The Audi RS6 Avant Performance gets all the attention, and understandably so. It’s a 621-horsepower supercar slayer with room for five folks and their luggage. But hey, don’t forget about the Avant’s slicked-roof, mechanically identical sibling, the RS7 Performance.
As with the RS6, the RS7 earns some extra horsepower for the 2024 model year with the Performance trim in the US. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 now pumps out 621 hp and 625 pound-feet of torque, which propels the fast fastback to 60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 177 mph if you go for the Bronze Edition (or limited to 150 mph in standard trim).
Gallery: 2024 Audi RS7 Performance: Review
Granted, these two cars basically identical from a driving and engineering standpoint – the RS7 has a slight 55-pound weight advantage. But they can have disparate personalities depending on how you spec them.
While the RS6 I drove at the same event had air suspension, the RS7 got the steel coils. The Sport Suspension Plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) makes the biggest difference to the overall dynamics. Available on both the RS6 Avant and RS7, DRC adds fixed coil springs with adjustable dampers and carbon ceramic stoppers, as opposed to the standard air ride and steel brakes.
And off the bat, one thing is obvious: DRC makes the RS7 stiff as hell. Where the standard air suspension offers a nice variation of softness and sportiness, DRC ditches any semblance of comfort for performance on top of Performance. So unless you have a track in your backyard or live on a road with the smoothest pavement on planet Earth, the RS7 with DRC is tough to recommend as a daily driver.
But if you have a knack for aggressive driving – all the time, everywhere you go – and don’t mind rattling your kids around in the back seat, DRC does have huge benefits. The three-way adjustable dampers give the RS7 better roll and pitch stabilization, which helps counter body movements. So while the ride is indeed ultra-stiff, it also yields less body roll and gives the car a more planted feel.
You’ll be able to brake quicker, too, with the new carbon ceramic stoppers. The good news is that they aren’t overly grabby like this kind of brake can be; there’s a generous amount of give in the pedal which allows for easy modulation even at higher speeds. Only when you really stomp on them do you notice the difference between the upgraded brakes and the standard steel rotors – in a good way. They’re docile around town, but ferocious when you want them to be.
At the end of the day, there’s really no bad way to spec your 2024 RS7 Performance – DRC is a bit stiffer but also more dynamic, while air ride yields a spectrum of comfort and performance. The bad news, though, is that you will actually have to pay a bit more for the 7 than you would the equally capable RS6; the fastback five-door costs $127,800 with the $1,095 destination fee included, while the super wagon is $126,895.
RS7 Performance Competitor Reviews:
2024 Audi RS7 Performance