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First drive: Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.

First drive: Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance
Performance pack makes the Audi RS 7 faster again, in case you needed it...


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Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

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The already bonkers Audi RS 7 gets quicker still with the addition of the Performance option, upping power to 605hp and dropping the 0-62mph time to 3.7 seconds.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance
Price: 91,600
Engine: 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 221g/km (Band K, 290 per year)
Combined economy: 29.7mpg
Top speed: 189mph (with derestriction option)
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Power: 605hp at 6,100- to 6,800rpm
Torque: 750Nm at 2,500- to 5,500rpm

What's this?

Few people have ever got out of the regular Audi RS 7 thinking what it needs is a bit more power, yet that's what the Performance pack is all about. The upgrade ups the power by 45hp to a more satisfying 605hp total, while torque is also bumped - to 750Nm on overboost. All that's enough to launch the big, comfortable RS 7 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds from a standstill, and the standard quattro four-wheel drive system means that's repeatable every day, in almost any condition.

Its dragster pace is denoted by some subtle revisions to the already purposeful RS 7's style, the most obvious being big quattro lettering in the lower portion of the front grille. Inside, there are some unique touches too, like a black and blue Alcantara and leather mix with carbon trim inlays highlighted in blue thread. All this for 91,600, though if you want some of the options (the dynamic package for around 10k, for example, adds carbon ceramic brakes) don't expect much change from 110,000 or so.

How does it drive?

You're unlikely to be surprised to hear that the RS 7 Performance is quick. It's brisk enough to make you feel like your skin will take on the black and blue hue of the interior, though for all the numbers associated with it the RS 7 Performance isn't brutal. The way the engine delivers its power is very linear, relentlessly so, but it surges forward with an ease that's remarkable given the RS 7's bulk. An M6 Gran Coupe or CLS 63 AMG require a bit more work and thought, whereas the RS 7 Performance is quick everywhere; a large part of that is thanks to the quattro four-wheel drive system, as it allows you to pin your foot to the floor anywhere you like.

Don't keep it there too long, as the RS 7 will be in expensive lawyer-requiring territory very quickly indeed. It's difficult in truth to really feel where the Performance really gains over its 'lesser' RS 7 relation in the UK. Deep into three figures, presumably, where the Performance will do a better job of allowing you and your passengers to chase down supercars on the Autobahn - assuming you've ticked the option box for the Dynamic Plus package, which increases the top speed to 189mph. It's still governed at that and we don't doubt the RS 7 Performance would comfortably knock on 200mph, unfettered.

Fast then, but arguably a bit one-dimensional. The RS 7 feels big on UK roads, and more power only adds to that. There's a standard sports differential that livens things up a bit, but really, you're never going to get anywhere near the RS 7 Performance's potential on the road. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of grip and traction is equally assured. It, like its non-Performance equipped relation, does rather lack in steering feel, so it's all a bit remote and artificial, while the ability to ride commendably well on its standard 21-inch wheels and plentiful contact patch isn't backed up with any real feel from the chassis itself. Certainly those AMG and M division rivals are more engaging drives, though it's impossible not to be impressed by the way the RS 7 Performance so easily gains pace.


Easy to argue that it's pointless, but then if you want a sensible Audi A7 there are diesels out there. If you fancy this powertrain in a more practical body then it's also in the RS 6 Avant, but that's rather missing the point. Buyers of the RS 7 Performance will more than likely have a few supercars in their garages and want something with similar performance as an everyday hack. Nice position to be in, admittedly, but even they might find the RS 7 a touch lacking in engagement, even if it's impossible to argue with the mighty pace.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

3 3 3 3 3 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

3 3 3 3 3 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain

Kyle Fortune - 3 Aug 2016    - Audi road tests
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2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.

2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.2016 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance. Image by Audi.


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