Driven: 2016 Audi RS7 Sportback Review
Here is our first drive review of the Audi RS7 after spending a brief time testing this performance car.
What’s the Audi RS7 all about?
The Audi RS7 Sportback is the latest edition in the Audi RS range. It’s designed to offer the performance and capabilities of the RS6 Avant in a sleeker, more desirable coupé-looking body style. The RS7 Sportback looks very aggressive, yet still stylish in its long sleek form.
The RS7 is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that creates 605 PS and 700Nm of torque. All the power goes through an 8 speed tiptronic gearbox through to all 4 wheels. This means that the RS7 will go from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and will go all way up to a limited 155 mph and then on to 189mph if it is unlimited.
How does it drive?
You can tell from the stats that the Audi RS7 Sportback is fast, but it also has one very impressive driving experience. Get into the large luxury car, then you hit the push button start to fire up that monstrous V8 engine. The car on test exhaust sounded amazing, even when idling sounds insane. To get the RS7 moving off you slip the car into drive, put your foot on the accelerator and you’re away.
There are loads of impressive things to learn about the RS7. With 560bhp under the bonnet it’s clear that it has lots of power, and the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive does a brilliant job of generating usable grip to unleash the power from that V8. The next thing you will learn is the moment you hit full throttle you are literally unleashing a demon! The RS7 shifts like I had never imagined. It literally just grips and shifts, even in the wet you get nothing but a full on rush of acceleration pushing you straight forwards towards the horizon. Also, just as a sweetener, when you hit the rev limiter and change gear the sporty exhaust makes the most impressive shift sound as it burns off excess fuel in the system. You will never get bored of the sound of this car.
The handling setup, for a car of this size, is very well designed; you get Audi’s air suspension system with Dynamic Ride Control, which does a great job of alleviating brake dive and acceleration squat, whilst braking and accelerating. The brakes on the RS7 are humongous and without even going for the carbon ceramic brake option they stop the car painfully quick.
What’s it like inside?
Inside is one of the best interiors Audi have ever made. There are lots of highlights, but you will notice the honeycomb stitched leather seats which are super supportive, the dashboard; covered in a very good looking high quality material, and the flat bottomed steering wheel, which looks impressive and feels perfect in your hands.
The car on test came with a lot of gadgets on the inside. There was a £1,510 night vision system to help you see further in the dark, and it can even detect pedestrians, which is very clever. The list goes on, we have Adaptive cruise control, Stop&Go function, Audi side assist, and Audi active lane assist with pre-sense plus, to name but a few. All of these features will make your driving experience safer and more comfortable. I do love modern cars and their toys!
The experience, and how a car makes you feel is very important, and the Audi RS7 Sportback has split personalities so you get the best of both. On one hand it is a tarmac eating lunatic. And the other side of the car is when you slow it down, it is actually very luxurious, comfortable, and no more difficult to drive than an A7.
Audi’s RS range of cars have a certain standard that they aim to meet with regards to performance and driver experience. The RS7 is at the more expensive end of the range, but Audi have, without doubt, created a very satisfying car that is both very usable on a daily basis and has some highly respectable performance characteristics too.
- Price: £97,080
- Engine: 4.0-Litre V8 turbocharged
- Power: 605 PS
- Torque: 700Nm
- Transmission: 8-speed tiptronic with DSP
- 0-62mph: 3.7 Seconds
- Top speed: 155mph limited
- Weight: 1,930kg
- Economy combined: 29mpg
- CO2: 221 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley