Abt uses ethanol injection to create 1000hp RS7

Abt's Legacy Editions already had 820hp. Now it has something called Indirect Water Ethanol Injection too…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, 14 September 2023 / Loading comments

Sometimes it can feel like the universal advent of turbocharging made tuning all a bit too easy. Whack up the boost, get air in and out of the engine more efficiently and bob’s your uncle – gains. Chuck in bigger, lustier blowers and a chunkier intercooler and then you’re really on the way, and without necessarily touching internals. Of course, even that approach reaches its limit eventually, and it’ll be no surprise to discover that’s where Abt is with its RS6 and RS7 tuning. Did it stop there? No. Seemingly not content with 820hp from the RS6 and RS7 Legacy Editions, its version of the twin-turbo V8 has now been upped to 1,000hp. With a little help from ethanol.

Yep, innovation is the name of the game when it comes to making very powerful engines even more powerful again. So Abt has created something it’s calling IWI, or Indirect Water Ethanol Injection; it’s fitted ahead of the two throttle valves of each cylinder and managed by a newly developed Abt control unit. The ethanol keeps the engine cool, which means more air can be squeezed in to be combusted with the fuel. And we all know what more air and fuel leads to.

Thomas Biermanier, Abt’s MD, said of the tech: “The IWI technology offers us the thermodynamic advantages to be able to display the most enduring power output in these performance regions. Through IWI injection, we ensure very strong internal cooling of the engine. This allows more charge air or oxygen to be supplied for the combustion of the fuel, resulting in permanently higher performance”.

Now, of course, adding 20 per cent more power again to an engine already a third more potent than standard does require some additional hardware. For these 1,000hp LE conversions, Abt fits ‘optimised’ turbos, larger intercoolers and a carbon intake system. The internals of the 4.0-litre are beefed up, too, with low compression forged pistons, stronger conrods and piston pins, plus extra oil coolers. The ethanol is stored in a 15-litre tank in the boot, and the filler is under the usual fuel flap. Abt reckons it’ll need topping up every 3,000km or so, and has even gone as far as including an ethanol level in the myAbt app, so monitoring could hardly be easier. Naturally, Abt will be happy to supply you with more IWI fluid when you run out. 

As for actually deploying 1,000hp in an Audi Avant or four-door coupe, it’s all very Fast & Furious. And a bit fiddly, which is probably for the best – nobody wants an accidental 1,000hp. Drivers must be in either of the RS1 or RS2 individual drive modes, then hold down the RS button once more for a second to get the full monty. ‘With the IWI system activated, maximum performance is demanded from the vehicle with every spirited press of the accelerator pedal’. The autobahn won’t know what’s hit it.

This sort of prodigious power doesn’t come cheap, of course. Not least because 102RON fuel is needed for the full four figures, otherwise it’s 940hp on standard super. But also it’s €205,000. That buys the original Legacy Edition package plus the IWI on top – all the buyer needs to do is provide a current generation RS6 or RS7 to be transformed, and wait for their minds to be turned upside down. Peach paint not mandatory…

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