2015 Audi RS 7

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Audi RS7 gets a standard head-up display and an optional Dynamic package that includes variable-ratio steering, an active suspension and sport exhaust.

If you've always wanted a blisteringly fast sports car but you couldn't accept the inevitable sacrifice in practicality, the 2015 Audi RS 7 just might be your ideal ride. Based on the relatively mild-mannered A7 hatchback sedan, the RS 7 boasts a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that belts out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. For perspective, that's 10 more hp and 118 more lb-ft than the flagship V10 engine in Audi's R8 supercar. Even though the RS 7 weighs nearly 900 pounds more than the R8 V10 Plus, they both sprinted to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds at our test track.

So that's the RS 7's wild side. Fortunately, it also has a practical side. With its standard adaptive air suspension and cosseting seats, the RS 7 is serene and comfortable at all speeds. If you can resist the constant urge to bury your foot in the loud pedal, the RS 7 will return an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in combined driving. Thanks to its hatchback trunk and folding rear seatbacks, the RS 7 also offers considerably more cargo space than even a traditional sedan.

Exterior Highlights
Available in a single well-equipped trim level similiar to the Prestige trim of the Audi A7

The 2015 Audi RS 7 comes in a single well-equipped trim level that's similar to the Prestige trim of the regular Audi A7, albeit with a number of performance-themed upgrades. Unlike the A7 sedan, which has a three-passenger rear seat, the RS 7 has two individual rear seats, meaning a limit of four passengers instead of five.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, an adaptive sport-tuned air suspension, a sport differential, a sunroof, a power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a basic collision mitigation system (Pre-Sense Basic and Pre-Sense Rear), a blind-spot monitor and keyless entry and ignition.

Inside you'll find ambient LED lighting, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, Audi Drive Select (providing driver control over steering, suspension, transmission and exhaust calibrations), Audi's MMI infotainment system (with a console-mounted controller that includes touchpad functionality), an 8-inch display screen, a rearview camera, voice controls, a navigation system, a head-up display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Audi Connect (providing enhanced Web-based navigation and information services along with WiFi hotspot capability) and a 14-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, satellite and HD radio and an iPod interface.

There are numerous options packages available for the 2015 Audi RS 7. The Driver Assistance Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning/keeping assist, a corner-view (front and rear) parking camera system and the upgraded Pre-Sense Plus collision mitigation system with automatic braking. The Dynamic package adds a "Dynamic Ride Control" active sport suspension that replaces the air suspension, variable-ratio steering and sport exhaust with black tailpipes.

The Individual Contour Seating package features upgraded leather upholstery, "multicontour" front seats (with ventilation and massage functions), passenger memory settings and comfort rear seats. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Finally, there are several Optic packages that alter the finish and appearance of the car's mirrors, grille, lower air intakes and rear diffuser.

Stand-alone options include 21-inch wheels, power-closing doors, a night vision system, a simulated suede headliner, rear side airbags and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.

Handsome design, excellent materials, RS-specific carbon-fiber inlays, supportive seats, abundant legroom, generous trunk space, rearview camera

In general, the RS 7's interior is typical Audi, with a handsome design, tight construction and excellent materials throughout. The RS 7 also benefits from RS-specific carbon-fiber inlays, aluminum pedals, many other RS-themed flourishes and ambient LED lighting. Audi's familiar Multi Media Interface (MMI) system controls entertainment, communication and navigation functions via a dash-mounted pop-up screen and a control dial surrounded by buttons on the center console. The system features logical menus, crisp graphics and a touchpad to increase functionality.

Whether you stick with the standard front sport seats or opt for the multicontour comfort seats, you'll find them supportive during long trips and spirited back-road runs alike. Legroom is abundant, however, and there's something to be said for the individual comfort of the twin rear bucket seats versus a traditional three-across bench seat.

The RS 7's hatchback design permits easier loading of larger items that just won't fit through the trunk opening of a conventional sedan. The space itself is generous, too, measuring 24.5 cubic feet behind the rear seatbacks. That's almost 10 cubic feet more than rivals.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Audi RS 7 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Rear side airbags are a stand-alone option, while the optional Driver Assistance Plus package bundles lane-departure warning/keeping assist, night vision with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control with full stop-and-go functionality.

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