Every car body style has its takers. Crossovers have captured the current buyers’ imagination more than sedans, hatchbacks, or wagons. That said, there is still a market for sedans, hatchbacks, and even wagons. This time, I talk about a wagon. Admission time – I think of wagons as longer, wider hatchbacks. There are those who feel wagons are just sedans with more luggage space. Irrespective of your perspective on this issue, nobody can deny that wagons have a cool factor to them. If you disagree, then you need to check out the Audi RS 7 Sportback, the car I’ll be talking about now.
Audi RS 7 Sportback – Photo Gallery
What’s new about the Audi RS 7 Sportback?
Remember those perspectives about wagons and how the Audi RS 7 Sportback might fit into one? Well, you can throw that straight into the bin. The thing about the RS 7 is it is based on the Audi A7 Sportback. Since the A7 itself is a wagon, that makes the RS 7 one too.
The key here is this – the RS 7 isn’t derived from a sedan or a hatchback but from a wagon. This makes it unique and earns it major props from me at least. After all, how many cars can you name out there that are so unique? Still thinking of an answer, right?
I don’t just like the uniqueness of the RS 7 Sportback. I like the fact that Audi took the daring step to take the A7 to a bonkers level. The A7 Sportback won the 2019 World Luxury Car award and that’s no small feat. But the RS 7 Sportback is a different beast altogether.
On the looks front, you can see its A7 roots. The differences are easy to spot. Gone are the slats and chrome in favour of mesh items that add to the blacked-out treatment.
Up front, the grille, and air intakes of the Audi RS 7 Sportback get mesh treatment. The Four Rings logo has been blacked out and a small slit above the grille is a new addition.
A new set of wheels, black mirror caps, and black sill inserts are unique to this model. At the back, the brushed metal bits are gone in favour of black inserts. The honeycomb inserts make their presence felt here along with one big, oval exhaust end on either side.
The thing is all these bits looks great on the RS 7 Sportback because of its inherently great design. Long hood, short rear deck, and flowing lines make it look as classy as any other car you can think of. It’s a tried and tested design formula that works here quite well. What adds to this design are the the short overhangs and overall sense of low visual mass. Barring that rear end, it will be tough to find detractors for this design and that’s a win for Audi.
The interior of the Audi RS 7 Sportback is as good as an Audi interior can be. A twin-deck dashboard layout has A/c vents up top. The lower deck houses the infotainment unit.
The lower dash deck is outlined by brushed aluminium insert and below it sits a digital panel that controls the car’s interior systems like HVAC system. The steering wheel is a flat-bottom unit and behind it sits Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system.
The interior of the car is a rich, premium-feeling space. Interior is one area Audi is quite competent in and it shows here. In this age, when anyone can just put in a digital instrument cluster, a big iPad-size infotainment screen and call it a day.
But Audi isn’t known to do shenanigans here and it shows. The base car comes with RS sport seats in Nappa leather with rhombus pattern and RS embossing. Optionally, you can opt for Valcona leather on seats that also allow for seat ventilation function.
The Audi RS 7 Sportback is offered with two RS design packages in either red or grey. These offer contrast stitching on Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, gear lever gaiter, and knee pads.
Additionally, the seat belt straps come with coloured edges and RS floor mats. If you are so inclined, you can option your car with optional inlays in wood, carbon, or aluminium.
Per Audi, the interior’s highlight is the presence of a three-seat bench at the rear. While you can have two-seat bench too, the fact that either choice is available is quite unique a proposition.
Audi has packaged the RS 7 Sportback with a 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine petrol with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. While the system output of 600HP and 800Nm is amazing, that’s not the highlight of the setup here. The real highlight is the mild hybrid system.
Under gentle acceleration, the alternator starter can recover 12W power and feed it into a lithium-ion battery. Additionally, if the driver releases the throttle between 55kmph – 160kmph, depending on the selected mode, the car will either coast with engine turned off or recover energy.
When the driver applies throttle, the engine will immediately come back to life. Up to 22kmph speeds, the start-stop system will help save fuel. Lastly, if the vehicle in front of your RS 7 starts moving, the engine will start even if brakes have been applied.
Audi claims the system will help save up to 0.8 litre fuel per 100km. There’s also cylinder deactivation on demand that turns off cylinder 2, 3, 5, and 8 by halting injection and ignition, and closing intake and exhaust valves to the off cylinders.
If you like to hear your car’s sound, the Audi RS 7 Sportback comes with optional RS sport exhaust system too. The eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox sends power to all wheels via quattro all-wheel drive system with 40:60 front:rear split.
It can send up to 70 per cent power to the front wheels or up to 85 per cent to the rear and cannot be turned off. It also provides torque vectoring by braking, a feature that allows the car to corner hard by grabbing the brake on the inside wheel in a bend.
The all-wheel steering on the Audi RS 7 Sportback allows the rear wheels to turn up to 5 degrees in opposite direction to front wheel at low speed. At high speeds, the rear wheels turn 2 degrees in the same direction as front wheels.
The car comes packing the RS adaptive air suspension with automatic level control. The car sits 20mm lower than Audi A7 Sportback (with standard suspension). Above 120kmph, it lowers further 10mm down and offers a 20mm lift function to negotiate ramps.
Lastly, there is the Audi Drive Select system with six profiles – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency, and RS-Specific RS1 and RS2. These affect engine and transmission behaviour, steering, suspension, all-wheel steering, quattro sport differential, exhaust flaps, and even A/c. These can be operated via a steering-mounted RS Mode button. Moreover, in RS2 mode, you can switch Electronic Stabilization Control to Sport mode.
Is the Audi RS 7 Sportback worth consideration?
I can’t think of any reason to not consider the Audi RS 7 Sportback except that it is not on sale yet. The fact that it is a 2020 model year car also means pricing is not out either.
Those are the only major marks against this otherwise spectacular vehicle. It is practical as it is a wagon and it is unique too. Since it’s made by Audi, you get a car that will turn heads everywhere you take it.
I don’t expect this car to be inexpensive. The real issue here is that for most people who can use a wagon, this car will be out of reach. For the ones who can afford it, they’d already have vehicles to take care of their daily chores.
Too bad it will become a show car for most buyers but a select few. If you are among those select few, do keep a lookout for this car. The Audi RS 7 Sportback may end up being the only car you ever want to use.
Audi RS 7 Sportback – Specs at a Glance
|Specifications||Audi RS 7 Sportback|
|Engine||Direct-injected, twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 TSFI petrol|
|Transmission||8-speed tiptronic automatic|
|Front Suspension||Multi-link type, RS adaptive air dampers|
|Rear Suspension||Multi-link type, RS adaptive air dampers|
|Front Brakes||420mm steel discs (440mm ceramic discs optional)|
|Rear Brakes||370mm steel discs (370mm ceramic discs optional)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||N/A|