Simply put, the 2017 Audi RS 7 is aimed at shoppers who want a sports car but need a sedan. Riding on the same platform as the S7, the RS 7 can hold four occupants in individual, contoured bucket seats with room for their luggage under the rear hatch, but unlike its stablemate, the RS packs a high-output V8 with suspension and brakes to match. The market segment for luxury performance sedans is exclusive and narrow, with some very capable and well-known players; the Audi RS 7 has shown itself to be a serious contender in this class.
Minor changes for the year include some additional wheel choices, a new driver-assist package and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. But the big news is the introduction of the RS 7 Performance trim level. As if the standard version didn't already have enough punch, Audi decided to up the ante with an additional 45 horsepower, ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber accents and performance suspension, exhaust, wheels and tires.
The RS 7's refined interior boasts high-quality materials, well-placed controls and a wealth of comfort and convenience features, such as model-specific heated leather seats and separate automatic climate control for each occupant. Those in the front seats will be treated to plenty of room in the comfortable yet supportive buckets. The rear seats have enough space to stretch out, but headroom is somewhat compromised by the sharply sloped roofline. Technology includes the Audi Multi Media Interface with voice control and handwriting recognition, Bluetooth functionality and a premium surround-sound audio system.
The standard powerplant for the RS 7 is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Buyers who feel the need for still more speed can step up to the RS 7 Performance, with the engine tweaked to 605 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Either way, power gets to the road through an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
On the road, the RS 7 is capable of coddling driver and passengers with a smooth, quiet ride while delivering blistering performance. Audi claims a top speed of 174 mph for the RS 7 and 190 mph for the RS 7 Performance, and in Edmunds testing, the standard model accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. Meanwhile, all-wheel drive, a sport suspension and dynamic steering ensure maximum control under a variety of road conditions.
Fuel economy for the standard RS 7 is EPA rated at 18 mpg combined (15 city/25 highway). The EPA has not yet released fuel economy ratings for the RS 7 Performance.
The base RS 7 comes with enough standard equipment to satisfy even very fussy buyers, but a variety of available luxury, technology and performance upgrades allow for considerable personalization. And, of course, there's always the RS 7 Performance. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find just the right 2017 Audi RS 7 to meet your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.