New Car Review

2015 Audi RS 7: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader February 2015

When is 420 horsepower not enough? When you find yourself wanting more. For us, that's hard to imagine, but for you, the 2015 Audi RS 7 might be just what the doctor ordered.

The regular Audi S7 already boasts a twin-turbocharged V8 that pumps out 420 horses. It's incredibly swift and impeccably refined, but these days, 420 hp is not a truly impressive amount of power. The Porsche Panamera Turbo, for example, makes far more, as does the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. And if you're paying this much money, you probably want something truly impressive, right?

That's where the 2015 RS 7 comes in.

Granted, the RS 7 commands a hefty 30 percent price premium over the S7, but consider this: The RS 7's 560 horses are a 33 percent improvement over the S7's stable. And how can you put a price on knowing that your RS 7 is more powerful (by 10 hp) than the aforementioned Mercedes? Only the gonzo 570-hp Panamera Turbo S outdoes the RS 7 in standard form, and it costs $75 grand more.

So, when is 420 hp not enough? When you find yourself reading the previous paragraph and nodding in agreement. The 2015 Audi RS 7 isn't for everyone, but if you have the cash, it'll make you smile.

What's New for 2015?

A head-up display is now standard, while a Dynamic package (with variable-ratio steering, anti-roll adaptive suspension, red brake calipers and a sport exhaust) joins the options list.

What We Like

Supercar acceleration; sublime handling; exquisite interior; show-stopping style; top-shelf tech

What We Don't

Lacks rear headroom for tall riders; limited versatility from the hatchback trunk

How Much?

$107,425

Fuel Economy

The all-wheel-drive RS 7 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rated at 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. These are gains of 140 and 110, respectively, relative to the lesser S7. The transmission is an 8-speed conventional automatic, since the S7's 7-speed automated manual can't handle this much output.

Fuel economy is quite impressive given the RS 7's insane acceleration. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you'll see 16 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway in normal driving, but good luck keeping your foot off the floor.

Standard Features & Options

The 4-seat RS 7 is offered only in the top-of-the-line Prestige ($107,425) trim level.

Standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, dual oval exhaust tips, full LED headlights and taillights, a power rear spoiler, an adaptive sport-tuned air suspension, a sport rear differential, a power lift gate, a sunroof, a blind spot monitoring system, power-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry/start, the drive select system (featuring electronic adjustments for steering, throttle and transmission), the Multi Media Interface (MMI) with a 7-in display and a console-mounted control knob, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, quad-zone climate control, carbon-fiber inlays, aluminum pedals, RS-specific gauges and door handles, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles and contrast stitching, leather upholstery, heated power sport seats with honeycomb quilting and driver memory functions, a Google-Earth-based navigation system, Wi-Fi hot spot capability, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.

Options include three different 21-in wheel designs, carbon-fiber trim, a Dynamic package (variable-ratio steering, anti-roll adaptive suspension, red brake calipers and a sport exhaust), a Driver Assistance Plus package (adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane-departure prevention and a corner-view camera system), a Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel and heated rear seats), an Individual Contour Seating package (multicontour front sport seats with ventilation and massage functions along with driver and passenger memory), rear-side airbags, an Alcantara headliner and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Safety

The RS 7 comes with standard stability control and 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes. Eight airbags are standard (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain), with rear-side airbags available as an option. Also offered are a blind spot monitoring system, a lane-departure prevention system, a collision-mitigation system with automatic braking and a corner-view camera system.

Behind the Wheel

In our interior evaluation, we found the RS 7's design and quality beyond reproach. That's normal for high-end Audis, but the RS 7 goes one step further with its unique honeycomb seat inserts, carbon-fiber inlays and iconic RS gauges. The standard technology features are first-rate, including the ever-improving MMI system (now with finger-pad scribble recognition) and rolling Wi-Fi capability. If we could change anything about the RS 7's cabin, we'd give it a little more rear headroom and cargo space. However, the car's slinky profile looks so good that these drawbacks might seem like reasonable prices to pay.

According to the spec sheet, the RS 7 is marginally lighter than the S7. At roughly 4,500 pounds, though, it's still a portly fellow, but it's a dynamo on the road, leaping forward at the slightest throttle squeeze and slicing through corners like a car half its size. As sublime as the S7's engine is, the RS 7's is noticeably better. Having said that, we do miss the S7's rapid-fire automated manual gearbox; while the RS 7's 8-speed automatic is highly competent, it's not quite as quick-witted in aggressive driving.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 BMW M6 Gran Coupe -- The 4-door M6 stacks up well against the RS 7 in terms of power and equipment, but it's not as lithe and lively on winding roads.

2015 Porsche Panamera Turbo -- While the Panamera Turbo is considerably more expensive, it also has the athleticism of a sports car and the comfort of an executive sedan.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG -- The AMG-tuned CLS offers beastly acceleration and a more livable back seat, but like the M6 Gran Coupe, it's less precise than the Audi.

Used Aston Martin Rapide -- Where do you go if the RS 7's segment doesn't seem exclusive enough? Straight to your Aston Martin dealer. A low-mileage example of the 4-door Rapide is certainly worth considering.

AutoTrader's Advice

No one really needs the RS 7's preposterous performance, but the lucky few who own this car will likely enjoy it to the utmost.

Find an Audi RS 7 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Audi RS 7: New Car Review - Autotrader