Sleek, stylish, and very, very, fast.
Audi is delivering a slew of exciting cars to America for the 2020 model year. We've already met the RS6 Avant, and now Audi has dropped details of the hot wagon's sedan sibling, making its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show. Packing 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque under the hood, the second-generation becomes the most powerful RS7 so far, however, it will likely be trumped when a performance package becomes available as an option.
That power is generated by the same mild-hybrid assisted twin-turbo 4.0-liter TFSI V8 you'll find on its RS6 Avant brethren. The assist comes in the form of Audi's 48-volt electrical system and, added together, Audi claims the new RS7 will come out of the blocks and sprint to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and then top out at a limited 155 mph. Adding the Dynamic and Dynamic Plus packages increases the available top speed to 174 and 189.5 mph respectively.
Power isn't the drivetrain's only trick up its sleeve though. The belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW under acceleration to feedback to the battery, and when the driver comes off the accelerator the software will decide whether it's best to recover energy or deactivate the engine as it coasts. The engine also features cylinder deactivation to conserve gas until the power is wanted.
As with the RS6 Avant, the RS7 Sportback employs a standard adaptive air suspension. In this case, it holds the ride height 0.8 inches lower than the previous RS. Then, at speeds higher than 74.6 mph, it lowers the chassis another 0.4 inches. Agility can be increased with the optional RS Sport suspension and Dynamic Ride Control that reduces pitch and body roll. That also brings new drive modes labeled RS1 and RS2. Standard though is the new lower RS7 is a special "lift mode," so there's no excuse to scraping the splitter on steep ramps.
What's else is striking, along with the excess of power and handling, is the looks. Audi's design team must have gotten a simple design statement that said: "Make it look absolutely stunning." The enormous black grill is actually a carryover though, and the slot above directs a curtain of air directly under the hood. Audi assures us that the width isn't an optical illusion and measures 6.4 feet at the front fenders, an extra 1.6 inches over the A7 Sportback.
The 10-spoke, 21-inch wheels are standard while 22-inch RS wheels with grippier tires are optional, as are RS carbon-ceramic brakes that come with a saving of 75 pounds over the standard steel discs.
Inside, and as expected, Audi's MMI dual touchscreen interface and virtual cockpit adorn the dashboard. Nappa leather black RS sport bucket seats go with the Nappa leather throughout the cabin. There's also an RS7 specific fully perforated flat-bottomed steering wheel. When it goes on sale sometime in early 2020, the RS7 Sportback will have 13 different exterior colors to choose from, including the specific RS colors of Nardo gray and Sebring black. We have no official word on pricing yet.