Audi Sport has revealed the all-new RS7 Sportback for the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, joining its wagon-bodied RS6 sibling in the revamped performance line-up.
Power comes from the same stonking 441kW/800Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as the new RS6 Avant, with peak torque available between 2100 and 4500rpm.
The company claims the RS7 can sprint from 0-100 in 3.6 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. Opting for the Dynamic plus package increases the top whack to an eye-watering 305km/h.
Like the RS6, the RS7's engine is augmented by mild-hybrid technology that integrates a 48V belt alternator starter that can recover up to 12kW of power "under gentle acceleration" while also being able to coast with the engine switched off between 55 and 160km/h when the driver releases the accelerator pedal.
Other fuel-saving features include cylinder-on-demand (COD) technology, which shuts down four cylinders under low engine load. Audi says the COD system and mild-hybrid tech help to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.8L/100km.
Drive is sent to a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via an eight-speed tiptronic auto transmission with torque converter, which also includes a launch control function.
The quattro system operates with a standard front:rear bias of 40:60 via the mechanical centre differential, though it can send up to 70 per cent of torque to the front axle and 85 per cent to the rear.
Buyers can also select the quattro sport differential with torque vectoring for enhanced handling performance. which can shuffle torque between the rear wheels as required.
Under the skin, there's five-link front and rear axles with standard RS adaptive air suspension with controlled damping.
The sports air suspension setup has several modes and automatic level control. In its standard setting, the RS7 sits 20mm lower than the standard A7, dropping a further 10mm at speeds above 120km/h. Conversely, the vehicle can be raised by 20mm as required using the lift mode.
Should you want a more conventional chassis specification, Audi is also offering the RS with RS sports suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control, which ditches the air suspension for springs and adaptive dampers.
Progressive steering is fitted as standard, which loads up as the speed rises, with all-wheel steering available as an option – which turns the rear wheels by up to five degrees opposite to the fronts at low speeds, and up to two degrees at high speeds. Audi says the low-speed function can reduce the turning circle by as much as 1.0 metre.
Filling the arches are 21-inch cast aluminium as standard, with a 10-spoke star design shod in 275/35 tyres. Optionally available are 22-inch RS-specific wheels in silver, matte titanium, gloss turned or gloss-turned anthracite black finishes.
Behind the massive rims are 420mm front and 370mm rear brakes with internally ventilated and perforated discs. There's also an optional RS ceramic brake system with 440mm front and 370mm rear discs which cuts 34kg from the RS7's unsprung mass.
In terms of the exterior design the new RS7 takes the slinky coupe-styled body of the regular A7 Sportback and turns the dial up to 11.
Up front there's an angry face courtesy of its honeycomb grille insert, larger intakes on each side of the front bumper, and blacked-out accents.
An adaptive rear spoiler deploys out of the bodywork at speeds above 120km/h, while the massive oval-shaped tailpipes that are a hallmark of Audi's RS models protrude from the diffuser element in the rear bumper.
LED headlights are fitted as standard, with optional Matrix LED headlights and LED tail-lights offer stronger illumination, dynamic 'scrolling' indicators, and RS-specific light sequences when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.
Inside, the RS7 continues to build on the A7's cabin with sportier trim and design elements, along with special displays and menus on its various screens.
A flat-bottomed perforated RS sports leather steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles sits ahead of the driver, which also includes buttons for the new RS1 and RS2 configurable drive modes. There's a smattering of RS and RS7 logos throughout the cabin too, just in case you forgot which car you bought, while the Audi Sport emblem is projected onto the ground when the doors are open.
Up front occupants are treated to RS sport seats trimmed in 'black pearl' nappa leather with rhombus pattern and RS embossing. Buyers can also opt for perforated Valcona leather with honeycomb pattern – which allows for the addition of a seat ventilation function for the first time.
Buyers can specify two optional RS design packages, available in red or grey, which bring a splash of colour in the form of contrasting stitching throughout the upholstery, seat belt straps with coloured edging and accents for the RS floor mats. There's also optional trim inlays in carbon, natural grey-brown wood or matte aluminium, too.
Unlike the previous generation, the 2020 RS7 can be had as a five-seater, courtesy of the optional three-seat rear bench. The four-seat continues to be available.
Behind the rear seats is a 535L luggage area, which expands to 1390L with the rear seats folded down. Access to the boot is courtesy of an electric tailgate as standard, with gesture control available as an option.
The new RS7 offers more than 30 driver assistance systems in total, some standard and some optional in Europe, including adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, kerb warning, and a 360-degree camera system.
Not only will the RS7 do its best to keep you safe, it has a range of personalisation options to help you stand out from the carpark.
Audi is offering no less than 13 standard exterior paint finishes, including the model-specific Nardo grey and Sebring black crystal. The side mirrors are gloss black as standard, with aluminium or body-colour finish available as an option.
The RS7 also is available with a selection of exterior accent packages, which change the look of bits like the bumper blades, sill inlays, window trims, and rear diffuser – there's aluminium, black and carbon options. Also available upon request are the Audi rings and RS logos in gloss black.
The new RS7 Sportback is due to hit European dealers during the first quarter of 2020, and Audi's local division has indicated it's expecting both the new RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback around mid-2020.
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