Audi Sport head of technical development Stephan Reil says the official performance figures for the German automaker’s new RS5 are conservative, and there’s a few tenths of performance built into the numbers so as not to disappoint automotive journalists and keen customers, reports CarAdvice.
Reil made his comments during an interview with the magazine at the early July launch of the 2018 Audi RS5.
“I’ve been in this job for nearly 20 years, and with all the cars I’ve worked on, the performance numbers we published were conservative. And it’s no different with the latest RS5,” says the technical boss.
“So, if we say 3.9 seconds, you will measure, maybe, 3.7 if the conditions are fine, probably 3.8, but even under the worst conditions, you’ll do it in 3.9 seconds. But you will not find a 4.0.”
Reil says Audi does not want to see car magazines complaining its cars cannot match official performance figures, so it gives itself some buffer room, allowing for varying levels of driver skill, road or track surface conditions, atmospheric conditions, and altitude—all factors which can affect vehicle performance.
“The reason we are conservative with these numbers is simple. I simply don’t want to hear you guys write ‘well, they claim 3.9, but we got 4.0.’”
“I don’t want to read that.”
Audi is not the only automaker that stands accused of understating its performance figures. Porsche is commonly thought to publish significantly under-rated vehicle performance numbers, as are BMW and Ferrari.
For this reason, car magazines often better automakers’ official performance figures during independent testing, thus introducing a second, unofficial set of performance figures by which to compare cars against.