Audi has been known to dish out some of the finest luxo-barges on the planet. It has forayed into virtually every luxury segment, right from entry level luxury sedans to full size SUVs. The Indian market has seen a slew of launches from the Ingolstadt based manufacturer in the past couple of months. This included the A3 Sedan, the A3 Cabriolet and the fantastic Audi TT Coupe. If regular Audi's weren’t exciting enough, Audi has an entire performance range up their sleeve, under the S (Sport) and RS (RennSport) guise. The Audi RS7 was launched back in January 2014 and has now been given a minor update to keep things fresh.
Let’s get one thing straight. The RS7 is extremely good at one thing: looking drop dead gorgeous! The massive air-intakes up-front, the brushed aluminium finish on the wing-mirrors, the humongous 21 inch wheels, simply cannot be ignored.
The Audi RS7 is the evil twin of Audi's sportback - the A7. It sports a hybrid aluminum design resulting in a near 15% weight reduction compared to an all-steel body. At first glance, most would mistake the RS7 to be a coupe owing to the swooping roof-line that flows into the tail effortlessly. The front sports a large trapezoidal honeycomb grille, a characteristic trait amongst the RS Audis. It also sports all new matrix led headlamps, led taillamps and dynamic turn indicators. The led headlamp cluster has a cool party-trick too. It alters the highbeam in realtime, ensuring that the oncoming traffic is not blinded by the light.
The Audi RS7 features Audi's 4.0TFSI Bi-Turbo V8 engine which packs a whopping 560 horses. The only number that tops the horsepower figure is the mammoth 700nm of torque. This means that the RS7 can clock a 100kmph in 3.9 seconds and go on up to it’s electronically limited top speed of 250kmph. Tick the Dynamic Sports Package on the options list, and the V8 shall continue it’s glory song all the way up to a staggering 305kmph!! The car is surprisingly silent while idling. Give it the beans and the massive oval exhausts at either side of the Audi’s derriere ensures the V8’s symphony is heard far and wide. When the RS7 isn’t busy clocking neck-breaking speeds, it transforms into a sensible luxury saloon. Equipped with Audi's Cylinder On Demand (COD) system, it deactivates four cylinders and functions as a V4 when the load on the engine is low. This reduces the fuel consumption of the V8 - sipping only 9.8 litres of fuel for every 100kms. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! The RS7 also features Active noise control (ANC) and active engine mounts. These technologies ensure that no unnecessary vibrations seep into the cabin while the engine functions as a four cylinder unit.
The Bi-Turbo V8 engine is mated to an 8 speed tiptronic transmission. Power is fed to all four wheels courtesy Audi's trademark Quattro system. The RS7 features the RS adaptive air suspension as standard. Also on offer is the RS Sport suspension and Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) system. However, the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) can be deactivated for some sideways, tyre-shredding fun.
The interior is nothing short of bespoke. It is understated and oozes luxury. No loud colors, no striking swooping lines in here. A lot of alcantara, leather and a rather generous helping of carbon fibre trims characterize the cockpit of the RS7. RS Sport seats with integrated headrests come as standard. Although the front seats aren’t the most comfortable seats around, it is definitely the place to be in! The steering wheel is a 3-spoke flat-bottom unit wrapped in perforated leather. The contours for the thumbs and the relatively small diameter, make it a delight to hold. The tweaks in the RS7 include reworked paddle shifters which feel nice and chunky. The centre console houses Audi's MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and uses a graphic processor from Nvidia. It also features a Bose Surround Sound System for the music, but, to be brutally honest, we'd rather listen to the V8 orchestra.
Priced at a whopping 1.4 Crore, the RS7 neither skimps on luxury nor on outright performance. It not only grabs eye-balls for its looks, but also makes ears stand on end for its glorious V8 noise. Audi's Frankenstein monster is mega, and how!