2015 Audi RS7 Facelift Test Drive Review

Audi's Autobahn mile muncher looks sleeker than before, packs a solid punch and gets a new set of lights. We do a rapid run in the RS7 four door Coupe



2015 Audi RS7 in action




I know we know that the RS7 has four doors, weighs about two tonnes and is longer than most living rooms in Mumbai. And we know you know that too but does the RS7 know that? It doesn’t and silly as it may seem, it’s mindboggling how such a massive car can shame quite a few sportscars. Audi’s very own R8 V10 when launched was slower in the 0-100 sprint this car can manage (4.1 sec vs 3.9 sec in the RS7). The RS7 in a straight line eats BMW’s M division for supper thanks to the brilliant Quattro system, and there are many more superlatives coming its way. So we know we’ve got a fast car here, but now for 2015, the RS7 also gets a facelift that essentially is Audi’s latest lighting technology applied to this four door Coupe. Let’s take a look.



2015 Audi RS7 front static




Design and styling Rating_4.5_rating

The restrained aggression that the RS7 oozes with is quite captivating. You’d want to believe it is much closer to the A7 till you come closer or hear the growl from the exhausts. Make no mistake this is the RS7 though… Wider haunches, massive rubber on 21 inch wheels, thunderous twin turbo V8 under the hood, a deployable spoiler, the Quattro badge on the grille, the aggressive front bumper sucking in air through large airdams, there’s every detail you’ll need to make it look the part. This electric blue colour it comes in only adds to the drama. 



2015 Audi RS7 headlights




But what you truly need to notice to spot the facelifted RS7 from the pre-facelift model are the lights. The cluster itself is sleeker and pointing towards the grille. Then there are the ‘Y’ shaped LED DRLs the new RS7 comes with. You can also specify the RS7 with matrix lights similar to the ones we saw in the A8. The adaptive lights give control to each diode to operate independently. We drove the RS7 during the day so we can’t say much about the way it lights up the road ahead but in theory, the Matrix lights prevent dazzle to oncoming vehicles while lighting up the vacant field of vision. Another way to spot the RS7 is the way the indicators swipe in the direction of the turn. It’s a cool party trick for both the headlights and smoked black LED taillamps.  



2015 Audi RS7 front seats




Interior and Space Rating_4.0_rating

A minor compromise to a conventional sedan is the lesser rear seat headroom due to the tapering roofline. Indians shouldn’t have much of a problem considering we aren’t as tall on average as Americans and Europeans. But it still is a smaller space in the back nevertheless. What you do get is a high quality cabin with top notch materials, plenty of leather and alcantara, polished carbon fibre and the likes. No changes to the space or quality on the inside however. The rear seats still fold flat and open cavernous loading space and the boot still opens with the rear windshield like most fastbacks do. 



Audi RS7 paddle shifter




Features and equipment Rating_4.0_rating

In today’s world of touchscreen multimedia systems, the RS7 uses the normal 7 inch TFT display. You’d want to keep your hands on the wheel at all times though so I don’t mind or miss the touchscreen much. The RS7 on test came with the optional Bang and Olufsen 15 speaker music system which is crisp no doubt but lacks a bit of bass. You could try the stock Bose unit for this reason. The RS7 also comes with head-up display, satellite navigation 20GB of music storage space, card reader and USB reader. Additional RS touches include sport seats, RS leather and alcantara material and the choice of ceramic disc brakes. More on that in the ride and handling section.



2015 Audi RS7 engine shot




Engine and performance Rating_4.5_rating

There is no change to the monstrous powertrain in the RS7. The 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 makes 560PS of power between 5,700-6,600rpm and 700Nm of torque from 1,750rpm all the way up to 5,500rpm. Mated to one of the finest automatics in the business, the ZF sourced 8-speeder, the RS7 is full of character as you change through the driving modes. Suspension set in soft and every other setting in Dynamic mode makes the RS7 an unbelievably embarrassing overtaking tool for the rest of the motoring community. All that torque and the Quattro AWD system sends power so well and relentlessly to the tarmac that you’d want to slow down often just to accelerate again. 0-100kmph comes in a scarcely believable 3.9 seconds and you can go all the way up to 305kmph if you have a closed road to yourself. It’s entry level supercar quick. 



2015 Audi RS7 rear action




The RS7 is quick no doubt but it also does a far bit of drama to let you know. Sure turbocharged engines tend to lose a naturally aspirated V8’s deep thunderous rumble, but the RS7 comes close to that captivating roar. Even off-throttle pops as drops of fuel are mercilessly banged out of the exhaust are entertaining. If there is one drawback though, it’s the brakes. The standard brakes are progressive and offer good bite but ideal for the car with the 250kmph limiter. Something that has the potential to breach the 300kmph limit needs stronger Ceramics, which can be ordered from the options list.



2015 Audi RS7 panning shot




Ride and Handling Rating_3.5_rating

Weight is the enemy of an agile handler. Despite all demonic engineering minds casting their spells to make the RS7 track its line like it’s on rails, the two tonnes of weight transfer is evident. You will not understeer like a fool who can’t match the throttle input at turn ins thanks to the Quattro system but speed you will lose. The Dunlops our test car came with offered immense grip through their wide contact patch – 275/30 ZR21s but we suggest you downsize to the stock 35 section 20 inchers to spare your spine. We wish it came with 40 sections in fact to make the RS7 an easier everyday car and free you from the fear of bent rims. But make no mistake about it, the RS7 will gobble and spit most cars out of corners. 


The RS7 also sports a deployable spoiler for additional downforce above 130kmph. It activates over speeds of 80kmph and can be manually activated as well by the touch of a button on the centre console. The RS7 is the family car made for the Autobahn and straight-line stability is the primary performance target in this type of car. You just will not feel uneasy at seriously high triple digit speeds making it a superb mile muncher, only if 97 octane petrol was readily available all around the country.



2015 Audi RS7 front grille




Fuel Economy and price Rating_4.5_rating

The RS7 comes with a cylinder management system that shuts four of the eight cylinders when you aren’t hammering it in and in combination with some cleverly selected gear ratios, it manages to be a surprisingly frugal machine. We got a 4kmpl reading on a ludicrously fast run. To put this figure into perspective, the M5 we drove a couple of days ago that makes about the same amount of power and torque from a similarly sized engine returned 2.5kmpl. Sure we didn’t get the chance to do a proper efficiency run but the indications are strong of a very efficient block up front. 


To add to the performance and efficiency, the RS7 is also ‘cheap’ by 4 door sports coupe standards. It costs Rs 1.4 crore, ex-showroom Delhi, a good Rs 40 lakh cheaper than the M6 Gran Coupe. That’s a whole lot of money to spec up the RS7 and a few years of high octane fuel, if you aren’t into massive powerslides that is.



2015 Audi RS7 rear action




Verdict Rating_4.0_rating

What a car the RS7 is! Thoroughly entertaining and safe at the same time and has the kind of speed and acceleration that will enthrall you every single time you drive it. It looks super dapper too with the new headlights, taillamps and the nice indicator party trick. Space inside and quality of materials are high up against the best in the business and for such a monstrous engine lurking up ahead, the mileage it returns is a pleasant surprise. The RS7 is comparatively affordable too so the only chink in its armour is the stiff ride from the low profile tyres. Well no pain, no gain. Buy the RS7 with its 20 inch 35 profile tyres and stay a fast and happy family person.


Recommended Variant : RS7 Sportback Performance