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Audi RS7 Review

Find out more about the Audi RS7 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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6
Out of 10
Average Price £65,450
Model Review

 Audi has a knack of building quick cars and decided that with their first generation A7, it needed some extra sauce and produced the RS7.

 The coupe model isn’t one you would automatically think could be particularly dynamic, as it is more luxurious-looking. But Audi decided to place a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet, which produces an impressive 552bhp.

 As an upgraded version of the S7, which came with 414bhp from the same engine setup, the RS7 is pretty brutish in its performance but is more spacious and relaxing inside like the standard A7.

 It also comes with the option of the RS7 Performance that has a staggering 597bhp at its disposal and can go from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds – which is mightily impressive for a luxury coupe.

Value for money 

 As a premium model the RS7 comes with plenty of accessories that can whet the appetite such as Audi Drive Select, 20-inch alloy wheels, quattro all-wheel drive, RS-specific air suspension, RS body styling kit, sunroof, leather sports seats, flat-bottomed multi-functional steering wheel, Audi’s MMI infotainment and navigation touch screen system, Bose surround sound system, parking system plus and head-up display. You also get cruise control, rest recommendation system and the RS high-performance braking system for added assurance and stability. All of that comes as standard, which is excellent and for the price Audi charge – £87,610 – you shouldn’t expect anything less.

 Even though it is reasonably new to the road, a 2016 ’66 plate RS7 Performance is available for £75,999 – which when new was £109,000 with options – and the main difference is the atomic 597bhp twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet. This version comes with an advanced surround sound system, infra-red camera for night vision assistance, all-round camera view and automatic parking assist as added options and 21-inch black gloss alloy wheels. As well as a host of extra features, this used model shows that if you want this premium model there are high quality pre-owned models available at a lower price.

 

Looks and image

 To look at the RS7 has received some aggressive tweaks when compared to the standard A7, as it has a more aggressive front end design, larger alloys as standard and a sloping roof line that looks very streamlined and pleasing to the eye. Like other Audi coupes, the RS7 looks the part and with the Performance model, you get an enlarged lower grille with ‘quattro’ designation. It looks premium and is arguably the best looking among its competitors.

 Where the RS7 struggles against its rivals is how it drives, and unfortunately it isn’t as exciting to drive as you would expect from an RS model. The suspension can be ridiculously firm in sport mode, and even if it reduces body roll and aids handling considerably, it doesn’t take away from how uncomfortable the ride is. You can tell that this car is set up as an Autobahn or motorway cruiser as when you take it on to the tight and twisty turns of the British B roads, it doesn’t feel as composed. Even with the amazing grip levels offered by the quattro all-wheel drive system, it doesn’t thrill in any way, and the steering can lack feel even if it is reasonably quick.

 You have to be careful which suspension setting you select, as in comfort mode the ride is pliant, steady and really quite enjoyable – as long as you don’t thrash it. But if you switch it into dynamic mode it is a completely different animal. If you aren’t intent on going quick, don’t go anywhere near this mode as it is jarring and really quite uncomfortable as it counteracts body roll and sharpens everything up. Yes, you get a faster throttle response and weightier steering for better feel, but unless you are on the smoothest road the RS7 will jiggle all over the place. The larger 21-inch alloys of the Performance model will also affect the ride. Otherwise the RS7 offers excellent comfort with all leather upholstery as standard and the no cost option of comfort seats rather than the standard sports seats.

Space and practicality 

 Like the standard A7, the RS7 comes with plenty of passenger and storage space – with the only concern for taller passengers being the sloping roof at the back end. Leg room is excellent and the RS7 is quite wide as well to allow for plenty of passenger space. Although the sloping roof can also encroach on storage space, the RS7 still has the largest boot space compared to its rivals at 535 litres and that can be extended thanks to the folding rear seats.

 Although it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, the RS7 comes with plenty of safety options and a great safety reputation to boot. Fitted with cruise control, parking system plus, rest recommendation and head-up display as standard, customers can also choose to fit side assist, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control and night vision assistant as optional extras. You also get Isofix mounting points and six airbags as standard.

 If you can afford it, this could be a good family car due to its excellent comfort, masses of space and great safety rating. The speed and performance may retract from that, as some could class it as dangerous if used in the wrong hands, but if used responsibly this is a fantastic cruiser that can be very comfortable to use as a day-to-day vehicle.

 

Engines  

There is only one engine on offer with the RS7 and that’s the twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 coming with either 552bhp in the standard RS7 or the full fat 597bhp in the Performance version. It is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox to aid with smooth transitions and optimal power deployment through the quattro all-wheel drive system.

 

Running costs  

One thing you won’t be saving with this car is money, as the RS7 guzzles fuel rather liberally at a rate of 29mpg at best. Due to the increased road tax rates from April 2017, the RS7 is now taxed at £1,200 due to its 221g/km CO2 emissions, while the Performance model is in the £1,700 bracket. Both will cost £450 to tax every year after – due to it costing more than £40,000 – but most who will think of buying this car will have factored this into their decision already. Insurance groups are between group 47 and 50.

 

Things to look out for  

Thanks to the manufacturer’s supreme reliability, the RS7 has not suffered any major recalls from the DVSA – which is a big thumbs up. Even in the same timescale of the RS7’s existence, the A7 hasn’t suffered any structural problems or reliability issues of note either. So you can trust the RS7 to be a faithful companion.

 

Rivals

 The sector that the RS7 occupies isn’t particularly full but it does come up against some high level rivals. BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe, the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 and Porsche’s Panamera are very similar in size and performance capabilities. The Gran Coupe is most similar in style while all are very similar in how they perform, although the Audi does lag behind in terms of handling and ride.

 

Depreciation warning

 Depending on how much it has been used, the RS7 can hold its value reasonably well considering it’s an expensive luxury car. It should hold in excess of 50 per cent of its original value over the standard three-year period, but be careful not to spec it too highly, otherwise you will lose a lot of money.

Which RS7 to Pick

Trims Explained

The RS7 has two guises – the standard model and the performance edition – both of which come with an extensive amount of kit.

Standard model

As standard the RS7 comes with 20-inch alloys, quattro all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, matrix LED headlights, the RS body styling kit, a sunroof, leather sport front seats, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, Audi’s MMI touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, a head-up display, Bose sound system, parking system plus and automatic four-zone air conditioning. That’s a lot to get from the start, and this list is by no means exhaustive.

The starting price for the RS7 is £87,610.

Performance edition

The main change for the Performance edition is the addition of 45bhp to the engine output, 21-inch alloy wheels, sports exhaust system, privacy glass, the Titanium styling package and a leather/Alcantara upholstery mix with blue detailing. The main reason you would buy the Performance version is for the extra power, and those looking at the RS7 anyway may not mind spending that little extra for the added thrill.

In Summary

  1. Amazing performance for a big car
  2. Few rivals, but all are very good
  3. Lots of space
  4. Handling is poor
  5. Premium finish
  6. Great reliability record
  7. Very high running costs
  8. Good level of safety
  9. Smart looks
  10. Can hold its value reasonably well