High performance art

The striking new Audi RS 7 Sportback is due in Australia next year.

A high-performance work of art, the new Audi RS 7 Sportback is due to join its RS siblings Down Under by the middle of the next year.

10 September, 2019

A triple threat if ever there was one. Captivating looks, supercar performance and state-of-the-art automotive intelligence. Indeed you could go further and cite the superb luxury interior, cutting-edge infotainment system and a soundtrack to make performance enthusiasts swoon – so the new Audi RS 7 Sportback is in fact much more than just a triple threat.

Officially premiered at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the second generation RS 7 Sportback is the first RS model to feature a new wide body along with a host of new technology and powertrain that make for a compelling addition to the elite RS ranks.

“The RS 7 Sportback is our interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé with a grand tourer design,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. 

“With refinements to make it even more suitable for everyday use plus its incredible performance, what we have here is an outstanding piece of sports equipment for customers who like their cars to feature stunning design.”
Measuring 1951mm at the front fenders, the RS model is 40mm wider than the Audi A7 Sportback which further accentuates its low stance, while the flared guards, and sculpted flanks give it an even more arresting appearance and an absolutely captivating presence. 

The RS 7 Sportback has high-performance written all over it – with a broad, flat Singleframe with no contrasting border and the radiator grille featuring RS-specific three-dimensional honeycomb structure, the elegance of the car is counterbalanced with generous measures of aggression. Huge front air inlets serve a practical purpose, but also add to the overall effect as do the RS exhaust system and RS-specific bumper with a rear diffuser and design elements in gloss black.

The RS 7 Sportback is available in 13 standard exterior paint finishes, including the two RS-specific shades of Nardo grey and Sebring black, crystal effect, as well as five available matt effect paint finishes. The exterior mirror housings are gloss black as standard, with aluminium matt or the colour of the car available as options. Flaps, blades, sill inlays, window slot trims, and the rear diffuser clip can fall under one of three styling packages in matt aluminium, black, or carbon. Upon request, the Audi rings and RS logos at the front and rear are also available in gloss black for the black and carbon styling packages.

The RS 7 Sportback is our interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé with a grand tourer design

The strong design emphasis continues inside, where the minimalist interior works beautifully in the spacious cabin

Big 21-inch cast aluminium wheels with a 10- spoke star design and 275/35 tyres are fitted as standard, and Audi Sport offers optional RS-specific wheels with a 22-inch 5-V-spoke design with 285/30 tyres. These wheels are available in silver, matt titanium look, gloss turned finish and gloss turned anthracite black finish. The calipers of the RS brake system with internally ventilated and perforated discs (420 millimetres at the front, 370 millimetres at the rear) are painted black as standard or red upon request. The optional RS ceramic brakes, offer the calipers in grey, red or blue.

The strong design emphasis continues inside, where the minimalist interior works beautifully in the spacious cabin. Employing the dual touchscreen technology, the feeling is one of great space and a completely uncluttered environment. Here, the driver can use the upper RS monitor display to call up an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information on tyre pressures and temperatures. Special RS displays use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces. The optional RS head-up display also shows RS-specific graphics. 

The flat-bottomed RS sport leather steering wheel with new large RS aluminium shift paddles features multifunction buttons, including the RS MODE button, which the driver can use to enable the new Audi drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. The RS and RS 7 logos adorn the steering wheel, seats, and illuminated and front door sill trims, while logo projectors on the front and rear doors beam the Audi Sport emblem onto the ground when the doors are open. 

RS sport seats upholstered with black pearl Nappa leather with a rhombus pattern and RS embossing are fitted as standard, or customers can opt for RS sport seats covered with perforated Valcona leather, featuring a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing – the perforations allowing a ventilation function for the first time. 

The two RS design packages, available in either red or grey, bring a splash of colour, with contrasting stitching on the Alcantara steering wheel rim, gear lever gaiter and knee pads. Each package also features seat belt straps with coloured edging and RS floor mats. Optional inlays in carbon, natural grey-brown wood or matt aluminium open up a range of possibilities for customising the interior. 

The new RS 7 Sportback offers an array of extra functions not seen in the previous model. For the first time, Audi Sport is offering the five-door grand tourer with a three-seat rear bench, while the four-seater design with a two-seat rear bench is still available. The luggage capacity of 535 litres can be increased to 1390 litres with the split rear seatbacks folded down. The long tailgate opens and closes electrically as standard, with an optional convenience key allowing it to be operated by foot gesture control. 

But while the design is a true work of art, so too is the powerplant. The 4.0 TFSI engine produces 441kW and a massive 800Nm of torque available from 2100 to 4500rpm. This translates to 0 to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Customers can opt to have this increased to 280km/h with the Dynamic package and to 305km/h with the Dynamic plus package. The RS 7 Sportback also employs a mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system, which uses a belt alternator starter to recover up to 12kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. 

MHEV technology allows for start-stop mode at speeds below 22km/h and as soon as the vehicle in front of the new RS 7 Sportback starts moving, the engine will spring back to life – even if the brakes are applied. 

The cylinder on demand (COD) system is also employed on this new RS model, deactivating four cylinders when not under load for even greater efficiency – the combined MHEV and COD systems adding up to fuel savings of as much as 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres. 

Power is harnessed by a standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimised shift times and a new launch control function to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, where drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio via the purely mechanical centre differential. Up to 70 percent of power can flow to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the back wheels as required. 

The sprint from 0 to 100km/h is over in just 3.6 seconds on the way to a potential top speed of 305km/h

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows offers six profiles – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and the customisable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes

The quattro sport differential, available with the optional Dynamic and Dynamic plus packages, shifts the torque between the rear wheels as needed during spirited cornering, improving traction, stability, and dynamics. 

Five-link front and rear axles handle the lateral and longitudinal forces independently on the new RS 7 Sportback, while the standard RS adaptive air suspension with controlled damping has been tuned specifically to suit the RS and now allows the new RS 7 Sportback to reach a top speed of 305km/h thanks to a new air spring module with a spring rate 50 percent higher (with the Dynamic plus package). The sport air suspension can be set to several modes and includes automatic level control. In the normal position, the body of the new RS 7 Sportback sits 20 millimetres lower than an Audi A7 Sportback with standard suspension. At speeds above 120km/h, it will drop by a further 10 millimetres and offer a lift mode enabling the vehicle to be raised by 20 millimetres if required. Optional RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) holds the RS 7 Sportback even more tightly to the road and improves handling. 

Progressive steering is a standard feature while dynamic all-wheel steering can be fitted as an option. 

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows the driver to tailor the character of the new RS 7 Sportback, with six profiles – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and the customisable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes, which can be enabled directly via an RS MODE button on the steering wheel. Audi drive select influences factors including engine and transmission management, steering assistance, the suspension, dynamic all-wheel steering, the quattro sport differential, the exhaust flaps, and the way in which the automatic air conditioning works. In RS2 mode, customers can switch the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) to sport mode at the touch of a button. 

Of course it goes without saying that the new RS 7 Sportback offers state-of-the-art safety and driver assistance systems, with more than 30 assist systems available, and a vast range of Audi exclusive options will allow customers to give their vehicle that personal touch.

The new RS 7 Sportback is expected to touch down in Australia by the middle of next year.