Audi’s RS 7 Sportback is very sleek, very fast, and very exclusive. For 2016, it’s also very fresh looking, thanks to a set of new all-LED headlamps that bring horizontal-striped LEDs as daytime running lights. The RS 7 also gets a new Nvidia processor for its MMI infotainment system for improved graphics.
But the really big news comes with the arrival of a new performance trim, which adds more horsepower and torque for a grand total of 605 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That’s a whole lot out of just 4.0 litres of engine displacement, and a whole lot more than its key rivals, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 S AMG, and the BMW M6 Gran Coupe – even in the new Competition guise. Only Cadillac’s CTS-V, the Dodge Charger Hellcat and the 12-cylinder turbo models from Bentley and Mercedes trump the Audi.
What gives the RS 7 Performance its added bite? It’s way more than just a computer chip tune – the engine receives new exhaust valves, a modified turbocharger, plus upgraded cooling to deal with the extra power and the sport exhaust system that’s otherwise optional on the standard RS 7. The whole lot is crowned in a carbon fibre engine cover.
Opting for the Performance also nets buyers standard head-up display, Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) adaptive dampers, and crucially, Audi’s top-notch carbon ceramic brake system that is not available on any other RS 7. It’s a nice addition should you be inclined to attend a track day or two, and the right gear to haul the RS 7 down considering its 0-100 km/h time of just 3.7 seconds. The RS Performance can also be had finished in Ascari Blue, a Performance exclusive. It’s a nice pairing to the optional interior package that sees the dashboard lined with unique blue-weave carbon fibre trim and standard stitching replaced with bright blue threadwork for the seats and dash trim.
While the all-out performance of the RS 7 Performance certainly has its appeal, the standard RS 7 is still worthy of respect. In standard form it still makes 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and it can also shut down half of its cylinders under light load for reduced fuel consumption. It boasts standard air suspensions for a firm but comfortable ride. All RS 7s receive an eight-speed automatic with paddles and standard Quattro all-wheel drive.
New for standard RS 7s are a handful of new shades – Prism Silver, Glacier White, Florett Silver, and Mythos Black all join the range. Actual colours are limited to Misano Red and Sepang Blue. Another change: the head-up display system is now a standalone option instead of being lumped in with the Driver Assistant Package; the bundle of active safety features drops to $2,900 instead of $4,400.
Pricing for the new RS 7 starts at $118,300, with the Performance trim selling for $141,200.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
No content available