2017 Audi RS7 review with video

The basics:
Starting price: $120,400 + tax
As tested: $174,400 after tax
Average fuel economy over a week of testing: 15.5 L/100 kms (15 US MPG)
Competition: BMW M6 Gran Coupé, Mercedes CLS AMG, Porsche Panamera, etc.

After having a family, it’s interesting how my list of dream cars has been changing. Suddenly, a back seat is really important. So is a big trunk… but I’m still a 12 year old at heart. So, what to do? Well, a growing list of sport-tuned super sedans has been pushing the envelope – marrying practicality and insanity. Cars like the Audi RS7 – which is an A7 sportback turned over to the mad scientists at the company’s RS performance division and turned into a fire-breathing, mile-munching, grin-inspiring muscle car. This week, we’re spending some time in the RS7, courtesy of Glenmore Audi in Calgary, to see if you really can get supercar performance while still picking-up provisions at Costco.

– While the price may shock you, let’s run the numbers. The RS7’s 4-litre twin turbo V8 puts out 560 hp, 516 ft lbs of torque and a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds. Then, for an extra dose of crazy (and an extra $23,000), you can get into the RS7 Performance. The crankshaft and pistons are strengthened. The turbos are modified. Ceramic brakes are outfitted. And, of course, the engine was further tuned to deliver a veracious 605 hp with up to 553 ft lbs torque
– The result is a car so addictive, it’s really quite hard to stop driving. The sounds out of the Akrapovic performance exhaust is immense and menacing. The cornering feel is laser sharp. The ceramic brakes will rip the dental work right out of your mouth
– Yet, the second row is rather comfortable and can handle both front and rear facing car seats very well
– The trunk offers a class leading 707 litres of capacity and is accessed by a massive hatch back door for easy access
– And when you want the car to just chill out a little, putting it into comfort mode changes the character all together – the suspension is softened, the power is reigned in and the exhaust is made much quieter. In comfort mode, this car is really a bit of a sleeper cell, which makes it far more composed for daily driving or highway cruising.
– Just like every Audi to date, Quattro all wheel drive also comes standard on the RS7. Now, it’s rear-biassed under ideal conditions. During testing, we had snowy, slippery roads on tap and we were concerned that all that power might make it rather terrifying in wintry conditions. But with a set of 20 inch wheels winter tires mounted up, winter driving was a breeze
– Another thing that differentiates the RS7 Performance is the at the regular RS7 has air ride suspension and that means you can adjust its ride height. The performance package changes that to hydraulic suspension – which gives you amazing control in the corners but if you have a pothole filled back alley or deep snow on the way out to your ski cabin to negotiate, you may find the adjustability in the lower-tier RS7 a better fit for your life

– At just shy of 4500 lbs, this is a weighty car and while you don’t buy a car like the RS7 for its fuel economy, the numbers may still shock you. We averaged 15.5 L/100 kms over four days of mixed driving. That makes it just slightly better than our 1 ton dually pick-up truck with a 3,500 lb camper on the back. There’s no getting around it, this car is thirsty
– While the seats are firm and supportive, the headrests aren’t adjustable for tall drivers so you can’t rest your head well and it’s also not ideal for head protection if you get into an accident, either
– While driving in dynamic mode, the suspension is very firm (you may notice the camera in our video rattling around more than usual this week) but the pay-off is a very sharp cornering feel for such a large car
– The tech on the RS7 is feeling a bit long in the tooth. Its climate control read-outs, the lack of Audi’s virtual cockpit in front of the driver and the company’s previous generation infotainment system all feel really old in a car that’s starting at over $120,000. But the next generation of the A7 is coming in the summer of 2018 and the interior looks absolutely amazing and cutting edge
– The downside to the new A7? It normally takes a couple years for an RS version of Audi’s cars to make it down the line after a redesign. So you may not see an RS7 for quite some time after this
– The turning radius in this car is massive – not great for quick maneuvers in the urban environment
– Head room in the second row is fairly limited because of the sloped, athletic sportback roof line
– You also lose the middle seat position in the second row that you get in the regular A7 – and instead, get bolstered second row seats. But that means, there’s only seating for four.
– It’s also a little tricky to get into with some pretty substantial sills to step over in both the first and second rows
– While the trunk is very large, it doesn’t have much height. If the trunk were a bit taller, it could work well for the family dog and almost feel like a wagon – which would be much better for family living

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4.5/5 (61 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 2/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 38.5/50= 77%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *