In previous luxury vehicle reviews, I’ve highlighted Audi’s ability to combine the right amount of tech, performance and luxury. This remains the case with the 2017 Audi RS 7 sedan I recently tested.
Manufacturers like Audi and Buick are tweaking the traditional premium sedan concept to adapt a fastback profile. The RS 7 is a big car, but Audi designers have crafted a graceful roof line that flows into a short fastback rear surrounded by bulging fenders. The nose has a serious “no prisoners” look, with LED lighting and Audi’s signature grille with gloss black trim. The Carbon Optic Exterior package and black-finish sport exhaust accentuate the performance vibe.
Under the sharp exterior design resides a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8. Big power and torque come from new exhaust valves, revised turbocharger geometry and increased boost pressure.
Power delivery comes courtesy of a velvety eight-speed Tiptronic transmission that helps boost mileage numbers (but they’re nothing to brag about).
Inside, the RS 7 takes the lavishness and style of an A7 and injects a sport-sedan makeover. I really enjoyed the look, feel and smell of the Valcona leather and Mercato blue-stitched seats. Rear-seat passengers are more comfort-challenged, especially with foot/leg room. The interior comes impeccably dressed with metal trim pieces and carbon-fiber inserts; even the plastic is superior quality. I could find no faults with the construction and fit of the components.
The RS 7 features Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system. The RS 7 has a full center display screen and secondary readout behind the wheel to show info like directions, car information, and other pertinent stuff. Other pluses included 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality and the heads-up display option.
On the road, the RS 7 is a gentleman’s hot rod, meaning it can tear around country roads and charge to 60 in about 4.5 seconds, but it’s too plush, big and heavy (4,500 pounds) to see track duty. The RS 7 gets its start with the A6 platform and thus has some of its vices, like numb steering, a nose-heavy push while cornering and a brief delay as the suspension rushes to catch up with the weight flung into the corner.
My test car rolled on 21-inch performance rubber backed with ceramic brakes. I liked the performance growl that comes when you stomp the throttle. If you really want a rush, you need to activate the RS 7’s “secret” launch control. Select the Tiptronic’s manual mode or switch the drive mode to Dynamic setting, stomp the pedal from a still start and then hang on as quattro kicks in. You’ll reach 60 in just over 3.5 seconds.
My test car came with the optional driver assistance package. Safety features included Audi adaptive cruise control with stop and go, pre sense plus, high-beam assistant, Audi active lane assist and corner view (front and rear) camera system. Overall, the Audi RS 7 inspires confidence for average drivers and makes a good driver even better.
The final price of the 2017 Audi RS 7 puts it out of reach for many of us, but for those who can reach it, the RS 7 is value packed compared to some of the competition.