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2015 Audi RS 7

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2015 Audi RS 7 Review

By Keith Buglewicz

KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

It was Mercedes-Benz that, 10 years ago, decided to call its sleek CLS sedan a "4-door coupe." Since then, the sleek-sedan concept has grown more common, but leave it to Audi to change the formula, offering up the 5-door Audi A7 hatchback as a luxury counterpunch to its German rivals. With generous cargo space and a striking silhouette, the Audi A7 is a rolling showcase of everything Audi does right: a stunning interior, quattro all-wheel drive (AWD), high-tech goodies and a choice of supercharged V6, turbocharged diesel or turbocharged V8 engines. The A7 fits between the more mainstream A6 and the massive A8, holding a special appeal to those who desire functionality and performance in a design that's eye-catching, some might even say polarizing.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want your car to be a rolling statement of individuality or an extension of your own sense of style, the 2015 Audi A7 is your rolling masterpiece. Good news is that its dynamic styling hides a practical car, with all-wheel drive and an available fuel-sipping diesel engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Not everyone likes the highly styled look of the A7. If the sloping rear end isn't your thing, you might want to check out the Audi A6 or A8. The pricey Audi A7 may be out of reach, making similarly equipped sedans from Chrysler or Lincoln a better choice.

What's New for 2015

All A7 3.0T and TDI models now come standard with Audi side assist and pre-sense rear, plus 4-zone automatic climate control. Prestige models get a standard S line package with LED headlights, while RS 7 models offer a performance-enhancing Dynamic package, plus a Carbon package to dress up the exterior.

Driving the RS 7
Driving Impressions

Whether you're driving the 310-horsepower A7 or the 560-horsepower RS 7, the Audi A7 family offers plenty of power, responsive handling and gorgeous looks. The high-performance RS 7 takes it...

... to an extreme. All Audi A7 and S7 models benefit from Audi's excellent quattro all-wheel-drive system, while the RS 7 adds mechanical torque vectoring for even more effortless agility. The A7 is inherently smooth on the highway, while the performance-tuned RS 7 includes an adjustable suspension that makes it easy to optimize suspension response for ride or handling. We've also driven the wave of low-end torque that is the diesel-powered A7 TDI – with the same great 8-speed automatic transmission in the others – and we can enthusiastically endorse all of them. But perhaps the best news is that the Audi A7 is as practical as it is fun to drive, with a huge cargo area under the hatch.

MMI TOUCH
Remember handwriting recognition? Remember how cool it would've been had it worked right? Audi does, and it's done it with MMI Touch. Writing your letters and numbers on the touch-sensitive pad is far more effective, and a lot less gimmicky, than you might think.

NAVIGATION WITH GOOGLE EARTH
Hey, you can see your house from here! Thank Audi and Google Earth, which have come together to give you a bird's-eye view of the world right on your navigation screen. It's not just visually striking, but helpful knowing exactly which look-alike office-park building is your destination.

2015 Audi RS 7 Details
Interior

Slip behind the wheel of the 2015 Audi A7 and you'll know why Audi is now the yardstick against which all other manufacturers’ interiors are measured. Central on the console is the A7's MMI Touch interface, a rotary selection knob surrounded by four push-buttons that controls many vehicle functions, attractively uncluttering the rest of the dash as a result. There's comfortable seating for five in the A7, or four in the S7 and RS 7, which have two bucket seats separated by a storage console between them. Either way, that graceful roofline makes rear-seat headroom tight for tall passengers.

Exterior
2015 Audi RS 7 photo

There's no mistaking the oversized hexagonal grille, LED running lights and four interlocking rings on the face of the 2015 Audi A7. In fact, the A7 could be mistaken for an Audi A6 or A8 if it weren't for that dramatically styled roofline. It tapers gracefully all the way to the car's tail in a smooth blending of aerodynamics and design that's an Audi hallmark. It also makes rear passengers duck to get to the seats. Audi S7 models amp up the aggressiveness with badges and 1-inch-larger wheels, while the RS 7's deeper front end adds massive air intakes.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Audi A7's standard-equipment list includes leather seats, power heated front seats, push-button ignition – but not keyless entry – xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, Audi connect, a power sunroof and navigation with Google Earth. It also includes MMI touch with an 8-inch screen, 19-inch wheels, and front and rear parking sensors. New this year is 4-zone automatic climate control, and Audi side assist and pre-sense rear. High-end Prestige models add keyless entry, power door closers, a Bose audio system and ventilated front seats. Safety features include traction and stability control and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

Most options for the Audi A7 get bundled into packages. The Driver Assistance Plus Package adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, corner-view camera and a collision-warning system. An Innovation Package boasts a night-vision system that recognizes and highlights pedestrians, plus adds LED headlights and a Head Up display. The Sport Package offers 19- or 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension and a 3-spoke steering wheel. Audiophiles will love the Bang & Olufsen audio system, even at the near-$6,000 price tag. RS 7 models offer a carbon-fiber appearance package, and a Dynamic package with dynamic steering and Dynamic Ride Control suspension.

Under the Hood

We're not sure when we started saying things like "just" 310 horsepower, but don't worry, the basic Audi A7's supercharged V6 makes the most of its 310 horses with an excellent 8-speed automatic. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration runs take just 5.4 seconds. The equally quick 3.0-liter TDI clean diesel earns an excellent EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway. The 420-horsepower twin-turbo V8 in the lusty S7 makes even shorter work of 0-60, taking just 4.5 seconds, while the 560-horsepower RS 7 makes the same run in an eyeball-flattening 3.7 seconds. Remarkably, the blistering acceleration of the RS 7 and S7 doesn't affect fuel economy as much as you'd think. The Audi A7, S7 and RS 7 send their power through the standard quattro AWD system.

3.0-liter supercharged V6
310 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,500 rpm
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/38 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
420 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
560 horsepower @ 5,700-6,600 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/27 mpg

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