The 2020 Audi RS7 is Audi Sport’s gorgeous second iteration of the fivedoor sports coupe, complete with a lazy 600 horses.-
My wife is semi-famous for her text messages after picking up a car on my behalf. Sometimes they are hilarious – “This is the worst car I have ever driven. What the hell?” Sometimes they are astute – “Who is this for? It’s weird.” Often they are observational in a way I would never imagine – “The mirrors are too close.”
In the case of the first-generation Audi
Thing is, I felt the same way – I adored that first RS7 despite what I felt was a slight misstep in the rear-end’s styling. It may not have been the lightest on its feet, but as an everyday almost-supercar, unbeatable.
Look and feel
Based on the beautiful A7, the 2020 Audi RS7 has all the elegant aggression you’d expect from Audi Sport. New front and rear bumpers kick things off, with a big single piece grille out front with honeycomb pattern. The full-width rear lights look as incredible as ever, too and the diffuser’s blacked-out shapes help widen the rump.
The interior is predictably amazing. Predictable mainly because it’s the A7’s interior with the brilliant twin-screen central stack and a new version of the Virtual Cockpit with added RS goodness. The seats look brilliant.
The twin-turbo V8 is back, this time spinning up 441kW and 800Nm from its 4.0-litre capacity. Audi says the max torque is available from 2050rpm to 4500rpm. The dash to 100km/h is over in just 3.6 seconds and runs on to
Quattro and an eight-speed ZF automatic complete the picture and the launch control feature, while stupid in just about everything, will please the pub bores.
The quattro system’s standard setup delivers a 40:60 front-rear torque split and depending on conditions can go 70:30 or 15:85. The standard centre diff is a mechanical unit and you can get a sport differential for the rear axle with the two dynamic packages.
Audi has installed programmable RS1 and RS2 buttons (finally!) and you can set things up the way you like.
As with the A7, you get a mild hybrid 48V system that can recover 12kW under light acceleration. If you get off the throttle anywhere between 55 and 160km/h, the brain will decide whether to coast or recover energy.
You also get cylinder-on-demand to save a bit of fuel in the cruise, the engine dropping four cylinders on a light throttle.
The RS7 rides on five-link front and rear suspension, with plenty of aluminium to keep things light. The RS version of air suspension wipes out the gains but does mean a pillowy ride or fantastically flat cornering.
RS7 rides 20mm lower than the A7 and will drop a further 10mm at high speed. You can also lift the car to the standard A7’s height.
Standard brakes are 420mm at the front and 370mm at the rear with black or optional red calipers. If you really want to stop, the optional 440mm front and 370mm rear carbon ceramics shot do the trick. They also knock a massive 34kg from the unsprung weight.
Progressive steering is standard and you can also add all-wheel steering which cuts the turning circle by 1m (yawn) but will make the RS7 turn in like a demon and deliver super-stable high-speed lane changes.
The cast aluminium 21-inch wheels come with 275/35s or you can swap them at a cost for 22-inch 285/30s.
How much and when?
Almost certainly next year in Australia and well north of $200,000. But it’ll be worth it for the glorious racket and five seat practicality.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.