We have driven the Audi RS7 many times in the past and the car has always left us impressed. It looks killer, has a great amount of features, boasts of good comfort and comes with a beast of an engine. 550 horses from the earlier RS7 were enough to beat most supercars on our roads but then the guys at Audi decided to add some more power to an already powerful car and what we have here now is the Audi RS7 Performance.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
While the RS 7 isn’t exactly a car I’d classify as a “sleeper,” it still looks quite modest next to cars with similar levels of output. Audi’s large singleframe grille dominates the front end, flanked on either side by sharp and narrow LED headlights. Moving towards the back, the lines are flowing and smooth, with a dearth of superfluous design cues. The proportions are attractive, and the roof slopes gently into a rear end that drops abruptly into the trunk. You could even get away with calling it minimalist. The RS 7 Sportback Performance keeps all these traits as is, and it’s not easy to spot the differences between the Performance and the “normal” RS 7. The bumpers keep the large intakes up front and exhaust-housing diffuser in back. The grille still uses a glossy black honeycomb pattern, and the side skirts are flared. But look closely, and you’ll see the Performance comes with a “quattro” logo in the lower portion of the grille. There’s also matte-titanium-look trim used in the front spoiler, lateral intake flaps, side windows, and the top edge of the diffuser. The side-view mirrors get this treatment as well. Further flair can be had with available aluminum, carbon, and gloss black styling packages.
Each model comes standard with 21-inch cast aluminum wheels, with the RS 7 Sportback Performance benefiting from an exclusive five-double-arm look design, complete with matte titanium look and gloss turned finish. The rollers are also offered in silver or gloss anthracite black.Paint options come in a variety of finishes as well, such as solid, metallic pearl effect, crystal effect, and matte. Color choices include Daytona gray, floret silver, glacier white, Misano red, mythos black, Nardo gray, panther black, prism silver, and Seprang blue. However, my favorite has to be the RS Performance model-exclusive Ascari blue metallic. Black and blue bruiser, baby.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
Swing the rimless doors open and the cabin will expose the enormous amount of carbon fibre trim that begins from the door pads and runs under the windscreen, across the dashboard, and on the centre console. You’re welcomed by a meaty flat bottomed steering with perforated leather that provides supreme grip. A huge screen pops out of the dash and reveals all the information, while doubling up for the navigation and rear camera display. Once seated in the low RS sport seats with honeycomb stitching, one will notice the adequate bottom support, manually adjustable thigh support, and the seat back that’s aggressively contoured to provide comfort and a fixed amount of lateral support. Being a four seater means there’s a plastic centre console at the rear which can accommodate phones or any other knick-knacks.
As much as the low rear seats are supportive, well angled, and offer ample legroom, occupants can easily scrape their head while getting in, and tall passengers will find the headroom a bit intimidating. Pop the boot and the 535 litres of boot space is visibly deep and wide enough to swallow adequate travel baggage. However, one may need to watch out for the sloping boot lid from hitting the luggage. With the RS7, one gets features like the Audi matrix LED headlamps, slide and tilt sunroof, 21-inch alloys, and a titanium package for highlighting key exterior elements. Also being offered is the MMI navigation plus including MMI Touch, Bose surround sound with 14 speakers and a 12-channel amplifier with Bluetooth, RS three-spoke flat bottomed multifunction steering wheel, and an ambient lighting package to name a few.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
The RS7 comes with same engine as its earlier version. This unit is a 4.0-litre, V8, twin-turbo, direct injection petrol engine that makes a devastating 560 bhp of power at 5700 rpm and a peak torque of 700Nm at 1750–5500rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox. This is not a dual-clutch unit but it powers all four wheels with the Quattro all wheel drive system. All this means the RS7 can reach 0-100 km/h in under 4 seconds and goes from 0-200 in approximately 12 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars around. It is indeed a supercar in a comparatively simpler guise.Push the start button and the engine fires up with a blip in the exhaust and settles to a deep rumble. Every time you start the car in public places, there will be several heads that will definitely turn. With all that power, the RS7 is surprisingly very easy to drive around at slow speeds and feels comfortable in heavy traffic too. However, come to an open road and the RS7 is mesmerizing when it unleashes itself. The all-round visibility is not bad for a sportback.
We managed to touch just a little more than 200 km/h on the Yamuna Expressway and got a feel that this machine is capable of much more. The top speed though is electronically limited to 280 km/h.The gearbox in the RS7 is a pleasure to use. It has slick shifts when using in manual mode. The S mode is where all the fun lies actually and the car just catapults in a mad way whenever you step on the gas. The lower gears shift quicker than the higher gears to improve driveability. For example, at 200km/h the engine was spinning at 5000 rpm in the sixth gear. This is while in the S mode. Audi claims the RS7 to be fuel efficient and return around 10km/l. During our test the RS7 returned around 6 km/l, however, that was under ‘pedal to metal’ type driving conditions. Driving with a light foot will return much better figures.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The RS7 even looks the part now with the new matrix lights giving it a stone-cold smug face – the kind who would not even acknowledge your presence. The steering system contributes to that effect too. It can change weight as per the driving mode you choose but won’t communicate much with you. The front end, therefore, feels floaty even if you are in the driving in the Dynamic mode. Furthermore, the RS7 Performance continues to have the same understeer-y nature as most RS models and that is the price you pay for the grip that the quattro all-wheel drive system offers. You need to the take the inherent understeer into account when negotiating bends or making high-speed lane changes.
There is also plenty of mid-range torque, meaning that you need to know exactly how much and when to go on the gas again when tackling corners. Gas it hard and you will experience torque steer that will deviate you from the intended line. The workaround, instead, is to carry enough pace through the bend and power out when the car is pointing to the intended direction. You will love the way the quattro grip shoots the car out of the corner. There is hardly any roll too, so the body remains flat and balanced.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
The lightweight built with aluminum reduces the impact of the vehicle for any intrusion and collision and therefore serves as a major safety aspect offered in this Audi RS7 Sportback. Equipped with ABS, EBD and ESC with brake assist, this variant is standing parallel to the latest technology available. There are full size airbags and rear side air bags ensuring the protection of all the occupants. The ISOFIX child seat mounting helps in keeping the child safe, while the driver can concentrate on the road ahead. The tyre pressure monitoring alerts, whenever the tyre pressure is less in any of the tyres. Additionally, a full size spare wheel is provided too in the boot compartment. To tow away any theft related worries, there is an anti theft alarm equipped in this fully loaded vehicle. The Audi exclusive seat belts are offered in different colors that can be chosen by preference. There is an anti slip regulation that helps in the car’s stability. Furthermore, there are additional elements like a first aid kit. The standard quattro torque distribution also aids in better handling.
Yes. While Rs 1.4 crore (ex-showroom Delhi) may sound like a lot, remember, it’s only around Rs 4 lakh more than what the pre-facelift car cost when it was last on sale – not a huge amount in this rarefied end of the luxury sedan market, especially when some rivals cost a fair bit more. The additions made with the update may not be many, but what they contribute to the wow factor and, in some cases, user-friendliness, is well worth it. The point of these super sedans is to combine all the luxury, usability and comfort you expect with all the mental performance you crave, and the RS7 walks that fine line so deftly. One of the best in the segment has only got a little better.