553 horsepower, 553 pound-feet of torque. Amazingly enough, those aren’t outrageous figures in this era of super-sedans—the Cadillac CTS-V has bettered those numbers‘ since its 2008 debut, for example. But what’s impressive is how the new Audi RS7 makes all that power. Not through a six-liter-plus motor with a giant supercharger attached—through a 4.0 liter twin turbo V8. Four liters, 553 horsepower. Put that in your exhaust pipe and smoke it.
Thanks to that 553 horsepower twin-turbo V8 and a fast-acting ZF eight-speed automatic, Audi says the RS7 will blitz from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. That’s what Audi says. Based on our own experiences behind the wheel of the S6, S7 and S8, and the fact that independent tests have put the S6′s 0-60 time at 3.7 seconds and the S8′s at 3.5 secs., we’re guessing the RS7 will blast from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds or less. Top speed is 155 mph for the basic RS7, 174 mph with the optional Dynamic package and 189 mph with the Dynamic package plus.
That peak 553 horsepower exists from 5,700 to 6,700 rpm, but more importantly for day-to-day driving, the 553 lb-ft of torque is there from 1,750 rpm to 5,500 rpm. Mix that in with eight forward gears, and we’re starting to wonder if RS stopped standing for “Renn Sport” and started standing for “Rocket Ship.” Give credit to Audi and quattro Gmbh’s engine making masters, who summoned all that power from the 4.0 liter V8 through two twin-scroll turbos running 1.2 bar of boost and located inside the V, unique engine management software, and a host of other improvements—while cylinder deactivation helps it get up to 24 miles per gallon during cruising.
The other part of the RS7′s performance cred, of course, is the rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring, connected to 20″ or 21″ wheels; there’s an optional rear differential for extra fun. And the press release also includes this gem of a sentence: “The electronic stabilization control (ESC) has a Sport mode and can also be deactivated entirely.”
As with all of Audi’s RS models, the RS7 gets more aggressive faschia to set it apart from lesser A7s and S7s, with a honeycomb grille and deeper air intakes up front and a diffuser and oval tailpipes in back. Inside, the RS7 makes out like a bandit with the top-of-the-line Audi interior trim, such as sport seats covered in diamond-stitched leather (or optional honeycomb-quilted Valcona leather) with the option of power-adjustable comfort seats.
We expect to be able to buy the RS7 this summer or early fall, even here in the United States (thank God). And by we, we mean “people with around $100-$120K to spend on a four-door super-hatch.” Which we wish we were. [via Audi]