For some time now Audi have basically dominated the “family” supercar market. They’ve spoilt us with missiles that can carry your weekly shopping, the dog and the children in style and comfort but also well exceed 155mph. I’m a little biased here I’ve had 3 RS4’s and loved them as each was faster than the last. Cast your mind back a few years to the Daily Telegraph campaigning to ban the Audi C7 RS6 because it had too much power (552hp to be precise) and it was just too much for the British roads. Audi logically have countered this issue with even more power from the forced induction V8 and a meaner more purposeful stance. I’ve always loved how the flagship Rennsport models usually weigh around 2 tonnes, deliver 0-60 in 4 seconds or less (always faster than Audi quote) and have massive tuning potential for those frankly awesome dads on the school-run. Starting with the C7 generation I preferred the RS7 to the 6, both are simply gargantuan if you’re ever stood next to one, but I feel the RS7 hides it’s bulk well with some stunning yet menacing architecture.
You know you’ve a serious weapon on your hands when Audi bestow it with their largest carbon ceramic brake setup to date, which look to me to be the 440mm setup worn by the Lamborghini Urus, serious stuff. The 4.0 bi-turbo charged V8 gives you 600hp which is more than enough to deliver stratospheric performance and 700nm being sufficient to pin not only yourself but the entire family deep into their honeycomb stitched bucket seats. I’ve written about the Audi last because if I’m honest I liked the Panamera Turbo S a lot more than I expected to and the RS7 feels noticeably larger than the Porsche, not in a good way either. Living with my GT-R daily I often dread taking it somewhere I might bump into other humans, as it’s like trying to park a battleship. The Porsche manages to deliver plenty of rear leg room (I’m 6ft) yet feels compact when you want to manoeuvre it somewhere. I feel Audi have gone a little style over substance with the C8, it’s an epic looking thing , menacing broad shouldered and pissed off. I can’t even begin to imagine the terror these will insight through peoples rear-view mirrors in the coming years, but seriously 22” wheels are you taking the piss? I’m a little biased again as I’m hoping to acquire a C7 RS6/7 in a year or so and their 21” rubber requires a second mortgage to replace every couple of years. I feel Audi may have forgotten people have got to daily drive these cars…..
In True Audi style the interior is stunning , ultra modern yet logical like most German things. The Honeycomb stitching really modernises the interior it looked great in the last model it looks great again here. The alcantara wheel gives a purposeful yet classy vibe to the cabin and everything is where you’d expect it to be. Add lashings of carbon fibre and this car feels every single bit of £110,000.
One thing Audi have lost in the last few years with their flagship cars is understatement. The C6 variant of the RS6 had blistered boxed arches , the traditional oval tailpipes, a big grill and some 20” wheels. If you missed the styling cues then that was your loss. The RS cars used to be about rewarding the petrol heads amongst us for noticing the subtle hints that a nuclear power-station was hiding under the bonnet. Now it’s all look at me I’m broad shouldered angry and someone paid an extra £3000 to have me in a vulgar colour. I love the new RS7 as it’s just about right, yet on the edge of being too much. It’s still one of my dream cars and spending the day with one albeit a press car was an absolute honour. I just wish it was a little more subtle so the true enthusiasts could sneak up on supercar owners and remind them Audi joined the party, but for a fraction of the cost. Give it two or three years and Akrapović will slap a titanium system on one for some added drama, releasing that thunderous symphony. With an ECU flash most will be comfortably over 700bhp. These will soon be the new 200mph super saloons.
The RS Models always perform well against the competition,the Quattro 4-wheel drive system keeps you planted to the tarmac in even some of the most torrential of downpours. Audi’s also seem to hold their money well (within reason). The C7 RS7 even with the launch of this latest model will cost you £35,000 with the nicer cars still hovering nearer to £50,000. Which is positive news for those buying new, bad news for people like me who will be counting the pennies for years to come. Overall I feel Audi have really put their stamp on the ballistic family car market certainly in the UK. As the The E63 and M5 respectively will be residing in a hedge when it rains, while you spear off into the distance completely un-phased.