Performance cars or supercars have traditionally been vehicles with little or no comfort since everything in them is there for a single reason – going fast. In the last few years though, a new breed of cars has emerged that offers the design of a coupe, brutal power and impressive luxury with few compromises. Porsche Panamera was one of the first cars to start this go fast luxury club and since then many other cars have joined in including the Audi RS 7 Sportback. However, for some more power is never too much and they demand more. After all, it's so hard to say no to more as the greed for power is a human trait with no limits but in case of cars, it isn't a bad thing. For such people, Audi came up with the RS 7 Sportback Performance, which offers 50 more horses, pushing the power output to 600 hp and torque is rated at a massive 700 Nm. However, this car seems to be for those who are never satisfied with more so it comes with an overboost function, which can increase the torque to 750 Nm for a short duration. In case you're wondering what's more in terms of performance that's extra, well that's about it and there's no reason to be disheartened because what these 600 horses can do on the road is something I haven't even begun explaining.
Design & Interior
In terms of design, there isn't any significant change in the RS7 Performance over the standard Sportback model. Yes, there are a few bits that are now finished in matte instead of the gloss-finish on the standard model and the alloy wheels on this one are quite different from the ones on the Sportback that I'd driven last year. Apart from that, there isn't much to separate the two models but that isn't a negative at all since the RS7 Sportback itself has quite a distinctive design that will not leave you short of heads turning around.
Right from the front to the rear, the design comes across as sharp, chiseled and purposeful. It screams speed yet it manages to look sophisticated at the same time. Turn up into a page 3 party in one of these and you'll be considered to have arrived in luxury in a car that can down many sports cars down in a straight line!
The interior of the RS7 Sportback Performance is exactly the same as the other model except for some minor colour coordination package. That said, everything in the cabin feels plush and upmarket and space at the front is ample and the seats offer good support overall. At the rear, legroom is good but taller occupants might have some issues with the sloping roofline as it limits headroom significantly. That said, the cabin is well-appointed for a vehicle in this price-category and sports a dynamic appeal too.
I already told you that the Audi RS7 Sportback Performance has a bit of extra firepower but what difference does that make? Well, to be honest, unless you take the car to a track, it's hard to feel the difference. Yes, the car feels a bit quicker, especially when the overboost with its extra 50 Nm of torque kicks in but that's because I was trying to find out that difference. In general, feeling a 50 hp difference on a car that weighs close to two-tonnes is extremely difficult on public roads. That said, the car is insanely fun to drive and that is also down to the rather heavy weight of this performance car. The weight combined with the size of the car means the RS7 Performance doesn't feel too happy going through a series of sharp corners. Ask it go fast in a straight-line though and it springs up to the task and sets off to smash the horizon.
Making things sweeter is the exhaust, which pops and bangs every time you get off the throttle from a high rpm or push into the redline in any gear. The exhaust note is loud and seems to have been orchestrated in the heavens above Germany. In fact, the sound from the exhaust was so satisfying that I did not play music for a larger part of the time I spent driving this car. If you do turn on the music, the Bose surround sound system offers excellent sound quality, which will be appreciated by audiophiles too.
Around corners, the RS7 Performace's stiff suspension setup helps as body-roll remains in control. Grip from the Quattro system and the tyres is impressive and long corners are dealt with ease. It's only the sharper turns that make the car uncomfortable because of its length and the understeer that kicks in when going into a corner a bit too hard. What could have been better on such a brilliant machine is the steering, which like most Audi cars gives very little feedback and feels artificially weighed when going fast.
In urban conditions the ride quality is supple and potholes and undulations are absorbed well by the suspension. In case you're wondering how that is possible since I earlier mentioned a stiff setup, it's because the RS7 comes with an air-suspension setup with drive modes so one can choose from different driving modes as per the situation and the suspension settings are altered accordingly. One also needs to understand that the performance of the RS7 is aimed at the GT class so it's made to take you from one city to another quickly but in excellent comfort and that the RS7 Performance does exceptionally well!
The Audi RS7 Performance is a car that attempts to walk a tight rope; balancing luxury, practicality and supercar territory performance. Getting this balance right would've traditionally resulted in multiple compromises but Audi engineers have managed to minimise the compromises and also challenge the laws of physics a bit. The RS7 Performance offers blistering performance, impressive luxury and loads of practicality too. This is a car that will get you the membership of an elite supercar club but at the same time you can pull up into a party with your wife/ girlfriend/ wearing an evening gown and go for a weekend outing with the kids too! There are so many hats this car can wear and if that's you want from a car the Audi RS7 Performance can be bought for Rs 1.58 crore, ex-showroom or Rs 1.82 crore on-road, Delhi. The RS7 Sportback too will do all of this in almost the same manner but for some, more is never enough and for them the Performance version is perfect!