Tuesday, 15 January 2013 10:13 AM
It certainly looks like this new Audi RS 7 Sportback means business if its LED-lit scowl, chiselled body lines and over-wide wheel arches are anything to go by. The new Audi uber-saloon goes on show this week at the Detroit Motor Show, and in exchange for your £84,000 you get a 552bhp, 4-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol engine, and 3.9 seconds-to-62mph sprint and up to 189mph of top speed performance. That’s very nearly one of the very fastest production cars on the planet.
Available to order in the UK this summer, the new RS 7 Sportback makes good use of the same 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 as found in the thumping RS 6 Avant. The two turbochargers provide a huge lump of shove – some 700Nm of torque – from between 1,750 and 5,500rpm, while that rather chunky peak 552bhp hits home at 5,700 to 6,700rpm. However, there are a few eco-tricks under that bulging bonnet that allow the RS 7 Sportback to hit a quoted combined economy of 28.8mpg. An eight-speed tiptronic transmission – with manual shift option – using Sport, Manual and a normal-feeling Drive settings, with a tall top gear, also helps with economy.
Lifting the bonnet will reveal the usual Audi bhp-feast with two large twin-scroll turbos and the air-to-air intercooler nestled inside the V of the V8 engine. The turbos make a combined boost of 1.2 bar; giving the 4-litre V8 its early-revs punch. There are switchable flaps in the exhaust system that can make the V8’s bellow even louder at the press of a button, and drivers that want even more decibels with their bhp can order a sports exhaust system from the options list. Tick!
Controlling the light ‘n’ lovely standard 20-inch alloy wheels – or optional 21-inchers – is adaptive air suspension with RS-specific settings that lowers the body by 20mm and incorporates damping with adjustable settings. Or, customers can go for sports suspension with Dynamic Ride Control that uses steel springs and three-way adjustable shock absorbers that are connected together diagonally by oil lines and a central control valve for better body roll control. That curved and contoured body, seen here in Nardo Grey, is made of around 20 per cent aluminium for lightness where needed, and plenty of high-strength steel where rigidity is key.
Hauling up this monster Audi are some of the biggest of brakes; 390mm with six-piston calipers up front, or indeed, optional carbon fibre-ceramic discs of a whopping 420mm across, for track fans.
The RS 7 Sportback’s interior is unlikely to disappoint with black RS logos stamped into the white clock dials with red needles, as well as on the flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel, in the illuminated door sills, and in the displays for the MMI and the Driver’s Information System. Audi’s famously fastest badging also shines in the front RS sports seats, made from honeycomb-quilted Valcona leather. The Valcona leather can be swapped in favour of a racy mix of Alcantara and leather as a no-cost alternative, or power-adjustable front comfort seats can be had no extra cost to replace the original RS full-on sports seats.
The new Audi RS 7 Sportback will be available to order in the UK in the summer, priced at £84,000, with UK deliveries beginning towards the end of the year.
By Daniel Anslow