the ground each time the front and rear doors are open. Not that you’d forget, but it’s a reassurance that you’ve just driven one of the most powerful and exciting sports sedans on the roads in Singapore.

PRICE  $583,000 (WITH COE)

ENGINE  3,996CC TFSI V8 TWIN TURBO PETROL WITH MHEV AND QUATTRO PERMANENT ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

TRANSMISSION  8-SPEED TIPTRONIC

POWER  600HP

TORQUE  800NM

0–100KM/H  3.6 SECONDS

DISTRIBUTOR  AUDI SINGAPORE (Tel: 6836 2223)

SUBARU BRZ

Subaru has long been known to build cars that combine performance with unmitigated driving fun. The 2022 version of the sporty Subaru BRZ is an unadulterated manifestation of this approach.

Subaru put together a finely balanced sports car that has the brand’s racing DNA written throughout. The powerful 228hp 2.4-litre horizontally opposed engine powers the rear-wheel drive machine that’s also highlighted by its super-low centre-of-gravity stance, precision steering, and the ability to take two extra passengers in the rear seats.

The Subaru BOXER’s unique platform allows the new BRZ to have a centre of gravity that’s lower than previous iterations, and on par with exotic hyper cars. Together with higher torsional rigidity in its high-strength body structure, the car is also easy to drive and incredibly nimble. Front lateral bending rigidity is increased 60% from the previous model to improve turn-in and response. Additionally, the front suspension features custom-designed MacPherson-type struts to optimise the low hood line while retaining a long stroke for ideal handling and ride quality. The double wishbone rear suspension system provides outstanding bump absorption to enhance tyre grip over a range of surfaces. Through the standard Vehicle Stability Control traction and stability system, the BRZ offers drivers five different settings to suite preferences and driving situations.

In spite of its racing profile, the car also offers some drive elements in practicality. The 2+2 seating configuration creates space in the boot for carrying a bicycle and golf clubs. The latest BRZ is slightly longer than its predecessor, and half an inch lower, which lends itself to a lower front that is set off by its large functional air intakes. The narrow greenhouse — the area where the rear windshield, rear and side windows, the pillar separating them, and the roof — accentuates the bold flare of the fenders. The “double bubble” appearance of the roofline is a nod to racing cars of yesteryears.For 2022, the new customisable seven-inch digital dashboard is the focal point inside. The display also features a programmable meter that can change to show amps, water temperature, or a g-meter. If you decide to take the BRZ to the track, placing the display in track mode automatically shifts to a linear graph with a colour display that allows for a quick read, allowing the driver to focus on the road.

Other improved driver amenities include the eight-inch infotainment touch screen in the centre stack that features Subaru Starlink multimedia systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through Bluetooth is on tap, and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology lets you enjoy all aspects of the car with the highest levels of safety and driveability.

PRICE  TO BE DETERMINED

ENGINE  2,387CC 4-CYLINDER HORIZONTALLY OPPOSED 16-VALVE DOHC PETROL

TRANSMISSION  6-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH PADDLE SHIFTERS; 6-SPEED MANUAL

POWER  234PS @ 7,000RPM

TORQUE  250NM @ 3,700RPM

0–100KM/H  6.9/6.3 SECONDS (AUTOMATIC/MANUAL)

DISTRIBUTOR  MOTOR IMAGE ENTERPRISES PTE LTD (Tel: 3129 2838)

RENAULT MEGANE R.S.

We can’t all be F1 drivers, but we can always dream. The other thing we can do is to drive a car that has a connection with the sport. Enter the Renault Megane R.S.The sports model from the French automaker leverages from Renault’s Formula 1 Team’s expertise to deliver a solid, performance-oriented car that was created from a renowned motorsport pedigree.

Right from the façade, the aerodynamic front blade already reflects the brand’s involvement with the epitome of motor racing. Uniquely, the R.S. vision multi-reflector LED lights to the side of this front blade boldly features four lighting modules that increases visibility at low-light situations. Renault’s new LED Pure Vision sculpted C-shaped signature headlights, combined with R.S. vision daytime-running illumination, and the new 3D LED rear lights with scrolling indicators ensure that you’re always visible on the road.

Viewed from the side, the racy wing-mounted air extractors channel flow through the wheel arches. Aerodynamic efficiency is given a further shot in the arm by the built-in Renault sport diffuser in the rear, with vertical vents that increase downforce and improve lateral air flow. The 19-inch wheels are also evident from the side, as is the view of the ultra-sporty interlagos alloy rims with tyre pressure monitor, and the Grey Brembo front brake calipers.Under the hood, the 1.8-litre turbo engine is mated to a six-speed auto Efficient Dual Clutch transmission, and is capable of delivering 296hp. Paddle shifters with the multi-gear downshift function offer drivers the ability to take gear-shifting into their own hands. Driving stability and road holding is enhanced by the 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system with rally-inspired Four Hydraulic Compression Stops. And Renault’s MULTI-SENSE and R.S. Drive customisable driving modes help add to the driveability of the car in varying situations.

Renault offers a touch of luxury inside with the Alcantara Sport bucket front seats. The R.S. logo, together with leather trims and contrasting red and silver stitching, sets the car apart. Throughout the cockpit, the carbon-effect interior trimmings reflect the muscular nature of the car, while the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster can be fully customised to the driver’s visual preferences. Infotainment is accessed through the 9.3-inch colour touchscreen, which also has a customisable display, while the BOSE Premium Sound System with its nine speakers and subwoofer helps you enjoy your favourite tunes on the road.The new Renault Megane R.S. comes in five different colours — Tonic Orange, Pearl White, Sirius Yellow, Titanium Grey, and Diamond Black — that should meet anyone’s fancy.

PRICE  $233,999 (WITH COE)

ENGINE  1,798CC TURBOCHARGED PETROL

TRANSMISSION  6-SPEED EFFICIENT DUAL CLUTCH

POWER  296HP @ 6,000RPM

TORQUE  420NM @ 3,200RPM

0–100KM/H  5.7 SECONDS

DISTRIBUTOR  RENAULT SINGAPORE (Tel: 6471 3313)

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