Audi R7 Sportback RS7 is a four-door hatchback with an integrated trunk lid that forms the Sportback and frameless doors. This supercar has been equipped by engineers at Quattro in Neckarsulm, Germany, with a ridiculously powerful V-8 engine with more than 550 horsepower. While the Cadillac and BMW have rear-wheel drive, the Audi offers an all-wheel-drive solution.
Like many RS products, the Audi R7 Sportback RS7 is pulled from the A7 line and hand-finished in Neckarsulm by the VW Group subsidiary, quattro GmbH. This anniversary car marks 30 years since quattro GmbH started manufacturing the original Audi Quattro coupe. According to CEO Frank van Meel, Audi aims to create better efficiency by applying three tenets: less displacement, less weight and cylinder on demand technology.
The Audi R7 Sportback RS7 has a 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbocharged measuring 19.5 inches from the front to the rear, the most compact turbocharged V8 in a production car. The exhaust is on the inside, the intake side of the cylinder heads on the outside and the two turbos tucked in the rear. The peak output increases from the 420 and 406 in the S7 to 550 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The company claims that RS7 goes from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, and the top speed is 155 mph, 174 mph, or 190 mph, depending on the package selected. Without the restrictions, Audi R7 Sportback RS7 would sniff 200 mph.
To improve efficiency, Audi has equipped the engine with cylinder on demand and a stop/start feature. At 62 mph, the fuel consumption is reduced 10% by the cylinder on demand, improving EPA ratings with 5%. The car gets the same ubiquitous ZF-sourced eight-speed torque-converter automatic as the A8, although it has different gear ratios and expanded cooling capacity. Because the lower gears are spaces very close, the Audi generates an immediate response. However, in manual shifting mode drivers must train themselves to tap the upshift paddle in advance of the redline to prevent running into the limiter.
The Audi R7 Sportback RS7 is fun to drive and the dynamic mode is incredible. Its lightweight hydraulic system is one of the best for keeping the body level. The RS7 has no sway or lean because of the DRC, and no pitching or rolling. However, even in comfort mode on silken road surfaces, the DRC’s ride feels rather stiff. The car might be too stiff for a pleasure cruise, so there aren’t many practical reasons to buy the full sport model unless you plan to get really dynamic.