RE: 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback breaks cover

RE: 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback breaks cover

Tuesday 10th September

Audi RS7 Sportback | Frankfurt 2019

All-new model gets 600hp mild hybrid V8 - and the wide-body arches it always needed



Audi has pulled the covers off its all-new RS7 Sportback ahead of the four-door model's launch in 2020. Mixing 4.0 TFSI power with a mild hybrid system, the RS7 has been given a quattro all-wheel drive system capable of sending up to 85 per cent of torque rearwards, a chassis with tracks 40mm wider than the A7 and air suspension offering a wider range of parameters. It's a setup that increases the size of gap to the regular A7 line-up and reinforces the RS-grade Sportback's position as a properly distinguished range-topper.

Significantly, the wide-arch-wearing RS7 arrives at the Frankfurt motor show only two months before BMW introduces its M8 Gran Coupe to the super-fast four-door segment, with the latter expected to receive the same rear-drive capable all-wheel drive system as the regular M8. The RS7's adjustable driveline could therefore be considered a direct response to its Bavarian competitor's new model; or, as evidenced by the growing number of Audis to promise playfulness, perhaps it comes as the most extreme example yet of Ingolstadt's slightly less blunt approach to chassis set up.

Either way, the RS7's headline attraction is claimed to be under the bonnet where Audi's 4.0-litre V8 is assisted by a now-familiar mild hybrid system, providing it with the torque filled upshifts and enhanced peak outputs. The RS7 Sportback puts both components to good use; 600hp and 590lb ft of torque are claimed for the car on paper, the latter arriving between 2,100-4,500rpm. Those figures propel the Sportback from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and, with the optional Dynamic Plus Pack deleting the factory-fit 155mph limiter, it'll hit 190mph.


Unsurprisingly, the 48v mild hybrid system also enhances efficiency, with the belt alternator starter recovering up to 12kW of power to feed into a lithium-ion battery for use in start/stop scenarios or to extend the engine's coasting abilities. Additionally, Audi's cylinder on demand tech works seamlessly in the background to save as much as 0.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres alone. Still, expect to find the MHEV hardware's torque-filling traits most satisfying; the motor maintains thrust in the milliseconds between upshifts in the RS7's eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox.

In normal driving scenarios, 60 per cent of torque is passed to the back axle via a mechanical centre differential, with the aforementioned 85 per cent peak only reached in certain circumstances. Audi puts it like this: "If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction", which suggests it's a balancing system rather than hooligan-minded response to BMW's oversteer happy rear-drive tech. But as PH found out in the S4 85 per cent of Ingolstadt-supplied torque can provide noticeable adjustability - even if only of Audi-sized proportions.

Elsewhere the manufacturer has given the model air suspension with new modules, enabling the RS7 to sit 20mm lower than the A7 at rest, be lowered by 10mm in its sportiest modes or, should you ask it to, raise to regular A7 heights. The suspension, which works with damping specific to the RS7, can be tuned with a maximum spring rate that's 50 per cent higher when the optional Dynamic Plus pack is specced. If you prefer things to be more permanently hunkered down, Audi's optional RS sport suspension and its Dynamic Ride Control aims to almost completely eliminate pitch and roll at pace - although it may prove counterproductive for the four-door on British B-roads; ditto swapping the standard 21-inch aluminium wheels for 22-inch alternatives. One to investigate next year.


PHers may wince at the standard fitment of progressive steering, but while its inclusion suggests we shouldn't expect much feedback through the rack with its infinitely variable strain wave gearing, it ought to at least give the RS7 quick responses at pace. For enhanced agility, Audi has carried over the A7's all-wheel steer system and prepared it for the 600hp application, though it remains an optional extra. More significantly, the button-selectable RS1 and RS2 modes introduced on the RS6 migrate, offering shortcut routes to optimising the chassis, powertrain and ESC settings. Finally, you've got perforated brake discs of 420mm/370mm diameters or optional ceramics of 440mm/370mm to gather it all up.

Cram that lot into a four-seater bodyshell with boot space to carry 535 litres of luggage (1,390 litres with the seats down), Audi's latest Virtual Cockpit wizardry and an exterior design that looks suspiciously superior to the RS6 Avant, and you've got a car potentially well placed to take the battle to BMW. Certainly, the mix of brutish V8 and MHEV hardware leaves the new RS7 Sportback looking broadly talented to a new buyer. Whether its enough to overcome the appeal of a rear-driven M8 Gran Coupe, we look forward to finding out.


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Author
Discussion

redroadster

Original Poster:

983 posts

177 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Still prefer RS6 not keen on droopy bum.

Chestrockwell

1,871 posts

102 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Comparing the press shots of the RS6 to this shows me exactly why I’d never buy a car like this with all black leather, looks no different to my brothers leased Audi A6 S-Line, not a bad interior but I’d want something a lot more special looking.


pacdes

69 posts

106 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Very very nice.
Thought they would have put the start stop on the steering wheel though. This may be my next carriage.

Nickbrapp

2,901 posts

75 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
That looks properly mega, shame about the black seats but the red paint is lovely

Nerdherder

1,288 posts

42 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Spec a different steering wheel, rims, better in- and exterior colours and this might be something.

RSchneider

96 posts

109 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Another Audi that doesn't do anything for me. Looks cartoonish and overdesigned.

simonbamg

353 posts

68 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Looks proper sitting on the 22 inch wheels love it ( video online of it being driven by someone who must not be mentioned on here looks great in red)

AmosMoses

3,363 posts

110 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I do like an RS7, this one still looks great.

spikyone

346 posts

45 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
RSchneider said:
Another Audi that doesn't do anything for me. Looks cartoonish and overdesigned.
+1. Audi seem to be trying to counter their previous middle of the road styling with fussy over-design. That line above the grille is just bizarre, although it looks less out of place on an RS* than on a cooking spec A1.

Augustus Windsock

1,768 posts

100 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Love fast Audi’s, my first ownership encounter being with an original UR Quattro Turbo.
But am I the only one that thinks that the Audi ‘design ‘team have abandoned their free thinking and replaced it over the last few (?) years with a Xerox machine that just increases / decreases the same design as required?
Otherwise, I applaud a 600bhp machine, sod all the muesli-treading, yoghurt-weaving flat-earthers!

T1547

428 posts

79 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
spikyone said:
RSchneider said:
Another Audi that doesn't do anything for me. Looks cartoonish and overdesigned.
+1. Audi seem to be trying to counter their previous middle of the road styling with fussy over-design. That line above the grille is just bizarre, although it looks less out of place on an RS* than on a cooking spec A1.
+2. I'm sure it will be good but finding it very hard to get excited about it.

Is there much point in it having 600bhp? Where do you use the power in this country and presumably being a big, heavy, hybrid isn't much fun to chuck around on a b road. The 50, 55 or S7 models seem more than adequate, or am I missing something?

Baldchap

1,398 posts

37 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Too big for me, but looks great. Especially like the new RS front ends.

Cue everyone who has never driven one and is in no danger of replacing their Fiesta with one telling us how boring it is... rolleyes

E65Ross

23,046 posts

157 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I'm pretty sure that you don't need black seats if you're ordering your own smile

Looks quite nice, but not sure if it's where my money would go, but I'm sure it's a great car.

Hairymonster

467 posts

50 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I bet that's going to be knocking on the door of £100k

1781cc

260 posts

39 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I didn't really see it before, but I am convinced more and more that there's too much Lamborghini cues being used in Audi's styling, the polygonal shapes, symmetrical overly complicated exhaust surrounds, interior trims and dash layouts, even the alloys look like they are lambo skewed, its all too much for me and for that reason...


Pintofbest

631 posts

55 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
T1547 said:
Is there much point in it having 600bhp? Where do you use the power in this country and presumably being a big, heavy, hybrid isn't much fun to chuck around on a b road. The 50, 55 or S7 models seem more than adequate, or am I missing something?
Because the world is a big place with lots of different road rules? Just because people might want it to match the power of an alternative model? Because you are only guessing how it drives from looking at 5 photo's? The world doesn't revolve around the UK.

StuH

2,537 posts

218 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
T1547 said:
...., or am I missing something?
You’re missing everything. You know this a car fan website?

rider73

39 posts

22 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I really like the looks of this car, but i've fallen out of love a bit with Audi - not the fantastic cars they produce - but the sheer plethora of debadged and/or "s-line" type copies that i feel undervalue the top end models .... there is hardly anything different apart from the S/RS badge (if one is there!)

yonex

15,082 posts

113 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Meh, looks like the ginger (red) runt from the Lamborghini factory.

I’m sure it’ll go well and do all things expected.

Tickle

3,304 posts

149 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
StuH said:
T1547 said:
...., or am I missing something?
You’re missing everything. You know this a car fan website?
I don't think you are obliged to like all cars if you use the forum.