The Audi RS four-door saloon is a thing of the past. If you want an RS4 or the new RS6, it has to be a five-door ‘Avant’ estate. Bonkers fast estates are Audi’s forte so we are OK with this, but for anyone who likes the idea of the new 592bhp, 590lb ft RS6 but could do without the big boot, there is another way.
It’s called the RS7, and it takes the RS6’s Porsche co-developed 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and stuffs it into the angular ‘coupe’ frame of the A7 Sportback. While adding big, angry vents for extra meanness.
Power is unchanged from the RS6, and as the RS7 is similarly porky to its estate relative, the hatchback is no quicker. That said, with a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds, you’ll hardly be wanting for off-the-line pace.
The top speed is electronically pegged at 155mph, rising to 174mph if you spec the Dynamic package, of 189mph if you go for Dynamic plus.
As with the RS6, power is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to a quattro all-wheel drive system. The torque split is generally 40/60, although 85 per cent can go to the rear wheels or up to 70 per cent to the front axle if required. All-wheel steering is optional.
It should be more efficient than the old RS7, thanks to a cylinder deactivation system plus a 48-volt mild hybrid setup. The latter part of the equation features a belt alternator starter unit, which can recoup up to 12kW of juice when the driver lifts off the gas between 34 and 99mph. The RS7 can coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine off and has a stop/start function that works up to speeds of 13mph.
Along with the increase in fuel economy, the RS7 has also become more practical. Before, it was a strict four-seater, but now, it’s possible to option it with five seats. Just in case you want to terrify four passengers with that 592bhp output.
If that sounds right up your street, expect to part with around £90,000 when the car goes on sale in the UK. It’s on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show from today onwards.