When it comes to determining which trends are going to work and which are going to fail miserably, we have had a pretty good prediction rate. Back in the day even as a kid, when Pepsi came out with their all new Crystal Pepsi, a clear version of cola, it was fairly obvious to us it wasn’t going to last. The first time we ever tried a beer cocktail, it also became instantly apparent that they were not a thing that was going to last. When we first saw Bradley Cooper in The Hangover, we kind of knew he was going to be a big deal pretty soon. And then there first time we stepped foot into a 24 hour gym at 3 am — brilliant.
All of that is a preface to say that sometimes we’re wrong about trends. Things like wireless headphones and Taylor Swift seemed like fads more than phenoms, but clearly we were woefully wrong. And when it comes to the automotive world, we have to admit, the luxury hatchback sedan segment seemed like a blip on the radar best, and none of those original cars like the Mercedes CLS, BMW Gran Coupe, and even the mighty Porsche Panamera just didn’t appeal to us. Yet here we are eating our worlds, looking longingly at the new 2020 Audi RS7 and wondering how could we be so blind.
And being blind is what it would take not to appreciate this new supercar. Compared to the humdrum A7, all it takes is one look at the RS version to realize just how special this car is. It is nearly two full inches wider, sits half and inch lower (and drops an additional 0.4 inches beyond that above 75 mph), has a front track that is almost a full inch wider and a rear track that is just over half an inch wider than the base car. Side by side, you can instantly see how much more gravitas the RS7 exudes. The massive 285/30R-22 rubber tack on an additional 30mm over the base car, and the extra width is not just a cladding trick some companies use. The RS7 has had substantial bodywork to make it special.
Power comes from a sonorously soulful all-aluminum, direct injected, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 that makes a disturbing 591-horsepower at 6,250 rpm and equally monstrous 590 lb-ft of torque at 2,050 rpm. That power is then routed through a very competent eight-speed automatic transmission that uses a powerfully strong gear-type center differential to handle all that power. The base A7’s dual-clutch seven-speed auto couldn’t be used for this car, as it has a limit of 369 lb-ft, so one launch in an RS7 and that trans would probably blow up like the 4th of July. All that wonderful power is then sent off to each corner thanks to Audi’s famous all-wheel drive. Fun fact is that that insanely powerful engine is something of a corporate motor to the VW food chain. It is used in the aforementioned Panamera GTS and Turbo, the Cayenne Turbo, the Bentley Bentayga and Continental GT, the RS7’s sibling the RS6 Avant, and even the mighty Lamborghini Urus.
Put into perspective, the $122,000 base price of the RS7 is a relative bargain, considering it can smoke cars that cost three times as much. How does 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds sound? Or maybe 0-100 mph in 7.5 seconds, or a quarter mile time of 11.4 seconds? Maybe that 190 mph top speed will catch your attention, and keep in mind this is a 4,550 pound five passenger luxury sedan we’re talking about. Not only does it perform like race car, it actually gets a reasonable 15/25/18 city/highway/combined mpg.
The 2020 RS7 is a perfect blend of posh, performance and prestige. It is a supercar you can drive every day, in any kind of weather, and take the kids along to boot. We have to admit that when the A7 first drove onto the scene a decade ago, we didn’t expect to see it around ten years later. Furthermore, we certainly didn’t expect to see a juiced up version of it, and even more than that, we never thought we’d find ourselves drooling over it. But just like when we catch ourselves listening to a Taylor Swift song on our wireless headphones every now and then, we have to admit that we were wrong, and some trends stick around for good reason.