New Audi RS 7 to be brand’s most potent model ever

Exclusive image previews the new Audi RS 7, which will use plug-in hybrid tech adopted from the Porsche Panamera

The all-new Audi RS 7 will be the most powerful model in the company’s history and the first car from Audi Sport to feature plug-in hybrid technology, Auto Express can reveal.

Engineers are applying the finishing touches to the four-door super-coupe ahead of its arrival in showrooms later next year. Strong customer demand has encouraged Audi Sport to introduce RS models far earlier in a new model’s lifecycle than before, a precedent set with the new RS 5 in 2017.

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The latest RS 7 will be given Audi Sport’s trademark makeover. Our exclusive main image gives an idea of what the showroom model will look like; blistered arches, an aggressive front end and a twin exhaust pipe set-up will mark it out as the range-topping model.

Spy shots of the Porsche Panamera Turbo rival undergoing testing at the Nürburgring track have shown there will be greater changes beyond cosmetics. A significantly lowered ride height, stiffened suspension and carbon- ceramic brakes will all make their way on to the RS 7, alongside bigger wheels and those trademark oval tailpipes.

As before, Audi will launch two versions of the RS 7: a standard model and a Performance-badged variant. The first should make use of the VW Group’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that’s already found under the bonnet of the Panamera Turbo, Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. Output in the RS 7 is expected to hit the 600bhp mark, with traction provided by Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. An S tronic dual-clutch auto gearbox will be standard.

The Audi RS 7 Performance will take advantage of plug-in hybrid technology, partly developed by Porsche. As with the standard model, the Performance will make use of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, but it will be supplemented by a 140bhp electric motor. The powertrain will be adopted from the Panamera Turbo S E-hybrid, which develops 671bhp and 850Nm of torque. 

Those numbers mean the RS 7 will also become one of the quickest Audi Sport models ever, with a potential 0-62mph time of around 3.5 seconds.

The new RS 7 will be the first in a long line of new models from Audi Sport; by 2020 the German firm has said it will expand its range from 11 products to 16 different cars. It will address its lack of performance SUVs with an influx of new models, with hopes of meeting a growing appetite for hot 4x4s.

A new-generation RS Q3 is almost certain, but won’t happen until around 2020 and will follow an all-new RS Q8, which could adopt a similar powertrain strategy to the new RS 7 by also offering plug-in hybrid tech. Following that will be an all-new RS Q5, which will sit above Audi’s existing SQ5 and take on the Porsche Macan Turbo. It will feature the same 444bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 currently used in the RS 5 Coupe.

Do you like the look of our exclusive Audi RS 7 image? Let us know your thoughts below…

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