AUDI

AUDI RS 7 SPORTBACK RS 7 TFSI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph3.6s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2278 g/km

The second generation Audi A7 Sportback has been carefully but comprehensively updated, with smarter styling, revised engines, a hi-tech all-digital cockpit and a range of intelligent driver assistance systems. It's still a beautifully constructed thing but now offers just that little bit more polish in the face of some very talented rivals.

HATCHING A SMARTER PLAN

Audi's A7 Sportback offers a smarter, more unique option to Executive segment buyers and the Ingolstadt maker has put a lot of effort into updating this second generation version. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The second generation Audi A7 Sportback has been carefully but comprehensively updated, with smarter styling, revised engines, a hi-tech all-digital cockpit and a range of intelligent driver assistance systems. It's still a beautifully constructed thing but now offers just that little bit more polish in the face of some very talented rivals.

Background

You might think that a full-sized Executive car - say something like an Audi A6, a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class - was a pretty desirable thing. Buyers in this segment though, don't always agree, which is why in recent times, so many of them have drifted away into up-market SUVs and crossovers. In response over the last few years, the prestige brands have produced more dynamic and individual four and five-door designs to sell alongside their standard executive models. Here's Audi's offering, a much improved second generation A7 Sportback. As before, the underpinnings feature some of Audi's more exclusive technology, the kind of thing you'd find in the brand's luxury segment A8 saloon. This car though can be more efficient than any A8. That'll be important for business segment buyers, but I've a suspicion that it's technology that'll really sell them this car. Much of this is optional of course, but if you tick the right boxes for things like the hi-tech Matrix headlights and the advanced autonomous driving and connectivity technology, this car really can be state of the art.

Driving Experience

A7 Sportback buyers choose between four engines. There's a 204PS four cylinder TDI engine in the '40 TDI' version, offered with either front wheel drive or quattro 4WD. Then there's a 340PS 3.0 TFSI petrol unit in the '55 TFSI' variant, which comes mated to a 7-speed S tronic auto gearbox. Many customers though, will want either the 231PS '45 TDI' or the 286PS '50 TDI' variants, both of which use a 3.0-litre diesel using Audi's MHEV mild hybrid technology, this unit mated to 8-speed tiptronic auto transmission. Both six cylinder derivatives feature quattro 4WD and buyers choose between four suspension options, including updated adaptive air suspension that makes the car feel supple and luxurious during cruising without curbing its ability to iron out more challenging roads. Through the corners, you'll appreciate a new 'Progressive steering' system, which features a ratio that becomes more direct as lock is applied. And for optimal ability through the switchbacks and increased lower-speed manoeuvrability, dynamic all-wheel-steering is also available from the options list, as is the quattro sport differential which actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels for maximum cornering adjustability. As usual with Audi models, there's a 'drive select' driving modes system that activates different drive profiles that tweak steering, throttle response, steering feel and ride characteristics. Audi says that this time round, the differentiation between comfort and dynamic options is more pronounced than in the previous model.

Design and Build

With its large surfaces, sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, the second generation A7 Sportback draws inspiration from the Audi prologue concept study that spearheaded the introduction of the latest Audi design language. Like the larger A8 saloon, one of this model's key defining features is a flat light strip which creates a continuous light pattern across the rear. The digital cabin's completely new and very futuristic, with a sleek instrument panel adding to the feeling of airy spaciousness. Compared with the previous model, interior length has increased by 21 millimetres, resulting in more rear knee room. Rear passengers also enjoy more head room. A three-seat rear bench is standard for UK models, and when its backrest is fully stowed, the luggage compartment capacity expands from 535-litres to a generous 1,390-litres. As with the A8, the communications hub of this A7 Sportback is Audi's latest MMI touch response' operating package which is based around 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower touchscreen displays which appear to blend into the dashboard when switched off. The two large, high resolution touch displays replace the rotary controller and satellite button system used by the previous model. They provide haptic and acoustic feedback as confirmation when a fingertip triggers a function.

Market and Model

Prices square up fairly closely to rival BMW's 6 Series GT and Mercedes Benz CLS models, starting at around £47,000. There's a choice of two trim levels, 'Sport' and 'S line'. The specification is appropriately high, with LED front and rear lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather-upholstered seats with full electric adjustment upfront, LED ambient interior lighting and the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit all supplied as standard. The infotainment set-up is Audi's top 'MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch' system, which features the Audi Smartphone Interface and the Audi Phone Box system, which includes wireless charging for QI-enabled compatible phones. The list of electronic driver assistants features the 'Audi Parking System Plus' set-up with rear-view camera. In addition, you get the Audi Pre-sense Front collision warning and automatic braking system and Lane Departure Warning. 'S line' specification ramps up the visual appeal even further with 20-inch alloy wheels, HD Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators, sport suspension and S line-specific body styling. Inside, the front sport seats are upholstered in leather and Alcantara and there's 'S line'-specific interior detailing.

Cost of Ownership

A core component of the standard technology package fitted to all A7 Sportback models is the mild hybrid drivetrain (MHEV) engineering made possible by the newly introduced 48-volt primary electrical system. At speeds of between 34 and 99mph, it enables the V6 engines to be deactivated and the A7 Sportback to coast in freewheeling mode. The Belt Alternator Starter re-fires the engine smoothly and comfortably after coasting, and is capable of channelling up to 12kW of energy back into the lithium ion battery during recuperative braking. The start-stop function has also been significantly expanded and now activates at 13mph. In combination with the standard front camera, the engine is restarted predictively while at a standstill as soon as the vehicle ahead begins to move. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres every 62 miles. As a result, the volume 2.0-litre 40 TDI diesel version manages 60.1mpg on the combined cycle and 122g/km of CO2. The 3.0-litre '50 TDI' diesel variant can manage up to 39.8mpg on the combined cycle and up to 186g/km of CO2. For the alternative 3.0-litre petrol-powered '55 TFSI' model, the figures on 19-inch wheels are 36.2mpg and 176g/km.

Summary

This second generation Audi A7 Sportback is clearly a car that a massive amount of thought and development budget has been ploughed into. It's a very considered thing, a car which pushes boundaries with its styling and engine technology but which feels reassuringly familiar to drive. The latest model improves the oily bits while at the same time keeping the look fresh and the technology indoors bang up to date. Every part of this car has been designed with a thoroughness that's deeply impressive, if sometimes rather clinical. Of course, the end result is hardly inexpensive - and you'll need to spend plenty on options to fully sharpen its driving manners. Still, if that's not an issue, then you're likely to find this A7 very desirable indeed. It is perhaps the definitive expression of how Audi wants you to perceive its brand. Not all executive decisions should be difficult. Here's one you should enjoy making.

  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Rain and light sensors
  • Privacy glass with rear/side windows and acoustic glazing side windows

  • High performance braking system
  • Hill hold assist
  • Electronic stability control
  • Electronic Differential Lock
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Anti-slip regulation traction control
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Electromechanical parking brake

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • Voice control system
  • Audi smartphone interface
  • Audi phone box with wireless charging
  • Bluetooth interface
  • Audi connect safety and service (e-call)

  • Dynamic all wheel steering
  • Audi drive select with efficiency
  • Rear view camera
  • Audi parking system plus with front and rear sensors
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Electro-mechanical Power Assisted Steering

  • Automatic start/stop system
  • Operating buttons in black, glass look with haptic feedback including extended aluminium look
  • Power operated tailgate

  • Fatigue detection system
  • Audi Virtual Cockpit with RS specific design and 12.3" display
  • MMI navigation with MMI touch + twin touch screens 10.1" and 8.6" with haptic and acoustic feedback
  • Service indicator

  • Frameless auto dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Aluminium exterior mirror housings
  • Electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED side indicators and kerb view function for passenger side

  • 73 litre fuel tank

  • USB/iPod connection
  • DAB digital radio module
  • Audi sound system
  • Audi music interface
  • Auxiliary input socket

  • Front spoiler, front side flaps and rear diffuser in Matt aluminium
  • Illuminated door sill trims with RS lettering
  • Radiator grille in honeycomb structure, large front air inlets and rear diffuser in gloss black
  • Rear spoiler (Electrically extendable depending on speed)
  • Front and rear wheel arch extensions
  • RS front bumper with air inlets on both side
  • Matt aluminium window trims

  • HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light with dynamic light design and dynamic turn signal
  • LED rear combination lamps with dynamic light design and dynamic turn signal
  • Headlight washers

  • 4 zone deluxe automatic climate control

  • Valcona leather upholstery with perforated honeycomb and RS lettering
  • Black cloth headlining
  • 12V power points in front + rear centre consoles
  • Aluminium gear shift paddles
  • Jack and tool kit
  • Electric adjustable steering column
  • Front centre armrest
  • Stainless steel footrest and pedals
  • 3 spoke RS flat bottomed leather multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, heated funtion, contrast stitching, RS mode button and RS emblem

  • Audi Sport logo projection (Audi Beam) in front and rear

  • Air quality package - RS7
  • Extended LED Interior multi coloured light pack - RS7
  • Storage pack - RS7
  • Matte aluminium exterior styling pack - RS7

  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Direct tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Audi pre-sense front
  • Airbags - Front side, front and rear including head
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats

  • Electrically adjustable front seats - driver seat with memory
  • Heated front seats
  • Front and rear head restraints
  • Front seat ventilation
  • 4-way electric lumbar support
  • ISOFIX child seat mounting and Top Tether with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • RS sports seats

  • Anti theft alarm with tow away protection
  • Keyless Go

  • Towbar preparation

  • Quattro sports differential

  • Tyre mobility system

  • CO2 (g/km): 261
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 280
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 291
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 278

  • Engine Code: 4KARCA
  • CC: 3996
  • Cylinders: 8
  • Cylinder Layout: V8
  • Number of Valves: 32
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 23
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 23
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 22.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 12.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 12.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 12.8

  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 50E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 600
  • Badge Engine CC: 4.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: RS7
  • Coin Description: TFSI Quattro
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 600
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.6
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 441
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 590
  • Engine Torque - NM: 800
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2000
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 81.6

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Front: 275/35 R21
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 10 V SPOKE STAR
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/35 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY

  • Length: 5009
  • Width (including mirrors): 2118
  • Height: N
  • Height (including roof rails): 1424
  • Wheelbase: 2930

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 535
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1390
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2065
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2735
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 73
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 670

  • RS Ceramic brakes with brake callipers in anthracite: £9,200
  • RS Steel brakes with brake callipers in red gloss: £520
  • RS steel brakes with black brake callipers: Included

  • 4 Corner RS air suspension sport version with electronic shock absorption control: Included
  • RS Sports suspension plus with dynamic ride control: £1,300

  • Camera based road sign recognition: Included
  • Cruise control system with speed limiter: Included

  • Carbon twill inlays: £780
  • Dark matt brushed aluminium inlay: £0
  • Fine grain ash natural grey brown inlay: £780
  • Race dark aluminium inlays: Included

  • Speed limiter 174mph: £1,550

  • Rear sports exhaust system with gloss black oval tailpipe: £1,450
  • Panoramic glass sunroof: £1,750
  • Audi exclusive matt paint: £6,000
  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Pearlescent paint: £0
  • Solid paint: £0
  • Crystal effect paint: £1,650
  • Audi exclusive paint: £3,000

  • Leatherette upper instrument panel and door shoulders: Included

  • City assist pack - RS7: £1,375
  • Full Leather pack - RS7: £1,000
  • Tour pack - RS7: £1,950

  • Metallic - Navarra blue: £0
  • Metallic - Floret silver: £0
  • Metallic - Mythos black: £0
  • Metallic - Tango red: £0
  • Metallic - Glacier white: £0

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £0

  • Solid - Nardo grey: £0

  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £3,000
  • Crystal - Sebring black: £1,650
  • Audi Exclusive Matt - Custom: £6,000

  • Rear side airbags: £475

  • Valcona leather - Black with black stitching, centre panels in honeycomb stitching, upper seat side bolsters in alcantara + RS embossing: £0
  • Valcona leather - Black with rock grey stitching, centre panels in honeycomb stitching, upper seat side bolsters in alcantara + RS embossing: £0
  • Valcona leather - Cognac brown with granite grey stitching, centre panels in honeycomb stitching, upper seat side bolsters in alcantara + RS embossing: £0

  • 21" 10 V spoke star design in galvano silver alloy wheels: Included
  • 22" 10 spoke design in galvano silver alloy wheels: £2,000

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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