You can say that the Audi RS7 probably didn't need any more power. However here is an even faster Performance version so who are we to complain? Thus now the RS 7 Performance with its twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant is upgraded, overboosted when the transmission's Sport drive or Manual mode is selected and develops a faintly ridiculous 605 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. Leaving the car in Drive maintains the uprated horsepower figure but will revert back to the non-overboosted torque output of just 516 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm. Naturally, the eight-speed automatic and cooling systems are upgraded to accommodate the added mechanical and heat loads. You also get a sport exhaust, optional carbon-ceramic brake discs, a front carbon-fiber splitter/rear spoiler, and a revised top speed limit of 305 km/h.
Audi conservatively estimates the RS 7 Performance will do 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. Yet Motor Trend's last tests produced 3.2 seconds (RS 7), so expect our instrumented acceleration to reflect accordingly shorter intervals, like 3.3 and 3.0 to 60, respectively. Can you imagine? Sleeper sedans, weighing between 4,500 and 4,700 pounds, sometimes are the best sedans, especially when they are as understatedly handsome and powerful as this.
So how does wielding this kind of power feel? The sensations are ones of urgency mixed with a generous portion of gravitas. Rather than feeling like being shot from a circus cannon like the R8 supercar's amusement park acceleration, this acceleration feels more inevitable, like what would happen if you were to step off a cliff. Maybe it's the cars' stately proportions, the double-pane sound-insulating glass, or the dignified seating position, but the landscape simply grows ever more cone-shaped, focused at the tip, blurring more at the edges, and then you take notice of the speedometer registering super-legal speeds. Oh, that's 120 mph. Wait. That's 120 miles per hour?!
Also the RS 7 Performance's on-throttle staccato and off-throttle fire-belching pops are certain to draw attention, especially in Sport mode. Leaving in Drive allows smooth, almost imperceptible up/downshifts, but easing the shifter's T-handle into Sport- or just grabbing a gear with shift paddles- elicits more urgent and sharper shifts and that lava-gargling sound we so love. Also, temporarily disabling electronic stability control at a stop with the car in Sport drive allows for a quasi-launch control, which both cars use to achieve those gobsmacking sub-4.0-second 0-60 runs.
Thus the RS7 Performance is a super sedan which exude effortless, addictive, and ultimately corrupting power-all in a good way. It looks mean and the swoopy shape attracts a lot of attention and crucially does not make it a boring sedan. The massive 21 inch wheels add to the stance and it looks menacing to say the least. Inside it is an Audi with everything thrown in and if you are bored with the exhaust there is a BOSE Surround Sound System along with every luxury you want in a Rs 1 crore car.
And that leads me to its practicality. Despite massive wheels the ride is not spine crushing and air suspension means you can tackle nasty potholes. When you do not want, it is quiet, comfy and unlike a supercar it lets you switch off easily. It is spacious at the back and has lot of space for your luggage. Unlike a supercar, people with legs can come in without performing yoga. Priced at Rs 1.59 crore, the RS7 has a breadth of talents that is not yet matched by any other car. It is not as usual sports sedan yet it is also not an unforgiving supercar yet has the drama and crucially the performance. It is priced really well being cheaper and more practical than other supercars. Yup a case if have your cake and eat it too.
Words- Chris Walton and Somnath Chatterjee