While still coy about its formal launch date, Audi confirmed that a hotter version of its RS7 Sportback will come to America. On sale next month in Europe and likely to arrive here next year as a 2017, this new "Performance" variant adds 44 horses to the underhood corral bringing the count to 597. 

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In addition bumping the boost pressure on the RS7's 4.0-liter TFSI twin-turbo V8, Audi raised the engine's redline by 200 revs and introduced an overboost capability that increases the 516 lb-ft of torque from 1,750-6,000 rpm to peak at 553 lb-ft between 2,500-5,500 rpm for short periods under full-throttle. While the extra muscle helps trim 0-62 mph time from 3.9 seconds to just 3.7 ticks, Audi says it has absolutely no impact fuel economy thanks to the force-fed 4.0-liter's start/stop system and cylinder-on-demand design. If all of this sounds a bit familiar, it's because the same enhancements appear on the engine in the new Audi S8 Plus model that debuted in Frankfurt and is expected to join the U.S. lineup as well as on a new RS6 Avant wagon that's will be a Euro-only offering. 

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While sharing elements with its RS7 Sportback sibling, the new Performance variant has more aggressive front/rear fascias highlighted by larger intakes and a bolder rear diffuser set off with upsized 21-in cast-alloy wheels in a matte-titanium/gloss finish. The standard adaptive air suspension has been retuned, although the steel sport suspension and dynamic steering are on offer as options as are lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes and a rear sport differential that adds cornering agility to the car's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Although rumors persist the 2017 Audi RS7 Sportback Performance model will make its U.S. debut next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, at the moment, it remains speculation. 

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