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Audi has always been known for cars that have a sharp edgy design and understated levels of performance.
Following the recent introduction of Audi’s S6, S7 Sportback and S8 sports performance models, Audi opted to take a bunch of us journalists for a drive up the North-South Highway to let us to experience the true potential of the Audi S cars in ways that our congested 90km/h-limit roads will never allow.
Even with the introduction of the respective range topping Audi S and RS models, the German carmaker has kept aesthetic differences subtle. Tell-tale S or RS badges on the front grill and rear boot lid aside, one would need a keen eye to spot the split rear exhaust, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, large S or RS brake callipers and brush aluminium side-mirror covers.
Under the bonnet though, is where the Audi S and RS models distinguish themselves with the application of race developed technology like quattro all-wheel drive transmission and Audi ultra lightweight body construction. For the stars of this story, the Audi S6, S7 Sportback and S8, a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 sits snugly under the bonnet.
Four cars: the Audi S6, S7 Sportback, S8 and RS5 were available for our ‘sampling’ during the 750 kilometre drive to and from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. This gave us ample opportunity to get a chance to drive each of the four cars and get a taste of what they each had to offer. The S6, S7 and S8 might have got the same 4.0-litre powerplant, but each car had very unique characters.
My drive started out in the S6 and after crossing customs, the opportunity to open up the throttle on the highway proved too much to resist and I finally got a taste of what these Audi S cars are capable of as the speedometer quickly achieved three digit figures and stayed there. Unlike our tame 90km/h speed limit roads in Singapore, Audi’s S models have been engineered to push speeds in multiples of our Singaporean speed limits on the German autobahn, with a level of safely and security that is fitting for a luxury sports sedan. These cars may have been built light, but they’re also built stronger and more rigid with a combination of lightweight materials like aluminium. In this ‘sampling’ we’re nowhere near the cars’ natural habitat, but we’re on a way more expansive proving ground than the whole of Singapore has to offer.
Instead of taking the direct route up to Kuala Lumpur, we opted to take on the maze-like B roads through the peninsula’s numerous plantations. Rising crests, steep descents, blind corners and mazy s-curves through single lane roads made for an excellent proving ground. Traffic on those roads hardly posed a problem too as the pace of these cars made overtaking a cinch. (Disclaimer: always make sure that the opposite side of the road is clear before attempting to overtake. Never do so when you have limited vision of the road ahead)