Audi RS7 Review: The Most Versatile Performance Car
18 December 2014 - Shawn Jooste
One of Audi’s goals for 2020 is to have 60+ car variations on the market. 60+ models would be a stretch but by tacking on S and RS badges the variation count climbs quite quickly.
So it is with the A7. There is an S7, which is a mid 300kW range, and then there is the bad boy. The Audi RS7, which is at 412kW.
So Audi is going to get to their 60 variations, producing an S and RS model from every range in their fleet. Is this a good thing? Well, we drove the RS7 to see how much fluff there is in this concept.
Under the hood you’ll find a 4.0-litre V8 that produces the above mentioned 412kW. Getting that much power from an engine like that takes some doing, but the VW group have been perfecting the art of forced induction for some time now, so it’s only fitting that they begin to apply said technology to the higher end of the spectrum.
Along with an engine that pretty much obliterates anything else, you’ll get the S-Tronic gear box that’s really, really good. When you have that much power happening to you all at once, you can rest assured that the gearbox will take care of everything you need.
Economy isn’t great, especially when you’re trying to launch control every chance you get. If for some unknown reason, you do decide to dive in a more respectable and reserved manner, you could achieve a reasonable 10 L/100km. However, if you own and RS7, and do manage to get the claimed fuel economy figure, then you should probably sell the car because you’re doing it all wrong!
I’ve never piloted a luxury yacht, and I doubt I ever will, but I’m told that the interior of the A7 / RS7 is reminiscent of the cockpit in a luxury yacht. I’ll have to take their word for it, but as I sit in the cabin, looking around me, I can well imagine this being the interior of the yacht cockpit.
You have buttons and screens everywhere. The space between the speedometer and rev counter is a huge big screen showing you all manner of cool info as you ride along. On the dash you have an LCD that appears and disappears with the switching on and off of the car.
This whole lot is either controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, or the cleverly laid out knob on the centre console.
I’ve driven the A7 range, as well as the S7, and the RS7’s ridiculously low profile 20” tyres make the ride a little more rigid than its baby cousins, but the compensation provided by the air suspension (which can be lowered and raised with a button) does alleviate the harsher ride.
That said, driving the RS7, family in tow, is remarkable comfortable. Think luxury-yacht floating-down-the-road comfortable.
This is the real kicker for me. You’ve got a 412kW 0-100km/h in 4 seconds car, that can take a surfboard in the boot. Seat adults comfortably, and generally be as practical as a station wagon. That, makes this in my mind, one of the best cars out there.
Visualise this, it’s 6am, you’re on a quiet stretch of road along the coast. The sun is just about to come up. You stop the RS7 in the middle of the road. Deactivate traction control, engage dynamic mode, put the gear lever in S1. Left foot on the brake, right foot on the gas. 1..2..3.. and you yank your foot off the brake. A dizzy feeling pounds the front of your skull and your back tingles creating some concern that your organs are trying to leave your body. Before you can blink, you’re at a 100, you feel a little queasy, your passenger looks a little green in the face, and you realise you’d just done a 0-100km/h spent in less than 4 seconds.
You’ve done this body altering run in the same car, where yesterday you had 2 kids and to bikes in the boot, on leisurely drive to the park. And that’s exactly what makes the RS7 as remarkable as it is. It’s such a versatile car. Properly functional and practical as a family sportback with a very large boot. Yet, it’s one of the best sports cars I’ve every driven.
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