Aluminium has been used extensively in the RS7 to help keep its weight down, but at 1,995kg it’s hardly light.
The engine in the RS7 Sportback is a 4.0-litre V8 that is also used in the RS6. The 516 lb ft of torque is available from as low as 1,750rpm and peak power of 560hp is achieved at 5,600rpm meaning the car is very flexible at almost any speed. A 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds for a car weighing close to two tonnes is a very good example of the unrelenting power of the engine. If you think the governed top speed of 155mph is too slow, Audi can raise it up to 189mph at extra cost.
The RS7 is a tremendous continent-crossing force
It’s not all power, though, because the engine can turn off half of its cylinders to save fuel. When under low load the engine runs as a V4 and can reduce fuel consumption by up to 12 per cent. The change-over is completely unnoticeable and you can actually get fairly close to the advertised mpg figure of 29mpg.
An eight-speed automatic is the only gearbox available. Gears one through to seven are for quick acceleration and eight is for fuel-efficient cruising. In Auto mode, the gearbox always chooses the right gear, but is not as quick as a DSG one.
There is a choice between comfort-focused air suspension or stiffer adaptive dampers with steel springs. They have four modes to choose from – Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Individual. Adaptive power steering that varies the weight of the steering wheel can be specified for an extra cost.
All of these should make the RS7 incredible to drive, but it still cant match the BMW M6 for sheer fun. In Comfort mode, the ride borders on the edge of overly firm, but the light steering makes the Sportback very easy to drive. In Dynamic, the RS7 transforms into a rock-hard race car that is very quick in corners, but tiring for the driver. The best compromise is to stick it in Individual mode, choose Comfort suspension and leave everything else in Dynamic mode.