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WORLD PREMIERE: 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback — Beauty and Brawn

Just a couple of weeks ago, we saw the world premiere of the Audi RS6 Avant, a powerhouse family wagon that can munch supercars while taking the kids to school. However, what if you want the supercar-munching ability but don’t need to haul kids and all of their gear around? What if you want some sexy styling to go with your power; some beauty with your brawn? That’s what the new Audi RS7 Sportback is for.

“The RS7 Sportback is our interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupe with a grand tourer design,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “With refinements to make it even more suitable for everyday use plus its incredible performance, what we have here is an outstanding piece of sports equipment for customers who like their cars to feature stunning design.”

Let’s start with that stunning design. The new RS7 is obviously based on the Audi A7, which is already a great looking car itself. So it started with a good base. The Audi RS7, though, does even more with the base and is a flat-out gorgeous car. It’s sleek, its muscular and its elegant. But it’s also very, very aggressive.

The massive new grille, with its new frameless design, is ultra aggressive and the three little vents at the top of it add some extra sportiness. They’re also designed to pay homage to the original Audi Quattro, as they’re supposed to on all new Audi Sport cars. That angry grille combines with enormous front air intakes to make the Audi RS7 a very aggressive looking car.

Audi RS7

Massive 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels are standard and even larger 22-inch five-spoke wheels are optional. The latter of which fill the wheel arches and make visually lower the car even more than it already is. Out back, a new rear diffuser and monster oval exhausts flank either side of the rear.

Inside, it’s as expected, to be honest. It’s similar to both the Audi A7 and the new RS6. In fact, it’s really no different from the RS6’s cabin, except for the lack of massive trunk. That’s not such a bad thing, though. The inside of the Audi RS7 is great, with the luxurious design we’ve come to expect from the A7, just with some added red accents, RS badges and a sportier steering wheel. One nice addition is the new “RS” screen in the Virtual Cockpit, which debuted on the RS6.

Under the skin, the Audi RS7 is almost identical to the RS6 Avant. So it gets a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. All of that torque is available between 2,050 and 4,500 rpm — quite the massive mid-range wallop.

It’s not all brawn and no brains, though. It’s also a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and comes with a 48-volt electrical system and a BAS (Battery Alternator Starter) that can let the engine shut down and power the crankshaft on its own. On top of that, it gets cylinder deactivation, so it can shut down cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 to become a four-cylinder engine at highway cruising speed.

Audi RS7

 

That engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and sends power to all four wheels, obviously. So the Audi RS7 can hit 62 mph in a claimed 3.6 seconds but we fully expect it to be quicker than that in the real world, as Germans always seem ultra conservative with their performance figures.

Naturally, the 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 sounds good, with a deep, throaty bass. However, an optional RS Sport Exhaust system can help increase the sound even further. Is also comes with two models, RS1 and RS2, allowing Audi RS7 customers to choose from different profiles. Those different profiles also handle the ride, engine, suspension and steering.

As-standard, the Audi RS7 gets adaptive air suspension, with air spring modules whose spring rates are 50-percent higher than in the A7. This sportier suspension gets three modes and automatic level control. In Dynamic mode, or at speeds above 75 mph, the suspension lowers itself 10 mm. However, an optional DRC (Dynamic Ride Control) increases performance and uses cross-linked hydraulically controlled suspension, just like the Audi RS6 and McLaren 720S.

This new Audi RS7 Sportback is a stunning looking car that’s also a powerhouse of a performance machine. It sports damn-near 600 hp, gobs of torque, surprising practicality and killer style. What’s not to love?

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.