An automaker selling the same car with different engines depending on the market is not uncommon. However, the situation is a bit more interesting with the S7 Sportback as while Europeans are stuck with a diesel to comply with stricter emissions regulations, the rest of the world gets the RS5 engine. Indeed, the Euro-spec S7 comes with a 3.0-liter V6 TDI mild hybrid with 349 horsepower (257 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters).
In North America and other parts outside of the Old Continent, customers get a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 inherited from the RS4 Avant, RS5 Coupe, and RS5 Sportback. It pumps out the same 444 hp (331 kW) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) as in those three RS models, but let’s be honest and admit the RS5 engine doesn’t sound as nice in the bigger car. If you don’t believe us, check out the video below shot in California by Auditography to hear the slightly muted soundtrack.
There’s another major difference between the European S7 Sportback and the one Audi sells in the rest of the world. The TDI-powered car has four exhaust tips that are completely fake, with the actual dual tips positioned underneath the car, facing the road. The car featured here in Firmament Blue Metallic with the black optics package has the proper setup as all Audi Sport models should have, without any of the fakeness.
A real-life acceleration test shows the gasoline-fueled S7 doing 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.22 seconds, thus making it nearly 0.3s quicker than Audi’s official time. Because the S7 is heavier than the RS5 Sportback, it shouldn’t come as a surprise it’s significantly slower in this acceleration test, with its smaller brother completing the task in 3.8 seconds.
When it comes to buying one of the two cars, we’d have to do a lot thinking before pulling the trigger. That’s because the S7 Sportback is less than $10,000 more expensive than the RS5 Sportback in the US where the S6 Sedan is actually a few hundred dollars cheaper compared to the RS5.