AUDI

AUDI RS 7 SPORTBACK RS 7 TFSI Quattro Vorsprung 5dr Tiptronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph3.6s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2290 g/km

The second generation version of Audi's RS 7 Sportback delivers a massive 600PS engine and puts that power through all four wheels to scuttle from standstill to 62mph in just 3.6 seconds. You'll pay nearly £100,000 for the privilege but the accompanying soundtrack might well be the clincher: pure V8 muscle car.

THE VERY FASTBACK

We know RS model Audis are a bit special but the RS 7 Sportback is something distinctly rare and extreme. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The second generation version of Audi's RS 7 Sportback delivers a massive 600PS engine and puts that power through all four wheels to scuttle from standstill to 62mph in just 3.6 seconds. You'll pay nearly £100,000 for the privilege but the accompanying soundtrack might well be the clincher: pure V8 muscle car.

Background

You never quite know what you're going to get with an RS-badged Audi. Some are excellent, others merely make great autobahn expresses while a few are just head-scratchingly patchy in their array of talents. Just lately, however, Audi has been on a decent run. The current RS 4 is one of the better examples of its vintage and the current fourth generation RS6 is the best example of a big, fast Audi estate to date. Minded of this slightly hit and miss record, we were a little curious to see quite how this second generation RS 7 would turn out. Even up against the likes of the Porsche Panamera GTS, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG and the BMW M8 Gran Coupe, this Audi appears to holds its own. The price stands up well and there's lots of new tech, including 48-volt mild hybrid electrical engineering for extra efficiency. And there's a new Launch Control system, plus wheel-selective torque control and a quattro sport differential that shifts drive torque between the rear wheels when cornering at speed. There's also a new five-link rear suspension design. Best of all, it's very fast. It's always reassuring to know that when you're spending this sort of money, you're buying something genuinely and demonstrably rapid.

Driving Experience

Like its predecessor, this second generation RS 7 uses a 4.0-litre TFSI V8, but this time round it's provided from the outset with 600PS and gains 48-volt mild hybrid tech. Best of all, it remains a thoroughbred powerplant in terms of character and sound, as 62mph flashes by in just 3.6s on the way to an artificially limited 155mph maximum. The driver can influence those aural fireworks by adjusting settings for the sports exhaust, one of the configurable elements you can influence, then programme into the car's customisable RS1 and RS2 drive modes. All of this power's controlled via an eight-speed tiptronic auto transmission with optimised shift times and a Launch Control function. Through the turns, the quattro 4WD system's Torsen differential pushes 60% of drive to the rear axle in normal conditions, though at the slightest sign of slip, up to 70% of torque can go frontwards, or up to 80% to the rear, depending on what's needed. As with the previous generation model, there's also a sport differential to vary torque across the rear axle; and wheel-selective torque control to maximise traction through the turns. Which should be all you need to ruin the day of that supercar driver behind. To this recipe, for this MK2 model, Audi Sport has further added a Dynamic all-wheel steering system, via which the rear wheels are steered in the same direction as the fronts at high speeds for greater stability. And there's air suspension on an RS 7 for the first time, with the other key change being the adoption of a variable-ratio 'Progressive' steering rack, which gives more direct responses to larger steering angles. But there's still not the kind of feel you'd ideally really want when pressing on at speed through tight turns.

Design and Build

So what exactly is this RS 7? As the second recipient of the 48-volt version of the brand's twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 (after the current RS 6), is this merely a version of that estate in a posh frock? Like its showroom counterpart, the RS 7 Sportback certainly looks perpetually ready to wield its sledgehammer performance - its sinewy body virtually hugs the road surface, and its sizeable wheels are shrouded by boldly flared arches that leave no margin for doubt about the mettle of this Audi Sport offering. Inside, there are grippy RS sport seats upholstered with perforated Valcona leather. And you're positioned comfortably in front of a perforated RS sport leather steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and multifunction buttons, including the RS MODE button, which the driver can use to enable the drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays on the Audi virtual cockpit instrument binnacle screen. These provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces. More screens sit on the centre stack, and the driver can use the upper one to call up an RS monitor that gives an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures. Unlike the previous generation RS 7, this one is provided with a three-seater rear bench in the interest of maximum versatility. When its split seat backs are folded down, up to 1,390-litres of luggage space can be made available, and when five adults are on board 535-litres remain at their disposal.

Market and Model

You'll need an £96,000 budget for this RS 7 Sportback - probably more like £100,000 once you've allowed for a few well chosen extras, so you're looking at a premium of around £30,000 over the already decidedly brisk S7 model. That's about the same as you'd pay for a rival BMW M850i Gran Coupe. Let's start with the outside. You get HD Matrix LED headlamps with the Audi laser light system and dynamic RS-specific turn signals; those dynamic turn signals also feature with the rear LED rear combination lamps. There are big 21-inch '10 spoke star' design alloy wheels with RS steel brakes and black brake calipers. Plus key engineering features include quattro four-wheel drive with a sports differential to vary torque across the rear axle; Dynamic all-wheel steering; and the Audi drive select driving modes system, complete with two customisable RS modes. The RS 7 interior does a decent job of justifying the car's pricing. The standard A7 feels genuinely special inside, with some beautiful design touches and real quality throughout. This gives the RS 7 a solid platform, which it builds on with Valcona leather heated and ventilated RS sports seats and expensive-looking aluminium detailing, with a flat bottomed Audi Sport steering wheel featuring powered adjustment and aluminium gearshift paddles. There's also stainless steel pedals, RS illuminated door sill trims and Audi Sport logo projection onto the ground when you open the doors at night. Finishing touches include a multi-coloured Extended LED Interior Lighting pack, a black cloth headliner and leatherette.

Cost of Ownership

There aren't too many options that you'll feel overly compelled to plump for, so you won't need to worry unduly about inflating the list price. Still, this remains an expensive car with a big petrol engine and that's usually a guarantee of scary residuals. The fact that it'll be likely to shed 40 per cent of its value over three years is just something that owners will have to accept with their eyes open at the time of purchase. It's certainly no worse than any of its key rivals. On other measure, the RS7 is actually remarkably good for a car with this power output and which weighs in at nearly two tonnes. A 23.2mpg combined fuel economy figure is far from catastrophic, although it will be tough to resist putting the turbos to work in earnest. In day to day motoring, you'd be pleased to break 20mpg. The carbon dioxide emissions best of 278g/km might also be something you could live with. It's certainly no worse than you'd get from, say, a Porsche Panamera GTS or a Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 4MATIC+.

Summary

The Audi RS 7 offers all the grip, composure and sheer brawn most will ever need. If you were looking for the last word in driver involvement, you may find it a little aloof, but then buyers of this class of car tend to realise that they're exercises in compromise, albeit artfully designed ones. It's not short of charisma and it makes all the right numbers but is there an x factor to this car that's present in the very best RS products from Ingolstadt? An x factor that's there in its sister car, the RS 6 Avant? That will likely be for you to decide, as these things are intensely personal. Audi has clearly gone about this car in a very correct manner. Some may see the RS 7's automatic gearbox as a less focused driver choice than the twin-clutch S-tronic transmission that's fitted to the S7, but to drive it is to realise the genius in the eight-speed auto's logic and execution. All the constituent ingredients seem to have been assembled but whether they hang together cohesively is a question that doesn't always disappear. Over to you.

  • 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
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Anti-slip regulation traction control
  • Electronic stability control
  • Electronic Differential Lock

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • RS Sports suspension plus with dynamic ride control

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

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

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

  • Fatigue detection system
  • Head up Display
  • Service indicator
  • 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

  • Electrically adjustable, heated and folding + automatically dimming exterior mirrors
  • Frameless auto dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Black door mirror housings

  • 73 litre fuel tank
  • Speed limiter 174mph

  • Audi music interface at rear
  • USB/iPod connection
  • Audi music interface
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • DAB digital radio module

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

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

  • 4 zone deluxe automatic climate control

  • Stainless steel footrest and pedals
  • Valcona leather upholstery with perforated honeycomb and RS lettering
  • Black cloth headlining
  • 12V power points in front + rear centre consoles
  • Aluminium gear shift paddles
  • Electric adjustable steering column
  • Front centre armrest
  • Jack and tool kit
  • 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
  • City assist pack - RS7
  • Extended LED Interior multi coloured light pack - RS7
  • Storage pack - RS7
  • Tour pack - RS7
  • Parking Assistance Plus Pack - RS7
  • Comfort and sound pack - RS7
  • Gloss black 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 and rear seats
  • Front and rear head restraints
  • 4-way electric lumbar support
  • Front seat ventilation
  • 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

  • 22" 5 V spoke titanium matt gloss design cast aluminium alloy wheels

  • Tyre mobility system

  • CO2 (g/km): 265
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 291
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 292
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 290

  • 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: 22.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 22.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 22.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 12.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 12.8
  • 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 Vorsprung
  • 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: 174
  • 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: 285/30 R22
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 5 V SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 285/30 R22
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 22" 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 steel brakes with black brake callipers: Included
  • RS Ceramic brakes with brake callipers in anthracite: £9,200
  • RS Steel brakes with brake callipers in red gloss: £520

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

  • 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

  • Full Leather pack - RS7: £1,000

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

  • 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

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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