Audi Debuts RS7 Sportback in Detroit

2013 Detroit Auto Show

The Detroit Auto Show has turned into an absolute smorgasbord of four-door German performance coupes, with the Audi RS7 joining the revised Mercedes CLS63 and new BMW M6 GranCoupe all on the same show floor.

If you've been feeling left out by Audi's decision not to bring the new RS6 Avant to North America, we've got good news for you: the German automaker has just pulled the wraps off the new RS7 Sportback, packing the same engine in an even sleeker form that aims to appeal to American buyers better than the aforementioned power-wagon. That engine is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, representing a marked increase over the existing S7 Sportback on which it is based.

Replacing the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with an eight-speed automatic more capable of handling the power, the RS7 follows Audi tradition to channel the power to all four wheels for a 3.9-second 0-60 time and a top speed electronically limited to 155, 174 or 190 miles per hour (depending on the options specified). The track has also been widened, the rolling stock upgraded, the brakes beefed up and the air suspension retuned for performance driving. All in all, the upgrades add up to one very serious performance machine that takes on of Audi's most beautiful designs into even faster territory.

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It also just so happens to be making its public debut at the same Detroit Auto Show where BMW is taking the wraps off its M6 GranCoupe and Mercedes-Benz its revised CLS63 AMG - two rivals which offer comparable levels of power and performance in a similar four-door coupe form. So which would you choose?