What is it?
Audi’s answer to the likes of BMW M6 Gran Coupe and the Mercedes CLS63 AMG, the RS7, which is essentially a sinister twin of the A7 Sportback, isn’t slow by any stretch of imagination. Oh heck, until recently, it used to be the quickest sedan ever tested by CarBlogIndia. And right when we thought the RS7 is as mental as a four-door sedan could ever get, the good folks at Audi India came up with the new Audi RS7 Sportback Performance!
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This tarmac scorcher still packs a high strung 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, but peak peak power has been upped to 605 HP, while the torque output is now a gut-wrenching 750 Nm – yes, that’s a supercar-rivaling figure there. There’s more supercar hardware; the RS7 Performance, akin to the RS7, comes with a sporty eight-speed automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive and a lowered suspension. At INR 1.8 Crores apiece, the RS7 Performance commands a premium of Rs 40 lakh over the standard model! However, this is probably as close as a four-door sedan will ever get to delivering an Audi R8-like performance. Here’s our 2015 Audi RS7 Sportback Performance Review and Test Drive report to give you a fair idea of this “everyday superhero”.
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What all’s new with the Design & Styling?
While the RS7 Performance continues to impress with its sharp, fastback body form and many aggressive styling elements like the gaping airdams, the new variant also gets a set of new design 21-inch mags. Also, all the silver bits have been replaced by gunmetal grey and the car gets smoked headlamps and taillamps. Draped in the ‘Verdant Green’ paint, our test car won hearts on looks alone, but let’s not forget these updates are really minute when compared with the bump in power.
That said, the RS7 Performance is still a looker and a quick glance is all it takes to register the dynamic character of this car. A long hood, the very sporty C‑pillars and the sharply sloping rear-end lend a very racy look to the RS7. Among the most striking touches is the Singleframe grille with a black-painted honeycomb mesh that is characteristic of RS models. Of course, the aforementioned new styling elements add some more drama to the design.
On the inside, the cabin remains almost entirely unchanged. The only difference is that the Drive Select button is now available on the steering wheel; you can now toggle between the modes without taking your hand off the wheel. Apart from this, the cabin remains bog similar to the one that debuted on the 2015 RS7.
Under the hood?
The Audi RS7 Sportback Performance is powered by the same 4.0-litre V8 Bi-turbo TFSI motor that powers the ‘regular’ RS7. For this special edition, the engine outputs 605 hp and 750 Nm (a bump of 45 hp and 50 Nm). Other than the increased power figures, the engine remains largely unchanged, which means it continues to offer the excellent cylinder on demand (COD) system that shuts down four of the eight cylinders during partial load conditions. It also continues to come mated to an eight‑speed auto that directs power to all the wheels via Quattro system. Unlike the R8 (and many other cars with so much power on tap), the RS7 models don’t get a dual-clutch transmission. Instead, it boasts a traditional ZF-sourced torque converter automatic unit that comes from the A8 limousine.
As we said, the regular RS7 is no slouch. However, Audi claims the new RS7 Performance is 0.2 seconds faster to the ton. Frankly, with both the RS7 and the RS7 Performance offering absolutely ballistic straight-line performance, it gets a bit too tough to pin-point any sort of difference. In both the cars, power delivery is strong right from the word ‘Go’ as any sort of turbo lag is just conspicuous by its absence. Maybe the slight difference in power can be observed on driving the two RS7s back-to-back on a race track.
Tipping the scales at almost two tonnes, the RS7 Sportback Performance is a shade heavier than even the Porsche Panamera Turbo, the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and even the portly BMW M6 Gran Coupe. Yet, the RS7 Performance is quicker than all of these and can hit 100 km/h from standstill in merely 3.7 seconds. Top speed, with the Dynamic Package Plus, is claimed at 305 KMPH. The RS7 Performance is not only supercar fast, it also sounds like one. There’s a fierce, almost menacing sound note – the exhaust pops audibly at upshifts, while easing off the throttle is marked by a raging crackle! While truly sporty, the RS7 Performance trots almost effortlessly in the city. This RS7 is very tractable in the urban environment. What’s more, in city driving, with some ‘feather-footing’, you can average as much as 8 km/l. Brilliant, we say!
Around the corners?
While the RS7 Performance offers absolutely gob-smacking straight-line performance, it is this car’s corner-carving prowess that leaves us slightly more to be desired. Don’t get us wrong though, for the steering is really very precise and the grip levels are just phenomenal. However, it offers little in terms of feedback. The situation is so bad that even on hitting a pothole, nothing is transmitted to your fingertips. So, ultimately you lack confidence while pushing this car into the corners. Talking of the electronics, the RS7’s torque vectoring system, along with the limited-slip differential, does make it easy to change your line mid corner. The steering weighs up in a very artificial manner, which, while not a deal breaker, is a slight put off.
It is the ride quality which is the biggest disappointment. We never expected a ‘magic carpet’ ride, but the ride gets really harsh and neck-tiring in Dynamic mode. Regular driving is best done in Comfort settings, where the suspension does get a tad softer and more forgiving. However, with the new 21-inch mag wheels shod with ultra low profile rubber, it’s in the best interests of the rims (and your family jewels) to steer away from big potholes.
Should I Buy One?
On sale for north of Rs 1.8 Crore, the RS7 Performance is a whopping Rs 40 Lakh dearer than the already expensive RS7. However, the new Performance variant takes the gob-smacking, gut-wrenching, grab-ya-by-the-lapels performance of the RS7 to the next level. Honestly, on public roads, it’s really hard to take note of the bump in power. However, getting the new RS7 Sportback Performance makes perfect sense for those looking for the ‘ultimate’ in the world of super-sedans. The Audi RS7 Sportback Performance offers the practicality of a four door luxury barge along with the performance of a German supercar; best of both worlds, anyone?
Audi RS7 Sportback Performance Review – Images
So, what do you think of our Audi RS7 Sportback Performance Review and Test Drive report? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below. Stay tuned to Car Blog India for more posts like the Audi RS7 Sportback Performance Review and test drive report we have here.
Test Drive Review: Yatharth Chauan
Photography: Dhruv Saxena
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- Audi RS7 Sportback Performance
- Reviewed by: