This is the new Audi RS7 Sportback, just unveiled at the 2013 Detroit auto show. It's an A7 Sportback given the hardcore RS treatment, meaning a 552bhp and 516lb ft 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that will sprint the RS7 to 62mph in 3.9sec. That's faster than the latest Porsche 911 – it seems life just got a bit harder for the Mercedes CLS63 AMG and BMW M6 Gran Coupe. Prices are expected to start around £84,000 with deliveries being made in the latter part of 2013.
Is the 2013 Audi RS7 Sportback just as fast as its RS6 stablemate?
The engine is lifted straight out of the RS6 Avant and placed under the bonnet of the more svelte figure of the RS7. Nestling between the banks of the 4.0-litre V8 sit two turbochargers, taking total power up to 552bhp. There's 516lb ft too, and the RS7 will go on to a top speed of 189mph, if you opt for the full-monty de-limit option.
To stem the thirst of the RS7 Audi has employed cylinder-on-demand technology that shuts off a bank of cylinders when you’re taking it easy. Despite the ferocious pace, Audi claims economy figures of 28.8mpg for the RS7.
If the bi-turbo V8 creates too few decibels for your liking, switchable flaps in the exhaust will give a throatier exhaust note, and for those seeking an even more dramatic soundtrack a sports exhaust system is available from the options list.
Paired with the V8 and four-wheel drive Quattro system is an eight-speed automatic transmission, with Sport and Manual modes. For manual shifts drivers can use the paddles on the steering wheel or the RS-specific gearstick.
How will everyone tell my RS7 apart from ordinary Audis?
A smattering of RS badges and features adorn the RS7 inside and out. The gloss black honeycomb radiator grille, unique bumper design and rear diffuser, plus two large oval exhaust tailpipes, make the RS7 distinguishable from your run-of-the-mill A7. Upsized alloys and heavy-duty brakes complete the package.
Options include matt paint, two exterior design packages (the gloss black highlights are swapped for either aluminium or carbonfibre) and Audi's DRC suspension. In place of the RS7's standard air suspension, the Dynamic Ride Control set-up uses steel springs with three-stage, diagonally linked dampers. Spec that lot and you'll be looking at close to £100k for an RS7.
>> Would your £100k go on a well-specced RS7, BMW M6 Gran Coupe or Mercedes CLS63 AMG? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and let us know your supersaloon favourite.