When Mercedes-Benz released its “four-door coupe” CLS , it was an instant sales success, and every luxury manufacturer was left trying to play catch up. Audi created the A7 , a swoopy four-door with a unique liftback rear end to maximize luggage space. After the A7, Audi created a faster version dubbed the S7 for buyers who were looking for more performance. After the success of both of these models, Audi decided to go all-out in the performance market and created the RS7 for 2013. With a twin-turbo V-8 and quattro, Audi had created a gasoline-burning monster. It was amazing.
With a force-fed V-8 under the hood, and quattro AWD, the new and updated 2015 RS7 Sportback will handily trump most of your favorite sports cars around any canyon road, even with three of your favorite friends screaming and white knuckled in the other three leather-wrapped thrones.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi RS 7 Sportback.
The new A7’s Singleframe headlamp design with its altered LED running lamps makes its way over the RS7, but you can opt for the Matrix LED technology with RS7-exclusive darkened trims.
The exterior of the Audi RS7 was striking before, but with the new updates, Audi has found a way to refine the shape and give us a crisper design that is somehow even more attractive. The new A7’s Sin gleframe headlamp design with its altered LED running lamps makes its way over the RS7, but you can opt for the Matrix LED technology with RS7-exclusive darkened trims. The same menacing front end returns with mildly altered bumper, but it retains the massive front intakes. The grille has been given a visual tweak, thanks to a design with sharper edges and angles. The trim around the new nose can be ordered in your choice of matte aluminum (seen here), glass black or carbon.
The back of the car stays mostly the same, but the taillamps have been updated. Audi is bringing four new colors to the table for the 2015 RS7; three metallic shades, Floret Silver, Glacier White, and Mythos Black, and one pearl effect color, Sepang Blue. The machine does come standard with lightweight, 20-inch forged alloys, but 21-inch, cast-aluminum wheels are offered as an option, and it comes in three color options.
2015 Audi RS7 - Exterior Dimensions
|Length||5,012 MM (197.32 Inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,915 MM (114.76 Inches)|
|Height||1,419 MM (55.86 Inches)|
|Width (no mirrors)||1,911 MM (75.23 Inches)|
|Width (mirrors included)||2,139 MM (84.21 Inches)|
A close eye will also catch the slightly altered instrument cluster, air vent controls and shift paddles.
Audi has seen fit to enhance the interior a bit as well. The most striking difference over the base A7 are the aggressively bolstered RS sport seats. The same attractive honeycomb shape from the grille is mirrored in the seat stitching, and the bright color of the thrones look stunning in contrast to the dark cabin. A close eye will also catch the slightly altered instrument cluster, air vent controls and shift paddles. Audi also saw fit to slightly update the Quattro emblem on the instrument panel.
MMI is standard in the RS7, and Audi was quick to note that it has now been upgraded to the latest generation model. If you are a bit of a tech nerd like I am, you will be entertained to hear that this whole system is powered silicon from Nvidia.
But let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter how great it looks, you came here for the greasy, oily bits that Audi crammed under that sheet metal. The engine hasn’t been dramatically changed since last year, but that isn’t really a bad thing. The 4.0-liter V8 with its pair of turbochargers is good for 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of twist. Best yet, all that torque is available from just 1,750 rpm. Because Audi built this thing mostly out of aluminum, it doesn’t weight that much. Combine that relatively low weight with that monster engine and you can make the 0-to-62 sprint in 3.9 seconds. For reference, the 2014 Corvette Stingray with the Z51 performance package can only best that number 0.1 second.
Audi is even offering a pair optional “dynamics packages” that let this thing stretch its legs in the top end and reach a top speed of 174 mph or 190 mph depending on your choice of package.
As with most modern Audis, the engine sends its power through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission to a quattro all-wheel-drive system powering all four wheels. If you so choose, Audi does offer the option of a sport differential for the rear axle for some extra fun and performance. Thanks to a tall eighth gear, Audi claims that the RS7 will manage upwards of 25 mpg.
2015 Audi RS7 - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||4.0 TFSI V-8|
|Output (HP @ RPM)||560 @ TBA|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||516 LBS-FT @ 1,750 - 5,500 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||3.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||189.5 MPH|
Suspension and Brakes
To get the most out this engine in the non-straight parts of the road, Audi has put its signature RS adaptive air suspension under all four corners. The system is coupled with adaptive damping and it lets the RS sit 20 mm (0.78 inches) lower than its A7 counterpart. Aside from lowering the center of gravity for better handling performance, the drop in height gives the RS7 a menacing stance. For even better canyon carving, you can opt for the RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, but you will be sacrificing a small amount of comfort.
To make sure the RS7 can come down from speed as quickly as it accelerates, Audi has tucked carbon-ceramic brakes behind those lightweight alloy wheels.
There are no official U.S. prices for the new RS7 yet, but the Euro market car has only seen a price increase of &euro300 to a total of €113,300. The U.S. car currently carries a $104,900 price tag, so expect a $300 to $700 jump.
I won’t try to argue the validity of Mercedes’ “four-door coupe” naming scheme, but sales numbers have made it painfully obvious the market wanted attractive four-doors. The original CLS created the segment, and Benz is looking to dominate it with the CLS63 AMG. With a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 under the hood making 577 horsepower, and a 0-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds, the AMG bests the numbers provided by the Audi RS7.
That said, if you like a bit of color in your life the CLS is out of the picture. It is currently available in 8 colors, all but one are some shade of silver, white or black. The outlier is a dark blue that is very greyish in its hue. Talk about boring.
The Mercedes also carries a slightly higher price tag of $106,500.
Gallery Mercedes CLS 63 AMG 4MATIC
The Mercedes and Audi are pretty evenly matched in regards to performance and price, but the BMW M6 GranCoupe is the outlier of the bunch. It is the least powerful of the group, the slowest to 60 mph and the only one without AWD. Despite all this, it carries the highest price with an MSRP of $115,300. That is a premium of more than 10 grand over the Audi, and almost $9,000 dearer than the all-powerful Mercedes.
BMW does have a strong tradition of making the best driving cars among the German three, and that Roundel on the hood carries strong pull with buyers. But I find it hard to believe that BMW has out-priced its competition to such a huge degree, considering it is coming into the fight on the back foot in regards to performance.
BMW has the talent to get more grunt from that 4.4-liter, TwinPower Turbo V-8, let’s hope it decides to pump that power up for next year, or this won’t be much of a competition. As it sits now, the M6 GranCoupe "only" pumps out 560 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, which is good for a 0-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds. Opting for the Competition Package bumps the output to 575 horsepower.
Gallery BMW M6 GranCoupe
Overall the new 2015 Audi RS7 is a compelling package. It feels as though Audi has nearly perfected the combination of space, practicality, and speed that this segment was promising. The design is stunning and interesting without feeling to chintzy, the fuel economy isn’t terrible, and it will nearly hit 200 mph.
When you add in the fact that it is the cheapest of the big Germans, it starts to make even more sense. As with all performance cars, I would prefer an option for a manual transmission, but even I would have a hard time arguing with Audi every time I put that 560 horsepower to work.
Hey, horizon, I am coming at you hard and fast.
- Smart exterior design and interior treatments
- Corvette level performance in a four-door
- Lots of extra performance options available
- Eye-watering price tag
- No manual transmission
- No interior color options
Dynamics in a new top form – Audi has honed the RS 7 Sportback. The large five-door coupé comes with new LED headlights and even more enhanced infotainment features. With 412 kW (560 hp) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, its 4.0 TFSI engine provides for an impressive driving performance at a fuel consumption rate of only 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers (24.8 US mpg) with 221 grams CO2 per kilometer (355.7 g/mi).
“The Audi RS 7 Sportback confirms the reputation of the RS models as the superior, top athletes of our brand,” states Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG. “The combination of a powerful four‑liter V8 engine with cylinder on demand technology, quattro drive and intelligent lightweight design makes the RS 7 Sportback an outstanding piece of sports equipment for any fan of dynamic and yet efficient driving.”
Even at first glance, the Audi RS 7 Sportback reveals its dynamic character – the long engine hood, the sporty and flowing C‑pillars and the sharply sloping rear end form an aesthetic overall impression. New design details add striking touches. They include the Singleframe grille with the black honeycomb typical of RS models, with the corners now even sharper and more distinctive. Three optional packages – matt aluminum, gloss black and carbon – make the look of the RS 7 Sportback even more distinctive. The central front air inlet bears the quattro lettering. Slight modifications have also been made to the bumper, with its distinctive air inlets.
The headlights, also adapted to the new Singleframe, come with LED technology as a standard feature. On request, Audi provides the headlights with the innovative Matrix LED technology, available exclusively on the RS 7 Sportback with additionally darkened trims. This offer also includes turn signals with dynamic display at the front. At the rear they are generally standard. The tail lights also have a new interior design. New to the paint finishes are the colors Floret Silver, metallic; Glacier White, metallic; Mythos Black, metallic and Sepang Blue, pearl effect.
In the elegant black interior, dominated by the RS sport seats, the designers have discreetly revised the instrument cluster: the air outlet controls of the vent nozzles, the shift paddles behind the steering wheel and the quattro emblem on the instrument panel. The standard MMI navigation plus with MMI touch now uses the modular infotainment platform of the latest generation; its highlight is an efficient graphics processor from Audi’s partner, Nvidia.
The 4.0 TFSI in the revised Audi RS 7 Sportback provides as before 412 kW (560 hp), with a constant 700 Nm (516.3 lb‑ft) of torque at engine speeds between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm. The engine catapults the five‑door coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds; the optional dynamics packages allow top speeds of 280 and 305 km/h (174.0 and 189.5 mph), respectively. In the ECE cycle however, the resonant V8 bi‑turbo needs only 9.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (24.8 US mpg) with 221 grams CO2 per kilometer (355.7 g/mi). A key factor in this efficiency is the cylinder on demand (COD) system, which can shut down four cylinders during partial load operation.
An eight‑speed tiptronic tuned for sporty performance, with a tall eight gear, directs the power of the eight‑cylinder engine to the quattro permanent all‑wheel drive. On request, Audi will combine quattro all‑wheel drive with the optional sport differential on the rear axle.
The RS adaptive air suspension, together with adaptive damping, standard on the RS 7 Sportback, lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.8 in); its control is incorporated in the Audi drive select driving dynamics system. Audi offers the tauter RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) as an alternative. A further option is dynamic steering, with its continuously variable steering ratio.
The revised Audi RS 7 Sportback is fitted with 20‑inch forged lightweight alloy wheels as a standard feature; 21‑inch cast aluminum wheels in three color versions are optionally available. The four internally ventilated brake disks have a weight‑saving wave design; alternatively Audi installs carbon fiber-ceramic disks. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) has a Sport mode that can be deactivated altogether if need be.
The Audi RS 7 Sportback can be ordered in Germany from the 3rd quarter 2014. Its base price is €113,300.