Exclusive | R Rated – 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback First Drive Review

Audi RS7 Sportback
The Audi RS7 is back and this time round it’s faster, more powerful and is oozing with tech

The Audi RS7 Sportback has been sculpted to precision for petrolheads and its certainly not made for the masses in India. But it looks like the engineers at Ingolstadt had been feasting on ‘desi’ curries before they went to their drawing board. Although it isn’t, the RS7 Sportback comes across as a superfast saloon crafted for India and if you’ve raised an eyebrow already – relax and let me explain. Which performance car currently on sale in India can sit pretty in your garage without attracting the jealousy vibes from friends, neighbours and acquaintances? Not just that, which supercar can accommodate five passengers, is suitable for your daily chores and also has the firepower and onboard computer to be playful or to better your zero to 100kmph speed runs on the way back along with offering usable boot space? Only the RS 7 Sportback can tick all those boxes. The RS7 Sportback can be passed off as a luxury sedan even when parked outside the Income Tax Bhavan. However, it houses a 4.0-litre TFSI V8 that converts it into a ballistic missile with the tap of the throttle.The considerably understated second-gen 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback which is in its second generation with a sticker price that’s at least a crore less if not two lesser – and while you do have the Porsche Panamera and the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door as the closest options in terms of the pricing package, are they really as rakishly subtle and do they share a similar cult following globally? Well, I don’t think so.

Audi RS7 Sportback
Which performance car currently on sale in India can sit pretty in your garage without attracting the jealousy vibes from friends, neighbours and acquaintances?

The 2020 RS 7 features a stunning new wide-body design, while the iconic Sportback shape embellished with sharply defined lines give it a menacing character. The twin-oval exhaust pipes neatly integrated with the rear bumper add to its sportiness – neck-snapping second glances are guaranteed. Those tastefully flared wheel arches and its low stance give it a remarkably aggressive racecar look and this machine is actually wider than it appears in these images.

Audi RS7 Sportback
The RS7 Sportback can be passed off as a luxury sedan even when parked outside the Income Tax Bhavan, albeit it houses a 4.0-litre TFSI V8 that converts it into a ballistic missile with the tap of the throttle

At the front, you’ve got a new RS-designed bumper that takes the centre stage with the three-dimensional single-frame black honeycomb mesh. Also, the RS 7 gets upgraded LED headlamps with dynamic indicators that greet you with a light dance every time you walk towards it. Utterly necessary to get your heart racing even before you get in the driver seat.

Audi RS7 Sportback
Even the wheels looks ‘fast’ in these static shots,no?

Inside the RS 7, there are a few upgrades of which the most notable are the sports seats that also integrated the headrest – the leather is plush with honeycomb-patterned red stitching on them and you also get a flat-bottomed steering wheel that sports new aluminium pedal shifters and the Audi drive select with RS1 and RS2 modes. Then you get these premium carpets with a huge RS logo; that's a cherry on the cake for me – feels like Audi has personalised the car with my initials all over it. Sweeeet.

Audi RS7 Sportback
The 2020 RS 7 features a stunning new wide-body design, while the iconic Sportback shape embellished with sharply defined lines give it a menacing character

Jokes apart – the RS7 Sportback also offers some serious kit like the special RS displays that use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details like performance, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration and even G-forces! Then there is the sophisticated 48-volt Mild Hybrid System which can recover up to 12 kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. Not that you would buy the RS7 to save fuel however there is a Cylinder on Demand (COD) technology that enhances the efficiency by automatically deactivating four cylinders in higher gears at low engine speeds. It does 0-100 in 3.6 seconds and Audi has actually given you an inbuilt mini-computer to measure your lap time and keep your scoreboard. I hit the 100km mark in 3.9 seconds in RS2 mode. If you can’t dance, don’t blame it on the uneven floor. I am not trying to draw parallel here but it was raining and the driving conditions like altitude, heat, rain everything matters when you set to clock your fastest 100kmph and I can dance!

Audi RS7 Sportback
RS7 Sportback also offers some serious kit like the special RS displays that use The Audi virtual cockpit to provide details like performance, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration and even G-forces!

Driving
Although the looks are underemphasized, there is no reason for the RennSport badging to be taken lightly. The 4.0-litre TFSI V8 greets you with its sweet rumble and you are immediately made aware of the 592bhp and 800Nm of torque available at the tap of your foot. Since its wide-bodied, it grips the road with confidence and its fun navigating the cars on the highways or narrow stretches. We were driving the top-specced with all the options list added, rear-wheel steering, 22-inch rim and in tight bends, it changes the whole dynamics of driving with rear wheels turning slightly and increasing the turning radius. Finally, a performance car which you can drive the whole day long from cruising to speeding without giving you body bumps. You are sitting low but much higher than the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world and you have almost that much horsepower on tap.

Audi RS7 Sportback
The 4.0-litre TFSI V8 greets you with its sweet rumble and you are immediately made aware of the 592bhp and 800Nm of torque available at the tap of your foot

Of course, this mammoth doesn’t shy away from making its weight and size evident but you do get some clever German technology for assistance. Depending on traction, up to 70 per cent of the driving force can flow to the front wheels and up to 85 per cent to the back wheels, which is further aided by the wheel-selective torque control that optimizes handling through bends, it provides power to the wheels that need it when cornering.

Audi RS7 Sportback
Neck-snapping second glances are guaranteed with the Audi RS7 Sportback

Verdict
If you have the money and want an understated car and you are as much of an an enthusiast yet at the same time wish for a practical five bench performance car with a good boot and can accept an ex-showroom price tag upwards of 1.94 crore ex-showroom, then buy it or else look elsewhere!