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15 January 2013

Official: meet the Audi RS7

Twin-turbo, 552bhp V8-powered limo-like hatchback breaks cover in Detroit…

Vijay Pattni
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Internet, please be upstanding for the latest Audi RS model to enter our orbit: it is the all-new Audi RS7.

Making its debut on Audi's stand at the Detroit Motor Show, alongside the SQ5, Ingolstadt's latest RS model appears as some well-timed artillery against the also very recently announced BMW M6 Gran Coupe.

It's based on the Audi A7, naturally, but only in body shape doth this RS7 share any sibling genetics. Because underneath rests the same twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 engine as used in the upcoming RS6 Avant (itself only announced last month). At this rate we'll be getting a new RS-model every few minutes.

So that V8. It's the same one used by Bentley, and Audi in the S8, producing some 552bhp and 700Nm of torque, which if you're unaware, is a significant amount of firepower. Audi reckons that - mated to a standard eight-speed automatic box and quattro four-wheel-drive - the new RS7 will accelerate from 0-100kph in just 3.9 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 250kph.

Tick the ‘Dynamic Plus' pack and you'll raise that top speed to 305kph. Nice. Incidentally, the M6 Gran Coupe's pub-lording stats are 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds and the possibility of 305kph. Clearly, the battle for pub supremacy is won in tenths.

Saying that, the engine also gets cylinder cut-off technology; under lighter loads, four cylinders are ‘deactivated', turning the RS7 into a four-pot. Before you shudder yourself into an Internet rant, you only need to floor the accelerator and normal, 552bhp service will be resumed.

The chassis features air suspension that lowers the car by 20mm, and the option of a sports suspension setup with dynamic ride control, steel springs, three-way adjustable shocks and dynamic steering. There are mammoth brakes, as expected, measuring in at 390mm diameter discs up front, with the option of 420mm size discs and six-piston calipers. Sheesh.

You get nice 20in wheels and a smattering of RS logos inside a beautifully constructed and sports-orientated cabin; a cabin that includes an MMI driver information system, aluminium finishes, leather/alcantara and a host of standard equipment. Oh, you also get the inherent capability to embarrass supercars of old. 0-100kph in three point nine seconds, in a five-door hatchback.

Have a click through the pictures and let us know what you think. Like the idea of an RS7, or are you old-school and prefer your RSs in estate form?

Tags: detroit 13, audi, a7, a7 sportback, s7, rs7

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