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- Highs Through-the-worm-hole acceleration, eye-catching design inside and out, rear-wheel steering helps it hustle.
- Lows More luxury than hard core, no hoon-happy drift mode, weighs almost 5000 pounds.
- Verdict The Audi RS7 has the looks of a comic book villain with the performance and polish of a high-horsepower superhero.
The Audi RS7 is a largemouth high-performance hatchback sedan with swollen fenders and a spacious interior that’s chock full of the luxuries and high-tech gear you’d expect in a super-sedan. A 591-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission supplies the thrills with the help of standard all-wheel drive. The RS7 is nearly 5000 pounds, but thanks to its rear-wheel steering system and superb suspension it feels surprisingly nimble for its size. If this much horsepower is too much horsepower, there’s always the 444-hp S7, which we review separately. The RS7 is supremely comfortable and even extra-practical thanks to its hatchback body style. But while the RS7’s swiftness puts it in league with such mega-sedans as the BMW M5 Competition and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing the experience behind the wheel is less visceral than in the big Bimmer or killer Caddy.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
Audi doesn’t make any significant changes to the 2023 RS7, but remote park assist plus and black Dinamica headliner are now included in the optional Executive package.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Audi makes this easy because there's only one RS7 to choose from and it comes extremely well-equipped with things such as all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and an adjustable air suspension system. For maximum madness, consider the Black Optics package which adds darkened exterior trim and giant 22-inch wheels with summer performance tires. To unlock the V-8's best soundtrack we'd also opt for the sport exhaust.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Power comes from a brilliant twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that pairs with a 48-volt hybrid system, eight-speed automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive. All this tech makes the RS7 heavier than the last generation model, which made as much as 605 horsepower. Still, with 591 horses and 590 pound-feet of torque, the RS7 we tested rocketed to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Want a slightly stronger dose of "holy s**t" acceleration? Try the 617-hp BMW M5 Competition; it reaches 60 mph in 2.8 ticks. The RS7 rides on an air suspension with adaptive settings for varying levels of stiffness. However, it felt refined regardless of the drive mode, even rolling on our tester's 22-inch rims (21s are standard). It's also rewarding to bend into corners thanks to the poised chassis and the added agility of its standard rear-wheel-steering system. Crazy quick and unerringly comfortable are accurate descriptors of its driving personality. Despite not opting for the carbon-ceramic brakes, which allow its top speed to be increased from 155 to 190 mph, the standard stoppers hauled our nearly 5000-pound four-door down from 70 mph in an impressive 151 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The powerful, albeit thirsty, RS7 is rated 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway by the EPA. We ran it on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and it returned 23 mpg in the real world. For more information about the RS7's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the RS model shares an interior design and passenger space with the regular A7, it also has some exclusive details and intriguing options. Of course, the sturdy build quality and upscale materials are immediately recognizable. Still, the RS7's cabin is adorned with trim-specific logos and other unique accents. The standard front sport seats have nice leather upholstery but can be reskinned with upgraded leather and ventilated cushions. Its back seat can fit two or three people, depending on the chosen seat configuration, and its cargo area offers 19 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in use and 49 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every RS7 is equipped with a snazzy infotainment system that operates via two touchscreens that seamlessly blend into the upper dashboard and flowing center console. Unfortunately, the climate controls and other settings that must be manipulated through the lower screen can pull the driver's eyes off of the road. To avoid this distraction, Audi's voice-recognition software comes in handy. Along with the robust navigation system that appears in the upper screen, and that can be expanded in the fully digital gauge cluster, the RS7 comes with standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. The top option is a pricey Bang & Olufsen stereo that pumps 1820 watts through 19 speakers.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Apart from some basic active safety tech, Audi offers a suite of more advanced equipment as part of the Driver Assistance package. There's also a standalone option for night vision that provides large animal-and-pedestrian detection.
For more information about the RS7's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi protects its products with a warranty plan that falls short of premium competitors in that it lacks complimentary maintenance, which is something rivals such as BMW and Jaguar include with every new model.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Audi RS7 Sportback
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$125,140 (base price: $115,045)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
244 in3, 3996 cm3
591 hp @ 6250 rpm
590 lb-ft @ 2050 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 16.5-in vented, cross-drilled disc/14.6-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4, 285/30R-22 (101Y) AO
Wheelbase: 115.3 in
Length: 197.2 in
Width: 76.8 in
Height: 56.1 in
Passenger volume: 95 ft3
Cargo volume: 25 ft3
Curb weight: 4947 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.0 sec
100 mph: 7.6 sec
130 mph: 12.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.0 sec
1/4 mile: 11.3 sec @ 122 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 151 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 302 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 14 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 23 mpg
Highway range: 440 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/15/22 mpg