Perhaps it’s just me, but I prefer to make my own mind up if something (or someone) is beautiful and form an opinion on whether it needs to be a part of my life. Audi believes that’s a wasteful step in the process.
Of course their cars are beautiful, and of course you want one – now stop messing about and
follow the herd buy one – you’ll thank them later..
I ran an impromptu poll on Twitter in the first few hours of the new RS 7’s launch and saw roughly a 25:75 split of those who love the RS 7 versus those who’d rather milk a cat. It’s a polarising kind of car, the A7, up close the front-end is incredibly strong and confident with it’s over-sized 20″ wheels filling the arches to a tee, but at the rear it’s almost as if Audi won’t allow a non-Avant model to look any good. Audi love it, and apparently so should we, but then I’ve never been one to follow orders.
Fit the front-end of the RS 7 to the rear of the recently-launched RS 6 and you’d have my perfect Audi, as it currently is, we’re wondering why Audi bothered making a car which, using previous RS sales figures as a guide, is likely to fizzle out and cease production in less time than it takes to say Vorsprung dur..
The RS 4 saloon met a similar fate, despite being dynamically superior to the Avant. The RS 6 saloon was also cast aside when the latest model made its entrance last December. The only logical reason we can deduce for the RS 7’s existence is to appease our friends in the US, who because of their dislike for station wagons (and preference for SUVs) will only buy sports sedans and coupes.
So, while we receive the full set of Audi RS models here in Europe, our US cousins are denied the RS 4 and RS 6 Avant. What a weird world we live in. Don’t the Americans realise that a hot wagon ist über-cool? Beyond cool, even.
We’ve already eulogised about the new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 TFSI in the RS 6 and now the RS 7 – it’s bonkers, it’s wonderful, it’s just what the doctor ordered and perhaps the RS 7’s most redeeming feature. To recap, it offers 552bhp and 516lb-ft (700Nm) of torque, although curiously the US press release states a constant 750 Nm (553.17 lb-ft) of torque is available between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm.
Perhaps it’s a Big Mac thing, portion sizes are always much larger in the States than on this side of the pond..
As in the RS 6, acceleration from standstill to 62 mph is accomplished in just 3.9 seconds, with the RS 7 matching its cooler sibling with an average fuel consumption of 28.8mpg despite its ferocious performance. CO2 emissions of 229 g/km is the other achievement which makes Audi’s new V8 such an admirable powerplant.
The other chuckle-moment in the US press release came with the following sentence “Because the high-revving four-cylinder engine has been rigorously designed for low load-change and flow losses, it develops this power quickly and spontaneously.” Well that explains the incredible CO2 numbers then..
Perhaps it got lost in the American-English translation from German, but Audi’s clever new V8 can run in four-cylinder mode until the driver demands strong acceleration, whereupon it switches to eight-cylinder operation in just a few hundredths of a second. Once the remaining four after-burners are engaged, the RS 7 will despatch all but the most determined supercar driver.
The engine is paired with the now familiar eight-speed tiptronic transmission featuring shortened shift times and offering ‘Sport’ and ‘Manual’ modes, in addition to the standard ‘Drive’ setting. A 20mm lowered sports suspension is fitted, with sports suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) available as an option. And if those 20-inch wheels are a little too tame looking, Audi is offering three 21-inch cast-alloy wheels as a cost option.
And now for the controversial part, although no doubt Audi will cite BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe as its (more expensive) benchmark. While the RS 6 Avant is priced at £77,000, some £3,900 more than the identically-powered BMW M5, they’ve priced the RS 7 at approximately £84,000, which although considerably more than the (potentially) more desirable Avant is some £15,000 less than BMW’s 4-door M powered coupe.
That might just be enough to persuade some customers to forgo the svelte Gran Coupe and opt for the aud-looking RS 7 instead. Even so, if you live in the US, there’s no choice – if you’d like to own one of Audi’s finest ever powerplants the RS 7 is your only option, unless of course you consider the 420bhp S6 to be ‘enough’.
Perhaps Audi are being smart after all, the RS 7 would be a serious contender for that sports-sedan space in my garage, but given my original comment about that rear-end, BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe would most likely get my vote.
Nice try Audi, now send the RS 6 across the pond and change that anti-wagon sentiment once and for all.