crankandpiston heads to Germany to drive the the latest offering from quattro GmbH : The New Audi RS7.[Not a valid template]
Audi seems to have an unfathomable ability to produce conceptually bonkers automobile yet package them with maturity and respectability. The latest offering from quattro GmbH is a major dollop of RennSport-added Vorsprung durch Technik applied to the Audi A7. This is the new Audi RS7 and it is completely mental. And yet isn’t.
The A7 is a handsome machine in standard trim but the RS7 adds badassery to the equation. Audi have a new palette with ten different paint finishes available for the RS7 including solid, metallic, pearl-effect, crystal-effect and matt. Our test car features (love it or hate it) Nardo Grey, which yours truly thinks is on the money. Paired with the carbon styling package of splitter, diffuser and mirrors it is a tough look but – in a car weighing nearly two-tonnes – application of the black stuff is surely purely cosmetic.
This slight contradiction in aesthetics versus reality is also apparent in the large, aggressive looking, twin oval exhausts. Because they aren’t. Be bothered to get down on bended knee and peer inside and you will see that each oval is a floating – not connected to the exhaust in any way – cosmetic addition to the diffuser. Peer further inside and there are two small actual exhausts trying not to draw attention to themselves.
The interior is as you would expect from Audi that continues to hit the nail on the head with high quality – yet totally unostentatious – cabin space. The only thing that isn’t high quality is the low roofline when you park your bum in the back. I am a six-foot tall-ish sloucher but even my head is pressed to the ceiling. I can live with this because anyone that buys an RS7 then pays a chauffeur to drive it is a natural born idiot. After five minutes in the back I am already bored and going nowhere. Time to blow this popsicle stand, get behind the wheel and hit the road.
Leaving Neckarsulm – the small city near Stuttgart where quattro GmbH is based – reveals a slight drawback in the optional extra “RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC)” package that our test car is equipped with. In English, that means our car is fitted with steel springs – as opposed to the standard komfort wagen’s air ride suspension – and it is a little stiff about town. Braking, however, is less over-assisted than on previous Audi models and although still lacking in any pedal feel there is a nice graduation to the stoppers. No lurching through stop-start traffic in this big Audi.
The optional extra carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs and sports suspension will be put to the test once we get the hell out of Dodge and are firing on all cylinders. Which we aren’t at the moment. No, I haven’t broken the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 just yet. The very clever ‘cylinder on demand’ (COD) technology deactivates half the cylinder count when you are tootling around town at low RPM. This then saves you precious go-go juice for flat out enjoyment on the open road. Environmentally friendly and crankandpiston approved technology right there.
And now I am faced with a decision of Matrix-esque proportions. Do I take the blue pill and head straight to the autobahn for a prolonged high speed run – where I am certain that the RS7 will decimate all – while I simultaneously munch on a packet of crisps, drink my Red Bull and fiddle with the infotainment system? Or, do I take the red pill and attempt to hustle the RS7 down the twisties and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes? Shut the hell up Morpheus. Give me the red pill and get out of my head.