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2017 Audi RS 7 Overview
Whoever said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too has clearly not heard of the 2017 Audi RS 7. Based on the A7 and S7 fastback sedans, the RS 7 delivers a seemingly improbable amount of luxury, performance, technology, and comfort. But while each of these attributes have their part in this vehicle, performance reigns supreme, delivering an impressive powertrain paired to a tech-savvy transmission and a proven quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup.
While the RS 7 shares its long sloping profile with the A7, the similarities between the two vehicles end there. The unique honeycomb pattern of the massive “Singleframe” grille continues into a revised lower front valence with expanded air intakes. The headlights feature unique LED and darkened-trim designs for a more menacing approach, and the rear LED pattern is fetching enough to be surpassed only by the giant rear exhaust outlets. The RS 7 also comes standard with massive 21-inch titanium-finish wheels wrapped in summer tires and a retractable rear spoiler that deploys either manually, with the push of a button, or automatically at 75 mph for improved downforce at higher speeds. You can make your RS 7 stand out even more with the Carbon Optics package, black rear exhaust outlets, red brake calipers, or even pinstriped quattro lettering across the base of the grille. But it’s what behind that grille that really counts.
In that vein, the RS 7 comes equipped with a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine making 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Incredibly, a trim called the RS 7 performance also exists, with a 4.0-liter turbo V8 tuned to put out 605 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission to the quattro AWD. The transmission has paddle shifters for manual shift mode, while quattro delivers all-weather capability and accurate grip along back roads. Fuel economy for the 2017 Audi RS 7 stands at 15 mpg city/25 highway/18 combined.
The RS 7 is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 174 mph. Opt for the RS 7 Performance and the 0-60 time drops to 3.6 seconds while top speed climbs to an incredible 190 mph. Of course, you’ll need to find a track to get anywhere close to either of those top speeds! In addition to the more powerful engine, the RS 7 Performance features the optional carbon front and rear diffusers, carbon lower-front air intakes, and carbon exterior side-mirror housings, as well as black exhaust outlets.
As a brand, Audi celebrates the marriage of performance and technology, and there is perhaps no better example of this than Audi's Drive Select feature. With the push of a button, Drive Select modifies throttle response, shift points, and steering feel for Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual (driver-customizable) settings.
The exciting performance of the RS 7 is complemented by a well-appointed and attractive 4-seat interior fitted with standard features such as Valcona leather seating with honeycomb stitching, heated 12-way power front seats, and a power moonroof. Also standard are Bluetooth hands-free smartphone connectivity paired with streaming music, a vivid 7-inch digital display, and a 14-speaker Bose premium sound system with AudioPilot noise cancellation. Audi’s Multimedia Interface, or MMI, provides infotainment capability and includes a voice-controlled navigation system and a touch pad on which you can draw letters to input information or commands to the navigation, phone, and audio systems. The RS 7 also features a standard head-up display that presents key information like vehicle speed and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
Optional interior features include an Alcantara headliner, a Bang & Olufsen advanced premium sound system, and the Comfort Seating Package, which boasts massaging and heated/cooled seats.
Standard safety features include a full array of front- and side-impact airbags with passenger detection, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The available Driver Assistance Package ($2,450) includes adaptive cruise control (able to operate in stop-and-go traffic), forward-collision warning, adaptive high beams, Audi's lane-departure warning and assistance feature, and a corner-view camera system. For $2,500 you can even opt for the Night Vision Assistant, which presents a night-vision view of the road ahead in the center display of the instrument panel.
Base MSRP for the 2017 Audi RS 7 is $110,700, and with options such as the Cold Weather Package, Driver Assistance Package, Comfort Seating Package, Night Vision Assistant, Bang & Olufsen sound system, and Black Alcantara headliner, that price can push $126,000. The 2017 Audi RS 7 Performance trim starts at $129,000, and with similar options--as well as the exclusive Audi RS5 titanium sport exhaust--can run past $154,000.
But here’s the fantastic thing about the Audi RS 7: no matter how you spec out your ride, it will be the most eye-catching vehicle on just about any street. Even in base form, the RS 7 has an appearance that can stop people in their tracks, and its looks are backed up by blistering performance. Anyone lucky enough to step behind the wheel of the RS 7 will experience massive acceleration and precise cornering while surrounded by the best in luxury and technology.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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