The Fastest 4 Door Sedan We’ve Ever Driven!
We received the news just one day before the 2016 Audi RS 7 Performance was delivered to us, in that we could only put 500 miles on the car in the week we had it. Damn, a mileage limit on one of the fastest accelerating 4 door sedans on the planet, oh no! I quickly did the math and it was only 71 miles per day. Since my commute is 20 miles each way, working from home a couple of days was necessary to bank some miles, so we could get as thorough test as possible….well at least that was my excuse.
RS models have been scarce in the US for the past few years, with Europe getting the pick of the crop. Last years RS 7 had a twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 4.0-liter V-8 engine that produced 560-horsepower from 5,700 to 6,600 rpm, along with 516 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 to 5,500 rpm. You’d think that was enough but Audi didn’t think so and with some careful massaging coaxed the same engine to deliver 605 hp and 516 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm – 553 lb-ft on overboost. We think the power numbers are conservative as is Audi’s claimed 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds, which as we found out, is very conservative.
How Does it Go?
Well…..it’s not just fast, it’s supercar fast, and to prove it, as if we hadn’t already convinced ourselves, we strapped on the test gear, turned off the traction control and scorched this thing from 0-60 in 3.15 seconds! Forget the Aston Martin Vanquish V12, forget the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and you can forget the Dodge Charger Hellcat, all are slower to 60 than the RS 7 Performance. Yet the RS7’s most remarkable characteristic is once you have the car rolling. It causes much delight to floor the gas pedal, and given enough space, you are given the most remarkable automotive holy-crap experience you have ever had in a car with 4 doors. The ZF 8-speed automatic fires off shifts with incredible smoothness and the turbine like thrust causes instant simpleton like grinning and an oh shit realization that you are going much faster than you anticipated. Yes it’s that good.
The Audi RS 7 is clearly made for gobbling up Autobahn miles at 150 mph, with passengers sipping cocktails in the back, assuming you have the suspension set to Comfort mode…..which we didn’t……it was Dynamic all week for us. Set thus, except for the Steering in Comfort Mode (it’s just better), the car is extremely composed, despite weighing 4,497 lb, and no matter what type of road we drove on, it never put a foot wrong. Dive into a 35 mph bend at 85 mph, no problem, the cars sails around as if on rails, the trick rear differential pulling the car around with ease; mash your foot down and suddenly you are at 135 mph…its that easy. Get on the power hard mid corner, no feathers ruffled.
We attacked some twisty bits in the mountains East of San Diego where broken lines are as rare as a nun in a bikini. When presented with a tiny stretch of passing space the RS 7 was a rocket sled, blasting past in an insanely short space then tucking back in and waiting for the next opportunity. Such joy.
Of course with all this forward thrust, stopping, and stopping quickly is going to be quite important. With this in mind Audi has fitted the RS 7 Performance with the biggest front rotors I’ve ever seen in my life, 16.5 inches! That’s bigger than the rims on my Chevy Spark EV. So do they work? Yes….. and they stop from very high speeds, necessitating a chiropractic visit for those with weak neck muscles. We did several panic stops and the carbon ceramic brakes did heat up somewhat but were completely fade free throughout.
When we tested the S8, which has the same engine as the RS 7, we thought it to be fairly subdued, occasionally raising it’s voice but never getting angry. The Sports Exhaust on our RS 7 tester was about as angry as it gets, snarling and growling on upshifts and producing a very loud machine gun like crackle when you back off the throttle. Crack the windows and you enjoy what startled pedestrians hear. We loved it.
Not to sound like a broken record here but Audi is brilliant at creating absolutely gorgeous interiors. The front RS Sport seats were covered with quilted Valcona black leather and were very comfortable, providing good lateral support, 8 way power and memory. The black interior is also broken up with some nice carbon fiber trim accents. Our tester came with a few extras, some we wouldn’t option, like the Black Alcantara headliner, which is an eye watering $3,000. The Bang and Olufsen Advanced Sound System is a $4,900 option which we also probably wouldn’t opt for …….just open the window and listen to the exhaust’s soundtrack instead. Take those 2 items off and it comes in at around $132K.
Headroom in the back is slightly limited due to the fastback shape. This car is labelled as a 4 door coupe, much like the Mercedes CLS AMG and the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, but is cheaper. One bonus is, it has a rear hatch, providing enough room for 2 to sleep, after you put the rear seats down. I am assuming you will want this car so much you will gladly sell your house and all your possessions to buy one.
Most owners will never experience the full potential of this car, there just isn’t enough room to go that fast….unless you go to the desert, which we couldn’t do because of the mileage limitation. Plus it’s bonkers acceleration will have you a nervous wreck looking for the po po in your rear view mirror. I suggest a good radar detector.
Is it worth the extra cash over the extremely good S7…..hell yes it is. So go sell your house and buy one of these.
2016 Audi RS 7 Performance
|PRICE AS TESTED||$140,850|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||4.0L twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|POWER||605 hp @ 5,800 rpm|
|TORQUE||516 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm – 553 lb-ft on overboost|
|CURB WEIGHT||4,497 lb|
|0-60 MPH||3.15 sec|
|30 – 70 MPH||2.66 sec|
|50 – 70 MPH||1.52 sec|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||15/25 mpg|
|OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY||10.5 mpg|