Audi was busy at the Frankfurt Motor Show showing off its wild new AI-Trail concept car, but elsewhere on the stand, things were a little more... traditional. Like big-V8-with-twin-turbos traditional
High performance grand tourer
This is the new RS 7 Sportback, and just like the recently-launched RS 6 Avant estate, it's packing some serious performance. "The RS 7 Sportback is our interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé with a grand tourer design," said Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. "With refinements to make it even more suitable for everyday use plus its incredible performance, what we have here is an outstanding piece of sports equipment for customers who like their cars to feature stunning design."
Power comes from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine shared with Porsche and Bentley. This one is packing 600hp, and 800Nm of torque, and a howling exhaust note. But should your local Green Party councillor come knocking on your door, you can always point out that it's a hybrid. A 48-volt mild-hybrid, it's true, but its 12kW addition to the engine means that the stop-start and motorway coasting features are much more efficient, and Audi claims that iit shaves 0.8 litres per 100km off the fuel consumption figure. It even has cylinder deactivation, to save even more fuel, so technically - at times - this is a 2.0-litre single turbo four-cylinder unit. Honest.
0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds
Mind you, it will still hit 100km/h from rest in 3.6 seconds, and roll on to a top speed of 250km/h. That's 250km/h if you've picked the 'Lame' model spec. Tick the box for the Dynamic plus package and the speed limiter rolls back all the way to 305km/h.
There are customisable RS 1 and RS 2 modes, with shortcut buttons on the steering wheel, so that you can flick the RS 7 from quiet and relaxed mode, to all-guns-firing mode, with merely the stretch of a thumb.
The quattro four-wheel drive system sends 60 per cent of the power to the rear wheels; except when it doesn't - as grip levels change, it can send as much as 85 per cent rearwards, or 70 per cent to the fronts, depending on what you need.
The adaptive air suspension hunkers down at high speeds to reduce drag, while there are multiple stiffness settings for the dampers. Progressive power steering is standard, and as an option you can have four-wheel steering to make the RS 7 more agile at low speeds, more stable at higher speeds.
21-inch wheels, with 22 as an option
Standard wheels are 21-inch cast aluminium rims, but there's an optional 22-inch wheel that comes in a choice of silver, matt titanium look, gloss turned finish, and gloss turned anthracite black finish. You can also have ceramic brakes if you like, which shave 34kg off the kerb weight.
The cabin is more or less that of the standard A7, but with RS-specific displays for the digital instruments, a flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather, RS sports seats with Valcona leather, and inlay trims in a choice inlays in carbon, natural grey-brown wood or matt aluminium. On the touchscreens, the driver can use the upper RS monitor display to call up an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tire pressures and temperatures.
Outside, the RS 7 is 40mm wider than the standard A7, thanks to massive wheelarch blisters, and there's an RS honeycomb grille, and an extending boot spoiler. The standard LED headlights can be upgraded to Matrix LED laser lights, if you like.