The new Audi RS 7 Sportback sits low to the ground. The flared wheel arches emphasise the relentlessly sporty nature of the high-performance model from the Audi RS range. The extreme width is no optical illusion – at 1,950 millimetres at the front fenders, the tape measure has to stretch an extra 40 millimetres or so over the Audi A7 Sportback. The new RS 7 Sportback shares the coupé-like lines of the base model’s body, but only in four areas: the hood, the roof, the front doors and the tailgate. The RS-specific exterior design gives the 5,009-millimetre grand tourer a character all of its own.

The front of the new RS 7 Sportback features a broad, flat Singleframe with no contrasting border. The radiator protective grille with its RS-specific three-dimensional honeycomb structure has retained its gloss black appearance. Large front air inlets and vertical fins in gloss black add to the aggressive styling. A horizontal blade marks a distinctive downward edge to the front end. The new RS 7 Sportback comes with HD LED Matrix headlights with Audi laser lights fitted as standard.

The side view of the new Audi RS 7 Sportback reveals sharply defined lines and curved surfaces like well-toned muscles. A low shoulder line shifts the visual emphasis downward, while the window line rises toward the rear, giving a sense of dynamism even when the vehicle is stationary.

The rear end’s curved trailing edge and strip of lights linking the main rear lights make it one of the characteristics defining features of the RS 7 Sportback. At a speed of 100 km/h, a spoiler will extend from the tailgate. The RS exhaust system sits beneath an RS-specific bumper with a rear diffuser and design elements in gloss black. LED rear lights are equipped with dynamic turn signal lights and run through RS-specific sequences when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.

The 4.0 TFSI engine in the new Audi RS 7 Sportback produces 441 kW and delivers 800 Nm of torque within a broad range from 2,050 to 4,500 rpm. The high- performance Sportback will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds.

Thanks to its mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system, the 4.0 TFSI engine combines maximum performance with high efficiency. The belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW of power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. If the driver releases the accelerator at a speed between 55 and 160 km/h, the drive management will select one of two options. Depending on the driving situation and the settings in Audi drive select, the new RS 7 Sportback will either recover energy or coast with the engine switched off. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the belt alternator starter will start the engine again. MHEV technology allows for start-stop mode at speeds below 22 km/h. As soon as the vehicle in front of the new RS 7 Sportback starts moving, the engine will spring back to life, even if the brakes are applied. With the MHEV- technology it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres.

The cylinder on demand (COD) system is another weapon in the vehicle’s armoury when it comes to efficiency. In higher gears at low to medium loads and engine speeds, it will deactivate cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 by halting injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points will switch to the active cylinders at higher loads, thereby improving efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders continue to run like gas springs, largely without any losses. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, they are reactivated immediately. Each switchover takes mere milliseconds and is virtually undetectable by the driver and passengers.

A stripped-down look with sporty accents are key stylistic elements in the interior of the new Audi RS 7 Sportback. Much like the exterior design, the design language combines taut, muscular surfaces with clearly defined contours. There is plenty of space for the driver and passenger, with the architecture of the interior accomplishing a seamless transition to the futuristic user interface. The upper MMI touch response display is embedded in the black-panelled architecture in a way that renders it almost impossible to see where the display ends and the surroundings begin. The driver can use the upper RS monitor display to bring up an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures.

The flat-bottomed, fully perforated RS sport leather steering wheel with new large RS aluminium shift paddles features multifunction buttons, which the driver can use to enable the new Audi drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. The RS and RS 7 logos adorn the steering wheel, seats, and illuminated front door sill trims. Logo projectors on the front and rear doors beam the Audi Sport emblem onto the ground when the doors are open.

The new RS 7 Sportback offers an array of extra functions not seen in the predecessor model. For the first time, Audi Sport is offering the five-door grand tourer with a three-seater rear bench. The luggage compartment offers a base capacity of 535 litres, which can be increased to as much as 1,390 litres with the split rear seatbacks folded down. The long tailgate opens and closes electrically as standard, with convenience key as standard, allowing the tailgate to be operated by foot gesture control.

For the new RS 7 Sportback, Audi Sport offers an extensive range of convenience, connectivity, and driver assistance equipment. The athletic grand tourer couples relentless sportiness with unfettered long-distance capability. The car will help the driver out in a wide range of situations. The Audi RS 7 Sportback has a number of assist systems available as standard, including adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, curb warning, and 360-degree cameras.

“With its sporty roof line and wide body, the Audi RS 7 draws admiring looks in every setting. It is the perfect combination of innovative design and high-performance” says Audi New Zealand General Manager, Dean Sheed. “The all-new Audi RS 7 is now available in Audi authorised dealerships and is one of 7 all-new Audi RS models arriving in New Zealand this year.” Added Sheed.