By Patrick James on 2018-02-23 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Audi RS 7 Sportback
4.0 TFSI Performance
QUESTION: When is a supercar not a supercar? Answer: When its a large four seater coupe/hatchback.
Audi's RS 7 has truly sensational performance from it mighty four litre V8 engine. It powers the car 60mph in just 3.7 seconds, just half a second more than its awesome supercar sibling the R8.
Everything about it is huge. Huge in length, huge performance, huge-ish stowage capacity and a huge price - Â£92,000 for this one.
It looks pretty good too, although the immense 605ps and 700Nm of torque lurking under the bonnet is pretty well disguised by an understated road presence.
To describe it as a wolf in sheep's clothing would be going too far because the RS and quattro badging is quite prominent as are the huge twin exhausts and optional 21-inch alloys on this model.
But despite the low-slung, sleek appearance, with its muscular body and slim, stylish lights, it only hints at the power it can unleash.
It is a long car and deceptively wide and I came very close on more than one occasion to kerbing the eye-wateringly expensive alloys.
Allied to it's four wheel drive system and eight-speed tiptronic gearbox, performance is astonishing with the car capable of hitting a top speed of near 190mph. Not that you would ever be able to achieve that, except maybe on a runway or track - and it is limited anyway to 155mph.
The V8 bi-turbo TFSI engine has cylinder-on-demand technology. This means four of the eight cylinders can shut down for more leisurely driving conditions, ergo saving more fuel.
But floor it and it literally pins you back in your seats as it rockets to 62mph in a couple of blinks of the eye, with the twin exhausts burbling and spitting as races ahead.
The claimed average fuel consumption is also impressive at a claimed 29-odd mpg. The best I managed was around 24mpg, which for this type of beast is still not bad at all and is helpedby the slightly incongruous stop/start technology.
That I suppose is part of the beauty of this car, a light touch on the accelerator means it behaves in a refined and comfortable way out and about in town. For a real thrill, select the dynamic settiing via the car's multi-media interface (MMI) menu and you are ready to rumble.
Engine, steering and suspensions settings are taken up a notch and you have full fat supercar, performance, where the on board fuel consumption plunges to between 5-7mpg as you floor the pedal.
Select comfort or customise you individual driving settings and you come back down to earth and start thinking about economy again.
It's not just the speed, the ride, handling and steering are sensational, and sorry about all the superlatives, but this car really does deliver.
You get the Full Monty in terms of equipment, with a beautifully laid out plush leather interior, with state of the art central control system that offers more technology than a space probe.
Goodies are too numerous to name but include parking aids, radar warning, adaptive lights, top notch infotainment system, plus a host of safety equipment.
As with all Audis, even with the whopping £92,000 price tag, there are options which can take the figure north of £100,000, incluing a £6,000-plus Bose sound system on this model.
The heated seats are both comfortable and robust enough for either pottering around town or powering the car through bends and twists in country lanes.
The steering is a delight and the car goes exactly where you point it, even at edge of the seat speeds where the four wheel drive gives incredible grip.
The centrepiece is a colour control screen which folds in and out of the dash and which is operated via the MMI which controls the latest infotainment, smart phone and Internet connectivity and navigation.
It is also practical with the large hatchback opening up to a very generous amount of boot space. With the rear seats in place if offers an excellent 535 litres, which opens up to a huge 1,390 litres, making it a jet propelled load lugger.
Audi RS 7 Sportback 4.0 TFSI Performance quattro
Mechanical: 605ps, 3,9993cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving four wheels wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 29.7
Insurance Group: 50
C02 emissions: 221g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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