2021 Audi RS7 test drive

The 2021 Audi RS7 sits as the pinnacle of the Audi A7 lineup. This second generation RS7 brings with it a host of performance and luxury upgrades. 2021 Audi RS7

Audi took a scalpel to one of their most revered and popular designs when they redesigned the A7 lineup back in 2019. The effect of replacing curved corners with sharper edges, gave the A7 a lower wider appearance. At the time we commented that the new A7 was the closest to the four door coupe, Prologue Concept car shown at the LA Auto Show years earlier.

The exterior of the 2021 RS7 transforms the Marc Lichte design, with its sharper and efficient lines, into a muscular yet elegant offering. The RS treatment on the RS7 includes large air intakes on the bottom front corners beside the wide single frame trapezoidal RS specific front grille. A lower front air dam provides additional aerodynamic performance and visual excitement. Massive 285/30 sports tires sit on RS specific sport rims that are neatly tucked under flared wheel arches. Red RS7 badges are discretely attached to the front grille (with signature RS egg crate patterning) and on the rear lift-gate.

2021 Audi RS7 side viewThe visual sizzle serves to telegraph the performance that lurks within. Powering the RS7 is the same power-plant found in other Audi RS models such as the RS Q8 and RS6. The engine produces 591HP and 590 lb-ft of torque, shuttled to the Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive system via an 8-speed automatic or Tiptronic transmission.

Once the twin turbo V8 is awakened, the rumble from the two large exhaust pipes announces that fun times await. All that power combined with launch control and an all-wheel-drive system means 0-100 kms/hr is possible in 3.6 seconds. Top speed is limited to 280 kms/hr.

Audi has managed to increase rear seat head and leg room in the second generation RS7 due to a wider and longer wheelbase, combined with the extended, sloping roofline of the 4-door coupe profile. The design also provides increased functionality with 535 litres of cargo capacity in the rear, which increases to 1390L with the rear seats folded down.

2021 Audi RS7 interiorInside the cabin, Audi has included its latest interior design language with the seamless black gloss dashboard. Mounted above the centre console, sits a pair of 10.2 inch and 8.6 inch LCD touch-screens which incorporate the latest generation of Audi’s MMI system. The new design has replaced the earlier rotary wheel mounted on the centre console, with a gesture based touchscreen interface. Think cellphone controls and you’ll get the hang of it. Another hallmark of the Audi interior is the inclusion of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display which replaces analog gauges in the instrument cluster. A 12.3 inch TFT LCD screen is customizable and allows the driver to chose from a multitude of options, settling on the information they deem to be important. One popular option is the full screen NAV system with Google Maps overlay. Drivers can also chose a smaller section of the screen for the map display and flank it with either audio information or performance feedback.

The Audi Drive Select system is available to customize the driving dynamics of the RS7. Choosing preset modes such as economy, comfort, dynamic or automatic, the vehicle is tailored to each drivers choice. Another mode allows drivers to select individual settings for each component of the system; throttle response, exhaust note, suspension firmness.

I found myself leaving the system in automatic as it responded to my driving style fairly quickly and allowed me to ignore one more distraction while driving.

RS upgrades to the interior include a suede wrapped, flat bottomed steering wheel, RS stitched leather sport bucket seats with RS embossed lettering and matching floor mats. A steering mounted RS button also allows drivers to select from two preset driving modes with either one or two taps on the button.

One annoyance that thankfully can be switched off, is the standard stop/start fuel savings system. Its hard to avoid the system cutting the engine off as you approach a stop sign. The override switch is on the centre console but must be deactivated every time you start the vehicle.

Uninterrupted, the 4.0L V8 breathes fire and rewards with adrenaline rushes rocketing away from stop lights or stop signs. Just be careful however, its easy to run afoul of the law in no time with this beast. 2021 Audi RS7 test drive

The suspension set up is equally rewarding with the standard adjustable air suspension dampers, controlled by the Drive Select system. The optional four-wheel steering installed in the suspension design, results in effortless, confidence inspiring handling. Aside from boosting cornering prowess, the 4-wheel steering also provides high speed stability when changing lanes.

2021 Audi RS7 reviewThe 2021 Audi RS7 starts at $126,400, excluding freight, PDI and taxes. A number of options and packages are available and some were included on our test vehicle, notably; the Carbon Optics package with matching 22 inch wheels ($6350), Driver Assistant package ($2400), Dynamic Package including the 4-wheel steering system ($2950) and the Red Caliper steel brake package ($500). You can visit the Audi website to see the full list of options available. Be advised however, just about every RS model Audi imports, appears to be sold out.