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Audi RS7 Sportback 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
8
Hot on the fast-disappearing heels of Audi's RS6 wagon comes the RS7 Sportback - which will disappear from sight quicker still.

Hot on the fast-disappearing heels of Audi's RS6 wagon comes the RS7 Sportback - which will disappear from sight quicker still. Sporting the same running gear in a slightly lighter frame, this a $238,500 "four-door coupe" with a liftback door. The sticker is a $58,600 jump from the S7.

Standard fare on the RS7 includes LED headlights, 21-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable RS sports leather seats, the clever drive-apportioning rear differential and adaptive air suspension.There are also tyre pressure monitoring, Google Earth-equipped satnav, front and rear parking sensors and cameras, cruise control, head-up display, auto tailgate, metallic or pearl paint choice, quad-zone climate control aircon and Bose audio with 14 speakers.

TECHNOLOGY

The large - it's five metres long - five-door four-seater coupe is 105kg lighter than the RS6 super wagon. It shares the 4.0-litre twin‒scroll twin-turbo V8 that produces 412kW (between 5700rpm-6600rpm) and 750Nm (between 1750rpm-5500rpm. These are major hikes from 309kW/550Nm in the humble S7.

It also tips the scales less than the more powerful and more expensive Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG S. The Audi's 3.9secs for the 100km/h sprint undercuts the AMG by 0.2. The RS7 also pips its wagon stablemate, which claims 4.6secs.

Claimed thirst is 9.8L/100km (premium unleaded) and chief among the kit helping it to reach that is the cylinder on demand setup, which drops four cylinders until the driver reapplies accelerator pressure. Audi claims that's good for up to 10 per cent better fuel economy.

DRIVING

Only a tantalisingly short drive of the RS7 Sportback was to be had but it was enough to hanker for more. Sporting the clever all-wheel drive now familiar from the RS6 wagon, the Sportback twin-turbo V8 tips the scales at just under two tonnes.

To some eyes its swooping roofline is a nicer aesthetic package but I'm still not sold on the large flattened rump - I prefer the wagon's looks.
The big beast has accommodations to match. Boot space is decent and the driver is well catered for. A chunky flat-bottomed steering wheel promises plenty completed in a model with the optional Dynamic Packageas ($4900), which has dynamic steering and the Dynamic Ride Control system of steel springs (from the air-sprung standard model) and adaptive dampers. It's a setup that works.

Ride quality is less brittle than some of the RS models that have gone before it and the few bends of note were dispatched with minimal fuss and maximum (should it be desired) noise from the V8. It's a bellicose bastard of an engine - more than happy to have a crack at reeling in the horizon whenever the mood strikes and letting everyone know what it's on about.

Should that not be soundtrack enough, there's the optional $12,000 Bang & Olufsen 15-speaker 1200-watt surround-sound saudio to turn the Sportback into a nightclub on wheels. Despite a price tag approaching a quarter of a million dollars, there's no standard active cruise control or night-vision tech - they are all part of the $10,375 "Assistance Package".

VERDICT

Don't look at it from the rear, just get in and drive it - menacingly mean in the mirror, it has looks to burn and pace to make a second look fleeting. More demure of ride and niche cred, the RS7's bite seems to match its bark.

Audi RS7 Sportback
Price: $238,500
Engine: 4.0L twin turbo V8 petrol 412kW/700Nm
Transmission: 8-speed torque converter auto, 4WD
Thirst: 9.8L/100km

Pricing Guides

$90,310
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$84,040
Highest Price
$96,580

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Sportback 4.0 TFSI Quattro 4.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $84,040 – 96,580 2014 Audi RS7 2014 Sportback 4.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Stuart Martin
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$84,040

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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