Audi describes the RS7 Sportback as a four-door high-performance coupé grand tourer, which is a bit of a mouthful but perfectly accurate. For the 2020 model year it now has the latest 4.0 TFSI V8 engine (driving all four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive) augmented by a 48V mild-hybrid system. The new model is wider, faster and more efficient than its predecessor and looks sharper from every angle.
The new RS7 Sportback is both lower and wider than the A7 it’s based on. Flared wheel arches add an extra 20mm each side while the front features an Audi Singleframe grille with the distinctive RS honeycomb structure, flanked by aggressive air intakes. At the rear, there’s a spoiler lip along the edge of the boot and a strip of lights linking the taillights. The dual oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system emerge beneath an RS-specific bumper and rear diffuser. 21-inch cast aluminium 10-spoke wheels come as standard, and 22-inch wheels are optional.
Performance is the RS7 Sportback’s raison d’etre and is provided by the latest 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine with mild hybrid technology. The latter can let the engine coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine shut off and can also recover power when braking. The powertrain delivers 600 metric horsepower and 800Nm of torque, for a 0-62mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds. An eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive with self-locking centre differential distribute the power 40:60 front/rear in normal conditions, though the system can adjust the split in milliseconds according to prevailing levels of grip.
Audi Drive Select and RS adaptive air suspension that’s 50 per cent stiffer than in the A7 come as standard, while Dynamic Ride Control and Audi dynamic steering are options. Inside, the RS7 has the MMI touch response system with two displays plus natural voice control. Driver information is conveyed via the RS-specific Audi Virtual Cockpit that can display g-force, shift light, oil temperature, tyre pressures and temperature as well as acceleration and lap times. A Wi-Fi hotspot and top of the range MMI navigation are also standard.
The RS7 has more than 30 driver assistance systems, seamlessly co-ordinated by a central driver assistance controller. Adaptive cruise assist keeps the RS 7 Sportback the desired distance to the vehicle ahead and can make slight steering corrections to stay in lane, even through roadworks. Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front detect potential hazards all around the car and initiate preventive measures such as maximum braking, adjusting the seats or tightening the belts.
Verdict: the RS7 Sportback takes the space of a high-performance saloon and the aesthetic appeal of a GT coupé and melds them into one appealing package. Four doors, a tailgate, folding rear seats and a beautifully appointed cabin make it a versatile family car while the performance, handling and grip set it close on the heels of genuine supercars.
The RS7 Sportback is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.
RS7 Sportback highlights include:
RS7 Sportback Carbon Black highlights include:
RS7 Sportback Vorsprung highlights include: