2017 Audi RS7 Review: The only car you’ll ever need

– Detroit, Michigan

“More, more, more!” That’s all I can imagine some Audi executive shouting at assembled engineers when the decision was made to create this new RS7 Performance. After all, there’s no rational reason to improve upon the fabulous, 560-horsepower Audi RS7. But I’m not going to say no to an extra 45 hp, larger brakes, and a 3.6-second 0-60 time.

Oh, screw rationality. This car is brilliant.

 

Pros

Goes like hell. I remember driving the 450-hp Audi S7 a few years ago and thinking it was perfect as-is. Then I drove the 560-hp RS7, and was like, ooookay, this is pretty nice. But this 605-hp RS7? Well… excuse me while I change my pants. This car is tremendously powerful, and is unrelenting in its delivery. It’s not just about the 605 hp, there’s also the brute force of 516 pound-feet of torque – or as much as 553 lb-ft in overboost situations – pushing you forward with brutal momentum. It’s intoxicating. Drunk with power, indeed.

A true beauty queen. Remember when the A7 first came out and we all fell to our knees because it was so pretty? I still feel that way about this car, especially so in its most aggressive RS7 state. The black exterior and blacked-out elements of this car let you focus on that flowing shape and elegant design. It’s both sporty and classy at the same time – a car that looks great during track-attack duty, but will still make your neighbors hella jealous.

Does everything well. I could gush and gush about this car forever, simply because it’s so good at everything it does. It’s an involving driver’s tool on a great back road. It’s comfortable and compliant for hours of highway cruising. With Quattro all-wheel drive and winter tires, it’ll handle even the most brutal of snowstorms with aplomb. If I had to drive only one car every day for the rest of my life, you’d have to work real hard to talk me out of an RS7.

Luxury and tech are still important. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the interior is packed with every premium amenity you could ask for. The MMI infotainment interface may be a little old (more on that in a sec), but it still looks and operates better than a lot of other cars in the luxury space. This car is equal parts blistering performance and serene comfort.

2017 Audi RS7 Performance: Review
2017 Audi RS7 Performance: Review
2017 Audi RS7 Performance: Review
2017 Audi RS7 Performance: Review
2017 Audi RS7 Performance: Review

Cons

Ready for an update. Don’t get me wrong, the RS7 has a lovely cockpit with all the bells and whistles. But if there’s one area where the A7 family shows its age, it’s here. Consider this: The subcompact Audi A3 sedan I drove the other week, which costs about $100,000 less than this RS7, has a more modern, more technologically advanced interior, complete with Audi’s stunning Virtual Cockpit interface. The A7/S7/RS7 overhaul can’t come soon enough.

It’s too quiet. I have this problem with a lot of Audis – where’s the exhaust sound? Sure, there’s a robust note if you drop the transmission into Sport and have the exhaust tone set to “Dynamic” in the Drive Select system. But even then, it’s a soft roar, compared to the vicious V8 sound of a Mercedes-AMG creation or the badassery of eight-pot muscle from Cadillac’s CTS-V.

Competitors

BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Cadillac CTS-V
Mercedes-AMG CLS63
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Tesla Model S

 

Photos: Steven Ewing / Motor1.com

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