With Audi altering its naming strategy for internal combustion and electric cars, the new RS7 will be the top-end petrol-powered performance car. Read on to find out more.
- New RS7 has begun testing
- Seen here in modified A6 body
- Expected to keep V8 engine
- Will be a plug-in hybrid
- Set for reveal by the end of 2024
Audi has started testing the next generation version of the RS7 – but it won’t just be the traditional replacement for the swoopy premium coupe. This car will be the RS6 replacement too.
From these shots of the testing mule, you can see the next-gen car will be a plug-in hybrid, while the next RS6-badged car will be all-electric – inline with Audi’s new naming strategy.
All the even-numbered cars will be electric, and all the odd-numbered cars will have an internal combustion engine.
With both the new Mercedes-AMG E63 and BMW M5 on the way in the next couple of years, Audi needs to be on top of its game with this luxury performance car.
New Audi RS7 design
What you can’t really tell from these shots is how the next RS7 will look. This is a modified A6 body, but you can tell it’s got sporty underpinnings thanks to some obvious signs.
There’s cut outs for the dual oval exhausts on the rear bumper, along with chunkier wheelarches to house the larger wheels.
But if the new RS7 Performance and recent Audi concepts – such as the Avant A6 e-tron – are anything to go by you can expect the next version of the RS7 to have a rather gaping grille matched to a sleek roofline and smart design touches.
New Audi RS7 engine
It’s not the most obvious thing to see with the camouflage, but you’ll be able to spot two filler caps – one either side. That’s the clear sign that the next RS7 will be a plug-in hybrid as one is for the fuel filler and the other is the electric charging point.
Many performance cars in the executive sector, such as the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, are taking advantage of electric power to boost output but have some zero-emission driving to keep emissions down.
Audi appears to be moving in the same direction for its top-end internal combustion engine model. But whether it will hold on to the current V8 engine or downsize to a V6 is not known yet.
Mercedes has removed four cylinders for its latest C63 moving from a V8 to a turbocharged four-cylinder unit paired to an electric motor. That still develops a whopping 680hp though.
With the current RS7 Performance, you get a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 630hp and 950Nm of torque. Not to remain in the shadow of the smaller Mercedes, Audi will likely pump those power figures above 700hp and 1,000Nm of torque with the electrical system added, much like Porsche and its top-end Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
As with the Porsche, we think that Audi could keep the V8 and keep the throaty exhaust noise around that bit longer for you to enjoy – much like what BMW is doing with its next M5.
New Audi RS7 prices
Where you can expect Audi to certainly increase things is with the price. The current RS7 Performance starts from £116,305 – and that’s before the two higher-spec trims and options. The top-end Carbon Black version starts from £133,705.
So with hybrid power and improved performance, you can expect the next RS7 to start from upwards of £130,000 – a hefty amount of money to say the least. But when compared to a Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid (which costs from £145,900), it seems to be in the right area.
With the new A6 e-tron set to be released by the end of 2023, the new A7 will likely arrive by the start of 2024 – with sportier offerings like the RS7, set for release by the end of next year.