Unleashing the Beast: The Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

With its powerful V8 engine, cutting-edge technology, and luxurious interior, this high-performance vehicle delivers an exhilarating experience that redefines speed and sophistication

By Edward Moleke Makwana

I had the distinct privilege of testing the Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance, courtesy of Audi South Africa (Audi SA), and I am thrilled to share this exhilarating experience with our esteemed readers.

It was a Friday morning of running errands when I received a call from William, Audi SA’s fleet coordinator. “I am outside your house dropping off the Audi RS 7 for you,” he said. My heart raced with anticipation as I imagined what it would be like to live with the Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance for a few days.

Arriving home, I felt like I had just spotted a majestic lion in the Kruger National Park. After completing the administrative handover, I slipped inside the car and caressed the Alcantara steering wheel, marvelling at this masterpiece awaiting my command. The RS 7 Sportback Performance, idling at the curb in its stunning Ascari Blue Matt colour, hinted at the savage power lurking beneath its elegant exterior, promising a thrilling blend of speed, agility and luxury.

Settling into the driver’s seat felt like climbing atop a crouching lion, muscles coiled and ready to pounce. With a potent 4.0-litre V8 biturbo TFSI engine generating 463 kW of power and 850 Nm of torque, the RS 7 Sportback Performance sprints from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds. This power is seamlessly delivered through an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimised gear changing and a launch control function to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

Driving the RS 7 Sportback Performance was a revelation. I expected it to feel heavy, but it was more like a disciplined and lean athlete on an excellent diet plan, thanks to features such as the optimised self-locking centre differential, new lightweight wheels, high-performance tyres, and the optional RS Dynamic package plus. The RS Dynamic package plus raises the top speed to 305 km/h (really only ever experienced on German Autobahns or long runways) and includes an RS ceramic brake system, ensuring exceptional performance and safety.

The RS adaptive air suspension, with automatic level control, further enhanced the driving experience. It lowers the car’s body for better aerodynamics and handling, adapting to different driving modes and road conditions. In the normal position in auto, comfort, and efficiency modes, the body of the RS 7 Sportback Performance sits 10 millimetres lower than an Audi A7 Sportback with standard suspension. At speeds of 120 km/h and above, the air suspension lowers the body another 10 millimetres in the auto, comfort, and efficiency modes. In dynamic mode, the body remains at this low ride height permanently. On poor surfaces, the suspension can even raise the RS 7 Sportback Performance by 20 millimetres at low speed, ensuring comfort without compromising performance.

Inside, the RS 7 Sportback Performance is a haven of luxury and technology. The flat-bottomed RS sport leather steering wheel, RS sport seats covered in perforated Valcona leather, and the 10.1-inch top display for infotainment create an environment of sophistication and comfort. The Audi virtual cockpit, with its RS-specific displays, offers a full HD digital instrument cluster that seamlessly integrates with the car’s futuristic design.

Audi has always set the benchmark in lighting technology, and the RS 7 Sportback Performance is no exception. With LED headlights as standard and optional tinted HD matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light, the car’s lighting is both functional and striking, enhancing its presence on the road.

The RS 7 Sportback Performance offers exhilarating performance and progressive luxury, making it worth every cent. As the automotive world shifts towards electric vehicles (EVs), the RS 7 Sportback Performance holds its ground confidently against competitors like the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé and the Mercedes-AMG GT63. Various videos on leading car review channels on YouTube attest to its prowess.

Pricing for the RS 7 Sportback Performance starts at R2 482 900, with the test unit fitted with options worth R504 230, bringing the total to R2 987 130. Audi SA also offers a complimentary voucher for the Audi driving experience to all new RS owners. Valid for two years from the date of delivery, these vouchers provide an exclusive opportunity to experience the thrill of Audi performance firsthand. The next available slots are from 17 to 21 July, 25 to 29 September, and 20 to 24 November.

If you’re not convinced, consider these competing models:

1. BMW M8 Gran Coupe Competition: R3 350 000

2. Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance: R4 158 153

3. Porsche Taycan: R2 968 000

4. Porsche Panamera 4: R2 344 000

Ultimately, the Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance is a magnificent blend of luxury and power, setting new standards in the realm of high-performance vehicles. It is certainly another last of its kind before EVs dominate the market!

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