2017 Audi RS 7 Specs, Price, MPG and Reviews

Verdict: It’s pricey, but the RS 7 has the performance, style, and luxury to match.

Against the competition: As is often the case, Audi goes toe-to-toe with its luxury German rivals – at a price more affordable than some of them.

I will admit that I prejudged the 2017 Audi RS 7 when I looked at its price. The top-performance version of the elegant Audi A7, starts at $111,650—lots of scratches. Things quickly escalated from there in my test car, which was the performance RS 7, a new level for 2017.

The RS 7 Performance adds more horsepower, suspension upgrades, bigger wheels…for $130,450, destination fee included. Add a few safety options and a black Alcantara top liner, and the final sticker was $136,975.

This puts the RS 7 in rare air to compete with other high-performance four-door luxury cars such as the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-AMG CLS63. Compare the RS 7 with these vehicles here and last year’s model here.

To justify its price, the RS 7 has to offer performance and luxury, and it is – plus.

the outside

From afar, the RS 7 keeps it low; Only when you get close it becomes clear that this is not a “normal” A7.

The RS 7’s grille is larger, surrounded by large air intakes at the bottom of the bumper. The car also features full LED headlights and taillights, oval exhaust ports and larger side sills. Performance takes the bold aesthetic even further, with a rear diffuser, black exhaust pipes, carbon-fiber side mirror caps and a gloss black grille with a grille pattern that continues above the air intakes.

The A7 design has always been my favorite; It stands out against the more consistent proportions of other Audi sedans. So it’s no surprise that I like the look of the RS 7, too. It has been understated in a luxurious way, with little hints about its true nature – the nature of the beast.

serious speed

The RS 7 is very fast. Engine starts: 4.0L V-8 Bi-Turbo. On standard RS 7 models, it produces 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That number jumps to 605 horsepower in the RS 7 Performance, which also adds an overboost function that can temporarily raise torque to 553 lb-ft for more acceleration.

An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters comes standard, as does the all-wheel drive system with a rear sport differential that allows torque to shift from left to right when a skid is detected.

That extra horsepower doesn’t much reduce the car’s time from zero to 60 mph, though: Regular RS 7 models make the sprint in 3.7 seconds, while Performance does it in 3.6, according to Audi. Top speed is 190 mph, versus 174 mph in the standard RS 7, but I didn’t get anywhere near those speeds in my week of testing on public roads.

Press the accelerator a little and the RS 7 will still be docile; Even with all that power, it’s easy to drive slowly down the street. Tilt the pedal to go past a certain point, however, and the world instantly turns blurry – the massive acceleration this car can achieve is shocking.

The RS 7 isn’t small. It has a total weight of about 4,500 pounds and a very large footprint. But the motor drives it as if it were made of paper, with easy acceleration from any speed. It is a serious addiction.

The sports exhaust that comes on the RS 7 Performance models is amazing. It spit and crackle in shifts, roared upon acceleration and made general havoc anywhere above 3000 rpm. Whenever I found a tunnel or underpass, I would switch the RS 7 into sport mode, bring down all four windows and remove the dead. loved it.

What is behind the acceleration?

The RS 7 Performance adds two components that help the driving experience in ways other than power. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, adding the stopping power needed for this beast. Also standard is Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control, which helps prevent the RS 7 from being one pony: it’s not only fast, it has agile handling to match. Unlike adaptive shock absorbers that are electronically controlled in other cars, Dynamic Ride Control is entirely mechanical. It works by attaching shock absorbers at opposite angles to the RS 7 via center valves. These valves control the flow of oil from one shock to the next, and in doing so help create counterforce that keeps the RS 7 smooth when cornering, accelerating and braking.

Although this is an older system than modern adaptive suspension systems, it still works wonders. The RS 7 may be a heavy car, but it doesn’t drive like a car. All of that power is more than enough to make it feel fast off the line, and it’s incredibly stable in corners, eliminating a lot of body roll that would otherwise bother the car laterally.

Fuel economy is predictably poor at 15/25/18 mpg city/highway/combined on premium fuel demanded. This is the middle ground between competitors. The BMW M6 Gran Coupe is 2 mpg worse in combined driving, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo is 3 mpg better.

interior and technology

The RS 7’s interior is so close to the A7 in design and layout that it even comes with most of the same standard features, including automatic four-zone climate control, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, and heated front seats, though the RS 7 seats four instead. out of five.

Materials and ergonomics are excellent, especially in the RS 7 Performance. That car adds sports seats that – as we saw on my test car – can be covered in optional black Valcona leather and Alcantara, with blue honeycomb stitching and carbon fiber trim with blue accents. I’ve found it to be more comfortable and accommodating than most sports seats, with just enough support to keep you safe during spirited driving.

Audi’s multimedia system comes with standard support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but there is a caveat to their use. Since the display is placed high on the instrument panel, it is not a touch screen – all inputs to the multimedia system come through a rotary control switch between the front seats. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were designed with touchscreens in mind, and using them with a physical console is cumbersome. In Android Auto, I was not able to access some functions within supported apps like Spotify and Google Maps that I use regularly.

If I had one more to pick with the RS 7, it would be on top of safety, where many driver assistance features — such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keep assist and a corner-view camera system — are optional. In a six-figure starting car, it looks a bit cheap.

Conclusion

Parting with the 2017 RS 7 had no sweetness, only sadness. My initial doubts started to dissolve the first time I hit the throttle, and within a few hours, it was completely gone. The speed in this car is addictive, and the suspension system keeps it balanced and stable even during rapid acceleration. Some might crave a design that hints more at the car’s performance potential, but I like it for what it is.

The editorial department at Cars.com is your source for auto news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s longstanding ethics policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free rides from car manufacturers. The editorial department is independent of the advertising, sales and sponsored content departments of Cars.com.

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