Innovative: the exterior design
The new Audi RS 7 Sportback sits low to the ground. The flared wheel arches emphasize the relentlessly sporty nature of the high-performance model from Audi Sport. The extreme width is no optical illusion – at 1,950 millimeters (76.8 inches) at the front fenders, the tape measure has to stretch an extra 40 millimeters (1.6 inches) or so over the Audi A7 Sportback. The new RS 7 Sportback shares the coupé-like lines of the base model’s body, but only in four areas: the hood, the roof, the front doors and the tailgate. The RS-specific exterior design gives the 5,009-millimeter (197.2-inch) grand tourer a character all of its own.
The front of the new RS 7 Sportback features a broad, flat Singleframe with no contrasting border. The radiator protective grille with its RS-specific three-dimensional honeycomb structure has retained its gloss black appearance. Large front air inlets and vertical fins in gloss black add to the aggressive styling. A horizontal blade marks a distinctive downward edge to the front end.
The side view of the new Audi RS 7 Sportback (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.6 – 11.4 (20.3 – 20.6 US mpg); combined CO2emissions in g/km: 265 – 261 (426.5 – 420.0 g/mi))reveals sharply defined lines and curved surfaces like well-toned muscles. A low shoulder line shifts the visual emphasis downward, while the window line rises toward the rear, giving a sense of dynamism even when the vehicle is stationary. The RS-specific door sills with black inlays accentuate the high-performance Sportback’s distinct impression of forward movement.
The rear end’s curved trailing edge and strip of lights linking the main rear lights make it one of the characteristic defining features of the RS 7 Sportback. At a speed of 100 km/h (62.1 mph), a spoiler will extend from the tailgate. The RS exhaust system, with a large, chrome-colored oval tailpipe on each side, sits beneath an RS-specific bumper with a rear diffuser and design elements in gloss black. The new RS 7 Sportback comes with LED headlights fitted as standard. The optional RS matrix LED laser headlights, with their dark bezels, and the LED rear lights are equipped with dynamic turn signal lights and run through RS-specific sequences when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.
V8 power: the drive system
The 4.0 TFSI in the new Audi RS 7 Sportback produces 441 kW (600 metric hp) and delivers 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque within a broad range from 2,050 to 4,500 rpm. The high-performance Sportback will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in only 3.6 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph); this can be increased to 280 km/h (174 mph) with the Dynamic package and to 305 km/h (189.5 mph) with the Dynamic plus package.
Thanks to its mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system, the 4.0 TFSI combines maximum performance with high efficiency. The belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. If the driver releases the accelerator at a speed between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 to 99.4 mph), the drive management will select one of two options. Depending on the driving situation and the settings in Audi drive select, the new RS 7 Sportback will either recover energy or coast with the engine switched off. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the belt alternator starter will start the engine again. MHEV technology allows for start-stop mode at speeds below 22 km/h (13.7 mph). As soon as the vehicle in front of the new RS 7 Sportback starts moving, the engine will spring back to life—even if the brakes are applied. With the MHEV-technology it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.8 liters per 100 kilometers.
The cylinder on demand (COD) system is another weapon in the vehicle’s armory when it comes to efficiency. In higher gears at low to medium loads and engine speeds, it will deactivate cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 by halting injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points will switch to the active cylinders at higher loads, thereby improving efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders continue to run like gas springs, largely without any losses. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, they are reactivated immediately. Each switchover takes mere milliseconds and is virtually undetectable by the driver and passengers.
The four-liter engine produces a full-bodied and sporty V8 sound. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows adjustments to the sonorous growl of the power unit. The optional RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trim provides an even fuller sound. In the customizable RS1 and RS2 modes, customers can decide for themselves whether they want a sporty or balanced sound.
The power produced by the 4.0 TFSI flows via the standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times and a new launch control function to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio via the purely mechanical center differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can flow to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the back wheels.
The wheel-selective torque control optimizes the agile and confident handling of the new RS 7 Sportback, applying the brakes gently to the wheels on the inside of a bend before they have the chance to slip. The quattro sport differential, available with the optional Dynamic and Dynamic plus packages, shifts the torque between the rear wheels as needed during sporty cornering, thereby improving traction, stability, and dynamics.
Agility as standard: the suspension
Five-link front and rear axles handle the lateral and longitudinal forces independently on the new RS 7 Sportback. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminum. The track is 1,668 millimeters (65.7 in) at the front and 1,650 millimeters (65 in) at the rear.
The standard RS adaptive air suspension with controlled damping has been tuned specifically to suit the RS and now allows the new RS 7 Sportback to reach a top speed of 305 km/h (189.5 mph) thanks to a new air spring module with a spring rate 50% higher. The sport air suspension can be set to three modes and includes automatic level control. In the normal position, the body of the new RS 7 Sportback sits 20 millimeters (0.8 in)lower than an Audi A7 Sportback with standard suspension. At speeds above 120 km/h (74.6 mph), it will drop by a further 10 millimeters (0.4 in) and offer a lift mode enabling the vehicle to be raised by 20 millimeters (0.8 in) if requested.
The pronounced kingpin inclination of the RS sport air suspension offers the driver a free choice between long-distance comfort and top performance.
The optional RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) holds the RS 7 Sportback (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.6 – 11.4 (20.3 – 20.6 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 265 – 261 (426.5 – 420.0 g/mi))even more tightly to the road and improves handling. Pitching and rolling movements are significantly reduced during spirited driving. A new generation of dampers with integrated valves provides for a distinct spread between the various Audi drive select modes.