Audi RS7 Sportback debuts – 4.0L V8, 600 hp, 800 Nm!

Audi RS7 Sportback debuts – 4.0L V8, 600 hp, 800 Nm!

After nearly two years since it was first spotted testing, the second-generation Audi RS7 has finally been unveiled. This is the first time that the RS7 is offered as a wide-bodied five-seater grand tourer, and it comes equipped with an electrified eight-cylinder engine as standard.

Under the bonnet is a 4.0 litre V8 TFSI engine producing 600 hp and 800 Nm of torque, the latter available from 2,050 to 4,500 rpm. Together with an eight-speed automatic transmission with launch control function, the RS7 rockets from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, which can be raised to 280 km/h with the Dynamic package or 305 km/h with the Dynamic plus package.

The engine is augmented with a 48-volt electrical system with belt alternator starter (BAS) to recover up to 12 kW during gentle deceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. Between 55 to 160 km/h, the RS7 will either recover energy or coast with the engine switched off. The mild-hybrid system allows engine start/stop mode at speeds below 22 km/h, and Audi says it helps reduce fuel consumption by 0.8 litres per 100 km in the real world.

Audi RS7 Sportback debuts – 4.0L V8, 600 hp, 800 Nm!

Another fuel-saving feature is cylinder on demand (COD) technology, which shuts off cylinders two, three, five, and eight by cutting fuel supply and closing the intake and exhaust valves when driving in higher gears at low to medium speeds. When the accelerator pedal is pressed, the cylinders are reactivated immediately, taking mere milliseconds and is virtually undetectable by the driver.

Audi’s famous quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, and is tuned for a 40:60 rear-biased setup. There’s a mechanical centre differential to optimise torque distribution – up to 70% can be transferred to the front wheels and up to 85% to the rear wheels. The optional quattro sport differential can be had with Dynamic and Dynamic plus packages, which further improves traction, stability, and dynamics.

Other mechanical upgrades include the standard RS adaptive air suspension with new air spring module that’s 50% stiffer than standard. There are three modes with automatic level control, which raises (for long-distance cruising) or lowers the car (for sporty driving) by up to 20 mm. As it is, the RS7 already sits 20 mm lower than the regular A7 Sportback. The RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control is optional, offering higher levels of agility through the use of new-generation dampers with integrated valves. A five-link front and rear axle system is standard, with linkages and subframes made largely of aluminium.

Braking power comes from huge 420 mm, internally ventilated and perforated discs up front, and 370 mm units at the back. The calipers are painted black as standard or red upon request. For more consistent stopping power, one can opt for the RS ceramic brakes (with gray, red or blue calipers) which comes with larger 440 mm front discs. This option cuts unsprung mass by a whopping 34 kg.

Progressive steering is a standard feature here, but customers can opt for dynamic all-wheel steering. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction relative to the front wheels, reducing turning radius and improves agility. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn up to two degrees in the same direction of the front wheels, maintaining stability.

Now, there are six drive modes available via the Audi drive select, those being comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, as well as the customisable RS1 and RS2 modes, which can be enabled directly via the RS Mode button on the steering wheel. Each mode influences engine and transmission management, steering, suspension, dynamic all-wheel steering, quattro sport differential, exhaust flaps, and air conditioning.

Audi RS7 Sportback debuts – 4.0L V8, 600 hp, 800 Nm!

Design-wise, the RS7 Sportback gets flared wheel arches for the classic wide body look, and it measures 1,950 mm at the front fenders, or a staggering 40 mm growth from the regular A7. Only the bonnet, roof, front doors and tailgate are carried over from the base A7 – every other panel is specifically made for the RS7, which stretches the car’s overall length to 5,009 mm.

Up front, there’s a blacked out Singleframe grille with RS-specific three-dimensional honeycomb pattern, large front air inlets and vertical fins, as well as carbon-fibre trims more added aggression. The door sills with black inlays are unique to the RS7, and it rolls on 21-inch cast aluminium wheels with 275/35 tyres as standard. Not fancy enough? Well, opt for the 22-inch 5-V-spoke unit with 285/30 tyres, then.

At the back, the A7’s LED tail lights are carried over, complete with an integrated spoiler that raises itself when driving at 100 km/h. As with all RS models, the RS7 gets dual large chromed oval tailpipes positioned under the RS-specific rear bumper, though discerning customers can upgrade to the RS sport exhaust system with black exhaust trim.

Audi RS7 Sportback debuts – 4.0L V8, 600 hp, 800 Nm!

Inside, there’s ample use of carbon-fibre trimmings to go with the RS-specific cockpit. The Audi virtual cockpit features special RS displays to provide details regarding tyre pressure, torque, boost pressure, lap times and G-forces. A shift light display is available as well.

There’s a flat-bottom, fully perforated sport leather steering wheel with huge aluminium shift paddles for the driver, featuring the RS Mode button on the right side of the wheel. Elsewhere, more RS and RS7 logos are littered throughout the cabin, while items such as illuminated front door sill trims and logo projectors on the front and rear doors add more pizzazz to the sporty grand tourer.

The RS sport seats are upholstered with black pearl Nappa leather with rhombus pattern, though this can be upgraded to the RS sport seats with Valcona leather with honeycomb pattern and RS embossing. Apparently, the perforated seats allow ventilation function for the first time.

Of course, the cabin can be further customised to taste via Audi exclusive, and the RS7 can now be had with a three-seater rear bench for the first time. The four-seater option is still available as well. Boot space is rated at 535 litres, which expands to 1,390 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Lastly, Audi says there are over 30 assist systems available, including adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, curb warning, and 360-degree cameras. Paint options include 13 standard colours as part of the palette, including the two RS-specific shades of Nardo gray and Sebring black. What do you think of the new RS7 Sportback, folks?

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.




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