Design

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

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.

Technology

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.

Safety

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.