The niche market of four door coupes saw a new entrant when Audi RS 7 Sportback was formally unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in early 2013. This stylish sports car was launched to compete more aggressively against BMW M and Mercedes AMG models. After another exhibit at Detroit Motor Show in January 2014, the super car was brought to Audi’s dais at Auto Expo in Greater Noida, India.
This new Quattro GmbH model of Audi family blends the power of a sports car with the beauty of a stylish four door coupe. As per the German luxury carmaker, the 0-100 km/hour dash takes only 3.9 seconds and the top speed is 305 km/hour. It is powered by 4 litre twin turbo V8 engine that churns 553 bhp (at 6700 rpm) and has a torque of 70 kgm (at 1750 rpm). As a part of its lightweight technology for RS cars, Audi has employed hybrid aluminium design for this Sportback and more than 20 percent of the body is made of aluminium. A customised 8 speed tip tronic ‘box has been used to match the sporty character of RS 7.
Four doors with a notch back style tail gate and the coupe silhouette with sharp accents give Audi RS 7 a zesty elegance. It comes with a large bonnet, a fairly long wheelbase and short overhangs that combine to create a silhouette with well balanced proportions. The zesty nature of this Sportback becomes evident at first look. It has a discrete front bumper and the hexagonal grille with bevelled upper edges looks distinct on the chin. The honeycomb design of the grille is also seen on the large air intakes. LED integrated headlamps broaden towards the fenders and have a design similar to those of A7 saloon.
From sides, the sharply defined coupe line of RS 7 Sportback can be easily noticed. The C pillar stretches towards the rear with a distinct angle and flows upwards into the shoulder of the car. The frameless windows look slim above the painted body area. The characteristic Audi design cue – a swage line spanning across the door panels is also seen. It stretches tightly between the upper tips of headlights and taillights. At the back Audi has used a classy sports car feature in form of a sharply sloping, truncated tailgate. The lights again use the best of LED technology and the pattern appears three dimensional with the brake light being in the shape of a helix. There is a spoiler on the boot lid - it slides out automatically at speed of 130 km/hour or more and retracts at 80 km/hour. The twin, oval tipped diffuser has a sleek chrome finish.
The dynamic elegance and sportiness of the external body is harmonised by well crafted cabin. With centre console slightly angled in driver’s direction, the cockpit feels driver centric. Perforated leather covers the gear selector lever that also gets an RS badge. Dials on instrument console look sporty with their black surface, white numbers and red needles. A special attribute of the instrument console is the shift light for the 8 speed tiptronic's manual mode. With the increase in speed, the green segments in the display create a bar. This bar goes red and begins to blink little earlier than the red line is reached. Between the large dials there is MMI display for the gear being used, boost force, oil temperature, cruising speed and a lap timer.
The heated RS sports seats are upholstered in Alcantara leather. They have side bolsters and integrated head restraints. Valcona leather upholstery with honeycomb quilting for seats is also available as option. Front seats are power adjustable and there is memory function for driver’s seat. The two seats at rear have 40:60 split fold ratio.
Equipment such as four zone climate control system, MMI navigation plus, Audi Park Assist system, cruise control and ambient illumination make this car more pleasant. There is a night vision assistant as optional feature.
The entertainment system comprises CD player, MP3 player and is compatible with USB and Aux devices. A 60 GB hard drive and DVD drive is available as option. The RS7 Sportback has a long, electronically retractable boot lid and the boot has volume of a 535 litres that can be increased to 1,390 liters by pushing down the split rear seat backs. With straight side walls and almost flat floor, space in rear part of cabin can also be utilised well.
A range of assistance and safety systems makes driving the RS 7 Sportback simpler and more secure. Rest recommendation on driver information panel is standard. It detects when the driver has started to feel exhausted and recommends rest. Anti lock brake system, electronic brake pressure distribution, brake assist, differential lock and traction control are standard elements. Electronic stabilisation control has been particularly devised for the dynamic profile of this coupe – on selecting the sport mode, engine interventions get deactivated.
There are eight airbags in RS 7 Sportback - front full size airbags and side air bags for driver and co-driver; side and head airbags for rear seat passengers. Impact protection beams are also provided. Audi Pre Sense basic safety system is standard and activates essential safety elements when danger of collision/crash is detected. General safety attributes include seat belt pretensioners & load limiters, child safety lock, ISOFIX child seat mounting, integrated head restraint system, tyre pressure monitoring and anti theft alarm. A full sized spare wheel, first aid kid and warning triangle are provided with the car.
Audi RS 7 Sportback has been released only with its 4.0 TFSI Quattro Standard model. There are 10 body colour options available for this sports car. Buyers can opt for crystal effect and matt finish besides solid, pearl effect and metallic shades.
Digital Trends, an online magazine based in the United States called the 4.0 TFSI V8 used in RS 7 its “Engine of the Year”. This is because the stunning power of this petrol engine is also balanced by a fuel efficiency of 10 km/litre. It was also appreciated for its inventive cylinder deactivation technology - cylinder on demand (COD) that lessens petrol consumption of the car by about 5 percent.
With a price of Rs. 1.30 crore (ex showroom price Delhi) and its sporty nature, the RS 7 Sportback may not be very practical but it does set new standards of performance in its genre.