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Audi RS4 Avant Drag Races RS7 Sportback: Win Some, Lose Some

Audi would be shooting itself in the foot if the RS4 Avant were to be faster in a drag race against the RS7 Sportback, right? After all, the wagon has a smaller engine with significantly less power, packing “only” a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 with 450 hp and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) whereas the RS7 has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 600 hp and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft).

However, Ingolstadt’s speedy family car has to carry around significantly less weight than the Sportback, tipping the scales at 1,750 kg (3,858 lbs) or 315 kg (694 lbs) less than the beefy liftback. The two models are similar in a couple of aspects, with both featuring Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox with launch control.

The folks over at Carwow wanted to put those numbers to the test and see if the RS7 Sportback is really faster than the RS4 Avant given its huge power advantage and much higher price tag. Before getting down to business, the V6 and V8 engines were revved in the hope of unlocking a desirable soundtrack, only to discover a soft limiter kicked in at 4,000 rpm.  It’s applicable to Euro-spec cars to comply with the more stringent emissions regulations.

After warming up their tires, the first drag race was somewhat of a surprise as the RS4 took the win with ease. It all came down to the extremely poor launch of its adversary, and the RS7 wasn’t able to catch up. The bigger car fared better at the start of the second drag race, but Mat Watson behind the wheel of the RS4 still took the win in the end. The perfect reaction of the RS7 driver in the third drag race helped it take the win, completing the quarter mile run in 11.6 seconds whereas the Avant needed an extra half a second.

The RS7’s massive horsepower and torque advantage allowed it to effortlessly win the two rolling races from 50 mph (80 km/h) with different gearbox settings. Speaking of which, the RS7’s Tiptronic seemed to kickdown much quicker under hard acceleration, thus offering better power delivery to the Quattro system.

It was another win for the RS7 in the brake test from 70 mph (113 km/h) as it needed a significantly shorter distance to come to a full stop than the RS4 in both tests.

Given the premium the RS7 commands over the RS4, it’s no wonder it was declared the overall winner. While some might be wondering whether the price difference is really worth it in regards to the added performance, we must also keep in mind the RS7 is an upper-class model with advantages in other areas.

CategoriesRS4 RS7
Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.