Extreme measures

Those evil geniuses at ABT Sportsline are at it again – this time with the Audi RS 7 Sportback.

The long list of ABT Sportsline very special edition Audi conversions continues to grow, this time with a monster, limited edition, Audi RS 7 Sportback – the ABT RS7-R.

7 May, 2020

Audi aficionados will be well acquainted with the ABT name. Whether that be through the long motorsport connect between ABT Sportsline and Audi, the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E team with its driver pairing of Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, or the special road-going ‘tuned’ editions the company produce.

Regular readers might remember the stove hot Audi S1 that ABT produced especially for Daniel Abt himself, a one-of-a-kind Audi A1 Sportback special build that boasted a race-inspired bodykit, full roll cage and a massive 300kW of power and 400Nm of torque. There was also the wild, custom paint/wrap and massive rims that made this car a true one off for the Formula E star.

But as well as partnering with Audi Sport for years in motor racing, the ABT Sportsline company has been taking customer cars and adding all manner of aftermarket tuned items, or as is the case here, producing limited runs of special models for customers with everything from new paint, to custom interiors and of course a full suite of performance modifications – sky, and your budget, are the limit.

The car pictured here is number 1 of just 125 of the ABT RS7-R – a car that takes the already incredibly potent Audi RS 7 Sportback (due here later this year), to all-new extremes. This particular car also belongs to Daniel Abt, who is without doubt one lucky man, but then that’s what comes from being the son of Johann Abt, who is the boss of ABT and himself the descendant of the proud Abt motorsport family.

The car pictured here is number 1 of just 125 of the ABT RS7-R – a car based on the already super potent Audi RS 7 Sportback

The ABT RS7-R takes the 441kW of power and 800Nm of torque of the RS 7 Sportback to an incredible 544kW and 920Nm of torque

Just a glance is enough to see that this car differs greatly from the RS 7 Sportback, but even if you were to take away the custom paint treatment, carbon highlights and aftermarket wheels, the beating heart of the ABT RS7-R is still an extreme departure form the RS 7 Sportback’s  4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine.

In its ‘standard’ form if you can even say that of an RS model, the RS 7 Sportback produces a stonking 441kW of power and 800Nm of torque. The ABT RS7-R ups those figures to 544kW and 920Nm of torque, which in plain terms equates to nearly half a second off the 0 to 100km/h time – 3.6 seconds down to 3.2 seconds.

Of course all of that extra power comes with a vast array of additional suspension modification and components including ABT coilover suspension springs and sports anti-roll bars, which drop the ride height significantly and improve handling. The exhaust has been completely replaced with an ABT Sportsline exhaust system, with twin exhaust pipes on each side of the car topped with carbon fibre tips.

The body has been significantly revised as well, including the ABT rear spoiler and rear skirt with carbon highlights everywhere, as well as the massive 22-inch ABT High Performance HR 22-inch wheels featuring the highlight orange colour used on selected details on the car, and the huge brake callipers that have also been painted the same colour to match.

This brings us to the overall paint scheme (or wrap to be more accurate) which comes from the ABT Individual range and in this case bears more than a passing resemblance to Daniel Abt’s A1 Sportback special. Abt himself calls the Daytona grey with black polygons wrap ‘more discreet’ than the treatment his A1 received, but that’s very much a matter of opinion.

Inside too, this particular car has been completely made over, with ABT  leather and carbon finishes everywhere (including the signed central console – Handcrafted for Daniel Abt), carbon and leather, flat-bottom sports wheel, seats and of course the ABT RS7-R logos strategically placed throughout, including the vehicle’s build number out of 125 which also appears lit up on the door sill, while the ABT logo is projected from under the door to the road on opening.

It’s not to everyone’s taste and the ABT treatment can be tailored to suit individual tastes and budgets as we said. But as an extreme example of what can be done to an already state-of-the-art performance car in the RS 7 Sportback, it’s certainly worthy of a look.

Closer to home, the new Audi RS 7 Sportback is due to arrive in Australia later this year, which will bring a smile to the faces of Audi Sport aficionados and give them something to look forward to hopefully well and truly post COVID-19.

Abt himself calls the Daytona grey with black polygons wrap ‘more discreet’ than the treatment his A1 received, but that’s very much a matter of opinion