2014 Audi RS7 Quick Drive

2014 Audi RS7 - 560 horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is a ferociously quick and refined supercar with seating for five

2014 Audi RS7 – 560 horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is a ferociously quick and refined supercar with seating for five

Sometimes you get lucky.  And yesterday was my day.

I’d like to believe it is Karmic payback – my cosmic reward for having lived a ‘good life’ – to be in the right place at the right time.   My ‘reward’ was a test drive of a new 2014 Audi RS7.  This is Ingolstadt’s 560 horsepower twin-turbo V8 supercar masquerading as a family sedan.

I was at Edmonton’s Southgate Audi when dealer principal Jim Allan walked into the room and handed me the RS7’s key fob. “Here.  Why don’t you take my RS7 for a test drive?”  How can you say ‘no’ to an offer like that?

I wheeled the RS7 south on the QE2 and mashed the throttle merging onto the highway.  The twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 responds without hesitation, emitting a somewhat muted V8 howl.  There is no hint of turbo lag and the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission is peerless.  Shifts are lightning quick and perfectly responsive.

Premium German cars are typically loaded with an overwhelming array of techno-wizardry to such a degree they can be intimidating.  To Audi’s credit, the RS7’s controls are pretty intuitive and I quickly figure out how to adjust the settings for the suspension.  Allen’s set the RS7 on ‘comfort’ and it’s perfect for our horrifically potholed roads.  The suspension soaks up dips, ripples and broken pavement with a muffled ‘thud’, while still feeling taut.  The ride is comfortable, yet very sporting.  Another plus we observed on this short drive – the RS7 offers decent steering feedback.

To say acceleration is impressive would be a massive understatement.  With 560 horsepower delivered through Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive, mash the throttle and the RS7 hunkers down and simply rockets in the direction the front wheels are pointed.  Acceleration is ferocious.  (Audi claims 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.)  Subjectively, it’s more muted and refined than, say Cadillac’s last-gen 550 horsepower supercharged 6.2-litre V8, which, to my ear, sounds much more raucous.

For the price, the 2014 Audi RS7 is pricey, but still a bargain.  How can a car with a starting MSRP of $115,000 dollars be a bargain??  If you’re shopping for a world-class super sedan, The RS7’s natural competitor comes from German country-mate Porsche.  To match the Audi RS7’s 560 horsepower, you have to opt for the 570 horsepower Panamera Turbo.  It has a starting price of $206,000 dollars.  See?  At $115,000 dollars, the RS7 is a bargain.

Not only is the RS7 massively less expensive than the Porsche Panamera Turbo, I prefer the Audi’s sleeker exterior and more cleanly-styled interior.  The Panamera’s interior is ‘busier’ and its steering wheel blocks the upper view of the instrument cluster.

The 2014 Audi RS7 could be the perfect luxury super car for Canada.  All-wheel-drive makes it 4-season capable (how much fun would the RS7 be in the snow with winter tires?  Can you say ‘drift nirvana?’), the 4-door sedan configuration makes it imminently practical, and the Audi is gorgeous inside and out.

The 2014 Audi RS7 stands virtually alone in its class.  At the price point comparable to other premium luxury automobiles, the RS7 offers supercar performance, all-weather driveability and the ability to carry the family in top-tier luxury.  The 2014 Audi RS7 is simply one of the finest driver’s cars in the world.

Thanks to Southgate Audi for providing this test vehicle.

 

 

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