2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

2016 audi rs 7 sportback performance – DOC652314

American performance is usually served with unmistakable flamboyance. For example, both the shark-nosed Corvette Z06 and Terminator-esque Shelby GT350 Mustang offer unambiguous speed cues front to back. But that’s a good thing; it’s an essential facet of their character. However, some people prefer the straight-to-jail speed in a package that flies comfortably under the radar. Folks looking for a combination like that usually turn to Europe, birthplace of cars like the Audi RS7 Sportback Performance. To the uninitiated, it’s just another AWD luxury sedan. But to those who know, it’s over 600 horsepower and a top speed of 190 mph.

Audi already offers U.S. customers the venerable RS 7, but now, according to a recent report from the fine folks at , we’ll get the new Performance version as well. That means even more power, slightly tweaked styling, and all the refinement and comfort you’d expect from a range-topper with four rings on the grille.

So then – a high-output variant of an already overpowered luxury sedan. Sounds tempting. We won’t know exactly what the U.S.-spec RS 7 Sportback Performance will bring to the table until Audi provides us with the details, but for now, read on for the Euro-spec iteration and cross your fingers it’s unaltered by the time it hits our shores.

Exterior

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

While the RS 7 isn’t exactly a car I’d classify as a “sleeper,” it still looks quite modest next to cars with similar levels of output. Audi’s large singleframe grille dominates the front end, flanked on either side by sharp and narrow LED headlights. Moving towards the back, the lines are flowing and smooth, with a dearth of superfluous design cues. The proportions are attractive, and the roof slopes gently into a rear end that drops abruptly into the trunk. You could even get away with calling it minimalist. 

The RS 7 Sportback Performance keeps all these traits as is, and it’s not easy to spot the differences between the Performance and the “normal” RS 7

The RS 7 Sportback Performance keeps all these traits as is, and it’s not easy to spot the differences between the Performance and the “normal” RS 7. The bumpers keep the large intakes up front and exhaust-housing diffuser in back. The grille still uses a glossy black honeycomb pattern, and the side skirts are flared. But look closely, and you’ll see the Performance comes with a “quattro” logo in the lower portion of the grille. There’s also matte-titanium-look trim used in the front spoiler, lateral intake flaps, side windows, and the top edge of the diffuser. The side-view mirrors get this treatment as well. Further flair can be had with available aluminum, carbon, and gloss black styling packages.

Each model comes standard with 21-inch cast aluminum wheels, with the RS 7 Sportback Performance benefiting from an exclusive five-double-arm look design, complete with matte titanium look and gloss turned finish. The rollers are also offered in silver or gloss anthracite black.

Paint options come in a variety of finishes as well, such as solid, metallic pearl effect, crystal effect, and matte. Color choices include Daytona gray, floret silver, glacier white, Misano red, mythos black, Nardo gray, panther black, prism silver, and Seprang blue. However, my favorite has to be the RS Performance model-exclusive Ascari blue metallic. Black and blue bruiser, baby.

Interior

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

The four-door RS 7 Sportback Performance makes decent use of available space when it comes to hauling around people and things. There’s seating for four passengers, with more space in the back than most 190-mph performance vehicles. There’s also up to 49.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Up front are standard sport seats with large side bolsters and integrated head restraints. Opt for the RS Performance Design package, and Audi will upholster the seats in an Alcantara/leather combo, with black and blue coloring and a honeycomb pattern. The package also throws in matching contrast stitching on the armrests, control elements, and floor maps, plus Alcantara and carbon twill blue inlays for the knee pads. Further color options for the upholstery and stitching are offered with Audi Exclusive Portfolio.

Up front are standard sport seats with large side bolsters and integrated head restraints.

Behind the leather-clad, flat-bottomed, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is instrumentation that includes a black background, white numbers, and red needles. The entry sills are illuminated, and there’s a power-retractable display mounted on top of the dash for infotainment and navigation purposes.

Standard equipment includes four-zone climate control and MMI navigation with touchpad control. Options include a heads-up display, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, and driver’s aides like night vision assistant and adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go functionality. You can also get Audi Connect for a variety of online services, plus an internet Wi-Fi hotspot.

Drivetrain

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

So it looks good and the interior is nicely equipped. But what about all this Performance we keep hearing about?

True to the car’s namesake, Audi and quattro GmbH bless the RS 7 Sportback Performance with the most powerful version of the make’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter TFSI V-8 engine. Peak output is rated at 605 horsepower between 6,100 and 6,800 rpm, and 516 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 and 6,000 rpm. Set the driving mode to Dynamic and step on the throttle, and you’ll activate an overboost function that temporarily increases peak torque to 553 pound-feet between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm, making the boost gauge glow red.

All told, that’s 45 horsepower and 37 pound-feet more than the standard RS 7. Engine redline was also raised by 200 rpm.

The new RS7 Performance Edition goes from 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the base RS 7.

The result is a sprint from 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the base RS 7. The Performance will also go from 0-to-200 km/h (124 mph) in 12.1 seconds, 1.4 seconds quicker than the base RS 7.

Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, but ask Audi nicely, and they’ll ditch the nannie for a top speed of 174 mph. Equip the optional Dynamic package, and the Performance will max out at a heady 190 mph.

Twin-scroll turbochargers make the boost. The snails and their associated intercoolers are mounted directly into the engine’s inner V, which helps to reduce turbo lag and sharpens throttle response.

The powerplant also comes with Audi’s Cylinder On Demand (COD) system, which closes valves and cuts fuel to cylinders two, three, five, and eight under light load. This system essentially turns the thirsty 4.0-liter V-8 into a four-banger when cruising, improving fuel economy substantially. That means the Performance returns the same mileage and emissions as its non-Performance siblings, with just under 25 mpg and 356 g/mi, respectively.

Routing the power is a standard eight-speed Tiptronic torque-converter transmission. Coolant is routed from the engine to help the gearbox reach optimum operating temperature more quickly, while a hydraulic accumulator is used for start/stop functionality.

Drivers can use a steering-wheel-mounted button to select between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual modes

The Audi Drive Select system offers multiple driving modes, modifying settings for the steering, engine, and transmission depending on the situation. Drivers can use a steering-wheel-mounted button to select between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual modes, similar to the new Audi R8 . There are also paddles mounted on the steering wheel for manual shifting. Rev counts appear on the information screen behind the wheel, or on the optional heads-up display.

Finally, Audi’s iconic quattro permanent AWD system puts it all to the ground. The system comes with wheel-selective torque control, with normal operation sending 40 percent to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear. There’s also an optional sport differential for the rear that uses two superposition gears for smoother torque distribution. Audi says the diff “literally pushes the RS Performance models into the radius” in fast turns.

Chassis And Handling

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

The RS 7 Sportback Performance has a five-link suspension set-up in the front, and a trapezoidal link in the rear. Both are made from aluminum. The wheel carriers and pivot bearings are also made from aluminum, and the stabilizer bars are hallow. Hydraulically damped bearings are used to join the steel subframe and body.

Each model comes standard with adaptive performance air suspension, which varies settings depending on road conditions, driving style, and driving mode. For example, put it in Dynamic mode, and the ride height drops 0.8 inch.

Audi also offers stiffer RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, which replaces the stock pieces with steel springs and three-stage adjustable dampers. Other options include dynamic steering with a continuously variable ratio.

Braking comes from 15.4-inch rotors and six-piston calipers up front, which have a weight-saving design that cuts 6.6 pounds over normal discs. Finally, there are available carbon-fiber ceramic discs that shed an additional 22 pounds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Safety

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have posted crash test results for the RS 7. However, standard equipment does include dual-stage front airbags, front thorax side airbags, knee airbags, curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, LATCH anchor points in the rear, and LED lighting.

Prices

Audi has yet to announce availability and pricing for the U.S.-spec RS 7 Sportback Performance, but does state sales will commence in Germany this November with an MSRP of 121,700 euros ($133,724). At that price, the Performance would carry a $24,824 premium over the standard RS 7. When (and if) the Performance makes it to the U.S., I’d expect it to cost roughly $135,000 before options. And don’t forget – there are plenty of four-digit add-ons to tack on before you drive away, such as new exterior trim, driver’s aide technology, premium audio, and the speed-enhancing Dynamics package.

Competition

BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe

BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe

Bimmer calls it a coupe, but this luxury speedboat still boasts four doors, just like the Audi. Other similarities include a gently sloping roofline and a twin-turbo V-8 nestled in the nose. Output is rated at 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Properly routed through the standard eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW ’s xDrive AWD system, acceleration figures look like 0-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph. Adaptive sport suspension comes standard. Pricing starts at $122,200.

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS63 S

Mercedes CLS63 AMG

When it comes to Mercedes, more letters means more speed. Such is the case with this four-door coupe, which gets the AMG go-faster treatment with a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Other features include a seven-speed automatic transmission and Merc’s 4Matic AWD system. A sprint to 60 mph takes just 3.5 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Between the Audi and BMW, the Merc is probably the most brutal of the three, with huge displacement and beefy looks. It’s also the least expensive, starting at $107,800.

Conclusion

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

This is a segment that promises everything. The practicality of four doors combine with the good looks of sweptback rooflines, while high technology and world-class comfort pair up with breathtaking speed. Anyone willing to spend this kind of coin on a car is simply unwilling to compromise, no matter the situation.

With that in mind, how does the RS 7 Sportback Performance stack up? With over 600 horsepower on tap, the Audi has the muscle, while the adjustable suspension finds a happy balance between refinement and cornering prowess. You’ll also find options like ceramic brakes to gain an edge come Sunday. Inside, Audi brings top-shelf materials and the latest techno gadgetry.

All in all, things are as they should be. So why would you pick the Audi over the BMW or Mercedes?

In a word – maturity. While the BMW and Mercedes announce their presence with showy styling and faster-than-you attitude, the Audi brings a uniquely restrained confidence. On most days, it’ll easily cruise to your destination with discretion. But dig into the loud pedal, and it’s all sound and fury.

LOVE IT

  • Even more performance
  • Understated exterior
  • Go-faster options

LEAVE IT

  • Very expensive
  • BMW and Mercedes offer even more performance
  • Not yet confirmed for the U.S.

Press Release

Plus performance: the new Audi RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Increased performance and outstanding efficiency – the new Audi RS 6 Avant performance* and the new Audi RS 7 Sportback performance* top their respective model lines. Their 4.0 TFSI engine with 445 kW (605 hp) and up to 750 Nm (553.2 lb‑ft) of torque push acceleration nearly to levels usually reserved for supercars. Fuel consumption remains unchanged at 9.6 and 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers (24.5 and 24.8 US mpg), respectively, corresponding to 223 and 221 g CO2 per km (358.9 and 355.7 g/mi). These are best-in-segment figures.

Engine

The new RS performance models are equipped with the most powerful version of the free-revving V8 biturbo power unit with a displacement of 3,993 cc. Power output has been increased by 33 kW (45 hp) to 445 kW (605 hp), which is available between 6,100 and 6,800 rpm. The maximum rpm has thus also been increased by 200 revs. A constant 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque is available between 1,750 and 6,000 rpm. A particular highlight of the engine is an overboost function allowing the driver to temporarily draw on up to 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm. Overboost is activated automatically under full load if the engine/transmission setting is set to “dynamic” mode. The boost pressure indicator in the RS menu turns red when overboost is active.

The high-tech character of the 4.0 TFSI is manifested in numerous details, such as the twin-scroll turbochargers that provide for the early and rapid development of torque, the innovative thermal management and the layout of the cylinder heads. Their intake side is on the outside and the exhaust side on the inside. The turbos and their intercooler are located in the inner V. This layout results in short gas flow paths with minimal flow losses and spontaneous response.

The road performance of the new RS 6 Avant performance and the new RS 7 Sportback performance speaks for itself: The two RS high-performance models sprint like supercars from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the respective base RS model.

They need just 12.1 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 200 km/h (124.3 mph), 1.4 seconds less than the base RS models. Audi limits the top speed in the standard configuration to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Top speed can be increased to 280 km/h (174.0 mph) upon request, and 305 km/h (189.5 mph) is possible with the dynamic package. In the ECE cycle, the 4.0 TFSI still consumes just 9.6 and 9.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (24.5 and 24.8 US mpg), respectively, corresponding to 223 and 221 g CO2 per kilometer (358.9 and 355.7 g/mi).

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

These top figures for power and efficiency are made possible by the technological expertise of Audi and quattro GmbH. Engineering skills and long years of experience with RS high-performance models enabled further optimization of the 4.0 TFSI, from the specific engine management system with increased rpm and boost pressure to the Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to moderate load and engine speed, this deactivates cylinders two, three, five and eight by closing their valves and shutting off fuel injection. The high-performance power unit then runs as a four-cylinder engine until the driver presses firmly down on the gas pedal again. The only thing the driver notices is significantly reduced fuel consumption.

Drivetrain

The standard eight-speed tiptronic has been designed for maximum sportiness in both the new RS 6 Avant performance and the new RS 7 Sportback performance. All gear changes are fast and flexible. The highly efficient oil pump and the heating of the transmission by the engine coolant during the warm-up phase contribute to the high efficiency of the classic torque-converter transmission. A hydraulic accumulator enables the start-stop function. The driver can choose between the modes D and S or change gears manually either by tapping the selector lever or by using the shift paddles on the RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel. In manual mode, a shift indicator in the driver information system (DIS) or optional head-up display indicates the rev limit. While the lower gears of the tiptronic are closely spaced for sporty response, eighth gear is tall to reduce fuel consumption.

quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers the power to the road and flexibly distributes torque as needed via the center differential. In the standard configuration, 40 percent flows to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle. The wheel-selective torque control intervenes as necessary. On request, Audi will combine quattro all-wheel drive with the optional sport differential on the rear axle: It uses two superposition gears to steplessly vary the distribution of the power at the rear axle between the wheels. In fast curves, it literally pushes the RS performance models into the radius.

Chassis

The front axle is a construction with five aluminum links per wheel that can handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The Audi track-controlled, trapezoidal link principle is used for the rear axle. The links here are also made of aluminum. Two hydraulically damped bearings join the steel subframe to the body. As with the front axle, the wheel carriers and pivot bearings are made of aluminum and the stabilizer bars are tubes.

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

The two new RS performance models from Audi come standard with a specifically tuned air suspension. With its dynamic setup, the RS adaptive air suspension lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.8 in) lower. The integrated damping control varies as a function of the road conditions, driving style and the mode chosen in Audi drive select. Audi offers the tauter RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) as an alternative to the air suspension. It uses steel springs and three-stage adjustable dampers that are connected to one another via oil lines and one central valve each. Another option, which can be integrated into the Audi drive select system, is the dynamic steering with a continuously variable steering ratio.

With the Audi drive select system, the driver can vary the function of key components, including the steering, engine and sound management, the tiptronic and the optional sport differential, between the modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. New to the RS performance models is the ability for the driver to select the desired mode without taking his or her eyes off the road using a special button on the RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel, similarly to how it is done in the new Audi R8 high-performance sports car.

The new RS performance models come standard with 21-inch cast aluminum wheels. The RS 6 Avant performance gets wheels in an exclusive 5-V-spoke star design in matt titanium look with a gloss turned finish. Wheels with a 5-double-arm design are reserved exclusively for the RS 7 Sportback performance. These are also in matt titanium look with a gloss turned finish. Both wheels are optionally available in silver or gloss anthracite black, gloss turned finish.

The four internally ventilated brake discs have a weight-saving wave design, shaving nearly three kilograms (6.6 lb) compared with a brake system with conventional discs. The front discs measure 390 millimeters (15.4 in) in diameter and are gripped by six-piston calipers.

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Audi also offers optional carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs, which all together reduce weight by an additional ten kilograms (22.0 lb). Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) has a Sport mode that can be deactivated altogether if need be.

Exterior appearance

Diverse design details reinforce the preeminent position of the two new high-performance models. These include the sportily designed bumpers with large air inlets up front and the heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear, the gloss black honeycomb grille typical of the RS models and the flared side sills. The RS performance-specific exterior also features a quattro logo on the air inlet duct and striking add-on parts in matt titanium look, including the frame of the Singleframe grille, the front spoiler and the lateral flaps in the air inlets, the trim strips at the side windows, the exterior mirror housings and the top edge of the diffuser insert at the rear of the car. The roof rails of the RS 6 Avant performance are also finished in matt titanium look. The familiar matt aluminum, carbon and gloss black styling packages are also available upon request. Audi offers the new Ascari blue, metallic paint finish as an exclusive option for the RS performance models.

Interior and equipment

The sportily elegant interior of the RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance comes standard with RS sport seats with pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints. Audi offers the seats in the color combination black and blue with the optional RS performance design package. This includes new seat upholstery in an Alcantara/leather combination with a honeycomb pattern and matching contrasting stitching on the armrests, control elements and floor mats. Rounding out this interior combination are knee pads in Alcantara and Carbon twill blue inlays. This sophisticated and exclusive carbon material is interwoven with a blue thread.

The Audi exclusive portfolio allows for greatly expanded color options. For example, customers can choose a headlining in black Alcantara or leather-covered seat trim with blue contrasting stitching.

The dial instruments feature black faces, white dials and red needles. RS logos and screens adorn the key, the three-spoke, multifunction sport leather steering wheel, the illuminated entry sills, the tachometer, the large driver information system display and the power-retractable monitor of the MMI navigation plus system. When overboost is active, the boost pressure displayed in the driver information system changes color from white to red.

The new Audi RS 6 Avant performance offers from 564 to 1,680 liters (19.9 to 59.3 cu ft) of cargo capacity compared with 535 to 1,390 liters (18.9 to 49.1 cu ft) with the new Audi RS 7 Sportback performance.

Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

Both RS performance models feature a generous list of standard equipment. Besides the specific design characteristics, this includes four-zone automatic air conditioning, MMI navigation plus with touchpad control (MMI touch) and the Audi sound system. Optional high-end features range from a head-up display and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System to the driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function and the night vision assistant. Audi connect brings tailored online services on board. Passengers can surf the web freely via a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The palette of finishes for the RS performance models includes solid, metallic, pearl effect, crystal effect and matt shades. The standard colors are Daytona gray, floret silver, glacier white, Misano red, mythos black, Nardo gray, panther black, prism silver and Sepang blue. Supplementing the choice of colors are the custom finishes and matt effect paint finishes from Audi exclusive. In addition, Ascari blue, metallic is an exclusive color for the RS performance models.

Even more performance with outstanding efficiency – that is what is behind the new “performance” model designation at Audi. The new Audi RS 6 Avant performance costs 117,000 euros in Germany; the new Audi RS 7 Sportback performance 121,700 euros. The two new models will be available at dealers beginning in November.

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