Audi RS7

Blended with true RS flavors!

"The RS was made to go against the 'M' and 'AMG' counterparts."

"It feels like a fire-breathing dragon going all out," said Ershad.

"The V8 rumble through the sports exhaust is just addictive across the rev-range and you will start loving your right foot."

"The interior of the RS7 is top-notch - as expected from any top-of-the-line Audi."

"I would prefer a sportback over the usual sedan shape any day!" said Ershad.

1994 was the year when Audi decided to make an RS (Rennsport or Racing Sport). Since then, we have been treated to German automotive excitement in various shapes and sizes. The Audi RS line reflected the most powerful and technologically advanced models from the marque, and Audi made sure that these machines ticked all the right boxes for the ultimate driving enthusiast. Big wheels, big engines, taut response; the RS was made to go against the 'M' and 'AMG' counterparts hailing from the same part of the world. 22 years down the line, we are face to face with the newest kid on the block: the RS7.

Hurtling down a fresh layer of tarmac with the speedo indicating impressive three-digit numbers, the suspension and steering were giving me an exact anatomy of the road conditions. I could sense even the minutest of undulations, but the car was very stable and asking me to push further. I did dig in my right foot a bit more and yes, there was power; just more and more power. It felt like a fire-breathing dragon going all out. The Audi RS7 comes with a V8 twin-turbo gasoline-powered powerhouse generating 560 horsepower and 700 Nm of torque. The V8 rumble through the sports exhaust is just addictive across the rev-range, and you will start loving your right foot.

I had the RS7 on 'dynamic' mode, which lowers the air suspension by 20 millimeters to provide the all-necessary grip and control required at serious speeds. I could see the end of the tarmac approaching and it was time to see how well the brakes work on our RS7. Our test car had the brake calipers painted in a high-gloss red all around as an extra option. A firm grip on the nicely shaped steering wheel (finished in perforated leather) and a sure-footed slam on the brake pedal, and you are greeted with a predictable brake bite and progression, which translates into driver confidence. The stability and brake electronics make sure that the RS7 maintains its poise all the way down to 0 km/h. The 235/30 Continental tires shod on 21-inch five-spoke 'blade' design aluminum alloys on the RS7 stick onto the road as if their lives depend on them, without a sign of fade all the way from zero to top whack and back. During the brake test session, I had a last minute surprise in the form of a long and fast bend. I had to jab the brakes suddenly, then slowly ease off and accelerate my way out. These kind of out of the blue situations make us understand how well today's cars are made. The car handled the surprise situation very well - not a sign of hesitation at any point. No unnecessary skids, steers or wallows; you feel in control all through the braking and throttling. In the back of my mind, I know that the electronics will be working like crazy to keep it all in control.

The RS7 features the Quattro all-wheel drive tech and it's a joy when all-wheel drive cars just dig their way out of corners. The steering employs a dynamic control feature which constantly adjusts steering feedback depending upon vehicle speed, surface conditions and throttle inputs. Flicking the RS7 through some corners is a lot of fun. At no point do you feel like you are driving a big four-door sedan with a big sized boot and all of the creature comforts. At 5:30 pm, you could be travelling to the shopping mall with your wife and kids for some good time-out, and at 5:35 pm you could be waiting for a traffic signal grand prix with some boy racers.

The interior of the RS7 is top-notch - as expected from any top-of-the-line Audi. The RS7 gets individual seats for all its passengers, all finished in black Valcona leather with a honeycomb design and contrast stitching with RS logos. Alacantra takes care of the headlining, and the rest of the interior features a mix of leather and carbon fiber inlays. Very racy, very classy!

The RS7 takes all of its luxurious cues from its A7 cousin and mixes it with some RS flavor. A full glass sunroof is provided if you want to treat yourself to a splash of sunlight. The MMI Navigation system with a slide-up touchscreen is functional and can be operated with a rotary knob in conjunction with a joystick. You can access all car features, audio controls and navigation through this system. The RS7 comes fitted with the Bang & Olufsen sound system which provides excellent outputs, and combined with the ambient lights in the car, there is a certain degree of peace and serenity available at your disposal. Of course, it depends on how much blood flows down your right foot! Speaking of peace and serenity, the RS7 features the Audi cylinder-on-demand (COD) system which fires just the right number of engine cylinders as required. So, the RS7 does its bit in eco-friendliness.

Safety features on the car include airbags all around. Active safety systems like the Audi Pre Sense System, Audi Side Assist and Active Lane Assist work together to make driving hassle-free and safe. You get a 360-degree view parking display for assistance as well.

Stepping out of the car, you instantly recognize that you are looking at a fast Audi. The sportback design looks flawless even in this four-door configuration and the silhouette remains very Audi-ish. I would prefer a sportback over the usual sedan shape any day! Our test car was sprayed Sepang Blue with a pearl effect and had some bits, like the grilles and rear diffusers, finished in glossy black. I would get the alloys painted in black too! The rear diffuser incorporates two oval exhaust tips which add to the sporty feel. 'Quattro' stickers adorn the lower part of the rear doors, which looks a bit tacky and loud to me. Towards the front end of the car, you get the familiar single-piece Audi grille with huge and aggressive air dams on either side. Carbon fiber inserts within the air dams and a splitter on the front bumper complete the sporty radiance. The RS7 features the signature matrix headlights, with LEDs doing their job on the headlights and rear lights. Dynamic indicators come standard on the RS7 and even though I am not a huge fan of it, I am getting used to it.

Overall, the Audi RS7 features the best of Audi tech in a sporty package and I would say it is the closest you can get to having a drive with your family in an R8.

Pros: Hot performance, magnetic handling, top-notch interior trim, spacious and practical boot
Cons: Tight headroom in the rear
Rivals: BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Mercedes- Benz CLS 63 AMG, Porsche Panamera Turbo S
Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged, V8, 560 hp @ 5700 rpm, 700 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, 4WD
Performance: 0-100 km/h: 4 sec, 10.5 L/100 km, top speed: 280 km/h
Weight: 2040 kg

One word: bundle

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