2019 Audi RS7 Sportback
Will the fastest A7 go big or go home?by Jonathan Lopez, on
Audi first introduced the A7 in 2010 at the Paris Motor Sow as a sporty, yet practical iteration of the A6. U.S. models arrived for the 2012 model year, while the hot-to-trot RS7 was released in 2013 with more power, complimentary suspension and chassis upgrades, and sharper looks. Now, following the release of the second-gen A7 in October of 2017, Audi is cooking up a second generation for the RS7 as well, and it could get as much as 700 hybridized horsepower under the hood.
Update 06/19/2018: The Audi RS7, pretending to be an A7, was caught testing on the track, with a look of intent to debut sometime in the very near future. Check it out, along with what we can spot, in the spy shots section below!
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback
06/19/2018: 2019 Audi RS7 Testing on the Track
Last time we saw the RS7 putting in work, it was doing so in the snow, wearing everything to suggest that it was just an A7. This time around, however, we spotted engineers playing on the track. While it is still wearing an A7 badge, including a “55 TSFI” model designation, it’s wearing a completely different front fascia. It does have the same rear fascia, however, it’s sporting what appears to be an active rear spoiler, further hinting at its real purpose in life. It also has the larger wheels, bigger brakes, and – according to our photographer, a pretty mean sound from the dual exhaust outlets in the rear.
As far as the front fascia is concerned, the old A7 fascia is out with something new in its place. The air dam may or may not carry over from the standard model, but the camo here makes it look rectangular instead of it tapering off in points at the bottom. The corner air intakes are quite interesting, with camo giving them a triangular appearance. I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting them to carry over into production like this as they are simply larger, more pronounced holes compared to the standard model. The 55 TSFI signifies that it is rocking somewhere between 328 and 368 horsepower, but it should actually deliver somewhere between 570 and 630 horsepower, with the latter figure coming into play for models equipped with the performance package. On that note, if it really does go hybrid, a figure closer to 700 horsepower isn’t out of the question either. Pretty cool, huh?
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback Exterior Styling
- Five-door body style
- Similar styling as the new A7
- Extra performance cues
- Larger intakes
- Sharper frontend
- Black honeycomb grille mesh
- LED illumination, optional laser headlights
- Massive fender flares
- Wheel options in 20- and 21-inch diameters
- Large rear diffuser
- Oval exhaust tips
- Blacked-out trim
- Carbon fiber bits
The front bumper should come with wider intakes, sharp headlight housings, and a more pronounced aero setup.
Like the standard A7, the RS7 Sportback is a midsize luxury entry that comes equipped with five doors, including four for passengers and a rear hatch for cargo duties. If you think about it, it’s kind of a weird niche, but considering the seemingly unending popularity of the SUV segment, not to mention the declining popularity of sedan, it definitely starts to makes sense to mesh the two a bit. And hey - folks seem to like it, so why not?
While we already know what the standard A7 will look like following its debut last year, we can expect the upcoming RS7 Sportback to get all the traditional performance styling cues.
Kicking things off will be a select number of updates to the front bumper, with wider intakes, sharp headlight housings, and a more pronounced aero setup. Standard appointment will include LEDs for the forward illumination, while laser headlight elements should be optional. The RS7 will also come with a black honeycomb mesh insert for the front grille, as opposed to the horizontal bars seen on the standard A7 model.
Moving to the sides, we’ll find massively flared-out fenders. These will be even more pronounced than those seen on the standard A7, as previewed on this tester model. The profile view will also reveal the RS7’s coupe-like roofline and more aggressive side skirts. Large wheels will take up residence in the corners, measuring in between 20 and 21 inches in diameter and constructed from forged aluminum.
Details will include dark-colored trim to give the model a more menacing appearance.
Finally, in the rear, the RS7 Sportback will utilize oval exhaust tips for the flourish. Framing the polished finishers will be an updated rear bumper, which will come complete with a large diffuser element. High on the trunk will be a standard adaptive rear spoiler, rising and falling for either more rear-end grip or greater aero efficiency as the situation may warrant. LEDs will be used with the taillight housings, which will be reshaped into sharper, thinner units compared to the outgoing model, stretching from fender to fender in a single unbroken strip.
Details will include a set of “quattro” logos added wherever appropriate, as well as dark-colored trim to give the model a more menacing appearance.
Customization will be offered with additional carbon and blacked-out trim bits, while the Performance model will add carbon elements to the front spoiler, rear diffuser, and exterior side mirrors as standard.
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback Interior Design
- Similar in design and layout as standard A7
- Lots of digital displays
- Fewer hard buttons
- Flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather
- Sport seats with large side bolsters
- Audi Virtual Cockpit gauges
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi
- Advanced driver’s assists
- Leather, Alcantara, aluminum, carbon fiber
- Enhanced rear cargo room
Note: 2019 Audi A7 interior pictured here.
Just behind the steering wheel will be an all-digital gauge cluster, otherwise known as the Audi Virtual Cockpit.
Much like the exterior, the 2019 RS7 will base its exterior on the redesigned A7. Standout design features include a horizontal, geometric layout, with hard angles and lines creating a high-tech vibe throughout. HVAC vents along the upper portion of the dash will sit above a double-decker of digital readouts in the center stack, with a wide central tunnel providing additional control support with a few hard buttons, not to mention the transmission shifter.
To this starting canvas, the RS7 Sportback will upgrade with a slew of performance-oriented cues, starting with a new flat-bottom steering wheel rocking three spokes and a few hard buttons placed at thumb’s length at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Also expect to find sporty seats up front to hold passengers in place while exploring the limits of grip.
Just behind the steering wheel will be an all-digital gauge cluster, otherwise known as the Audi Virtual Cockpit, providing a customizable interface for the usual driver’s info (road speed, engine rpm, coolant temps, etc.), as well as turn-by-turn navigation and a map.
Further infotainment features will include an integrated smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, while above the steering wheel, a standard heads-up display will relay additional info directly onto the windshield. Voice control and handwriting recognition round out the inputs.
A 4G LTE Wi-Fi will keep you connected, while Google Earth will be used with the digital display to provide detailed map images. Weather and traffic info will also be readily available, and for those audiophiles out there, Bang & Olufsen will provide the tunes.
Another key highlight will be Audi’s autonomous and semi-autonomous driver assist package.
Another key highlight will be Audi’s autonomous and semi-autonomous driver assist package, which will include features such as adaptive cruise control with a stop and go feature, active lane assist, Audi pre sense plus with high beam assist, and more. Additional driver’s assist features will be offered as an optional upgrade as well.
In terms of materials, the interior will come with aluminum, carbon fiber, and glossy black bits, not to mention leather and Alcantara upholstery throughout. Honeycomb stitching will add a splash of extra top-shelf feel.
And of course, being a liftback, look for enhanced rear cargo room in the rear. Maximum passenger capacity will be set at four.
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback Drivetrain And Performance
- All-new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant
- As much as 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet
- 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds
- Possible 700-horsepower hybrid powerplant
- Top speed approaching 195 mph
- Eight-speed automatic transmission
- AWD as standard
- Enormous brakes, optional carbon ceramics
- Option Sport Differential
Under the hood, the RS7 is rumored to equip a turbo 4.0-liter V-8 gas-burner, something that might be shared with the new Bentley Continental GT.
Let’s just jump straight to the most important news here - under the hood, the 2019 RS7 Sportback is rumored to equip an all-new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 gas-burner. It’s a stout powerplant, no doubt about it, and it’s believed Volkswagen will use it with the new Bentley Continental GT as well.
Mounted in the RS7, peak output could come to as much as 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, besting the first-generation model by a considerable margin.
As a reference, the current RS7 gets 560 horsepower in standard trim and 605 horsepower with the Performance package, hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds in standard form and 3.6 seconds in the Performance trim.
Also, the standard A7 comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, making as much 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The run from 0 to 62 mph is completed in 5.3 seconds.
The boost to 650 horsepower in the RS7 is exciting, but even more exiting is the rumor that the next model might go hybrid with an even-faster e-tron version. Pulling technology from the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, the RS7 e-tron could pump out as much 700 horsepower, making for Audi’s first-ever high-performance hybrid plug-in model. Making that happen will be150 horsepower from a lithium-ion battery and electric motor combo, plus 550 horsepower from the internal-combustion engine.
Either way, we think a top speed of 180 mph in the standard model and 195 mph in the Performance model makes a lot of sense. The run from 0 to 62 mph will take less than 4 seconds, most likely slotting into the 3.5-second range, although the low 3-second range is definitely within the realm of possibility, especially with 700 friggin’ horsepower on tap.
Per usual, quattro AWD will come as standard, which is pretty much a necessity when making this much muscle. Routing it all will be an eight-speed S-tronic automatic transmission, also equipped as standard.
Check out what’s hiding under those wheels - positively mammoth brakes!
Handling the heft will be a standard air suspension set-up, which will likely ride quite hard to compensate for the RS7’s performance aspirations. Dynamic steering will help it turn with precision.
What’s more, check out what’s hiding under those wheels - positively mammoth brakes! From this tester, they appear to include drilled discs and six-pot calipers in front. We fully expect ceramic units to be included in the options list as well.
And of course, expect multiple drive modes onboard, which will affect the transmission shift response, suspension stiffness, steering response, throttle response, and other facets to give the RS7 either a more aggressive attitude, or a more laid-back demeanor.
Those looking to have the fastest version possible can get into the Dynamic Plus Package as part of the options list, as well as a Sport Differential for an even livelier experience when applying the throttle out of a corner.
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback Prices
Although Audi has obviously been tight-lipped about possible pricing, we expect the 2019 RS7 to be a bit more expensive than the current model. For now, the RS7 starts at $113,900, while upgrading to the Performance model will set you back an extra $16,800, starting at $130,700.
Look for an official debut some time later this year, possibly in October at the Paris Motor Show.
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback Competition
While Audi has its RS models, Mercedes has AMG. Applying the old Affalterbach gloss to the CLS four-door coupe formula makes for quite a potent package, packing in as much as 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque thanks to a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8. Putting it all to the pavement is a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic AWD system, while adaptive sport suspension helps it all turn and plus-sized brakes make it stop. Carbon, leather, and Alcantara are prevalent throughout the interior. Pricing starts at $131,895.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS.
BMW’s M Division is also big in the whole four-door coupe segment, especially with the M6 GranCoupe. Highlights include as much as 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque thanks to a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 powerplant nestled behind the kidney grille intakes. The style is aggressive and definitely doesn’t lack in curb appeal, while the interior is packed to the gills with leather and technology. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the drive wheels, while LEDs illuminate the road ahead. Pricing starts at $120,795.
Read our full review on the 2016 BMW M6.
Of course, we’re most interested to see what the brand decides to do with the engine package.
The 2019 RS7 Sportback is one of five new RS models Audi has lined up for release by 2020, and overall, it looks like it has what it needs to take on the Bimmer and Merc.
Of course, we’re most interested to see what the brand decides to do with the engine package. If Audi does indeed decide to source the Panamera’s hybrid powerplant for as much as 700 horsepower, the RS7 could be the model to beat in this segment.
Stay tuned, because we’re likely to get more information on this one in the next few months.
Read our full review on the 2019 Audi A7.
Read our full review on the 2016 Audi RS7.