Make us your home page

The Daily Drivers: 2014 Audi RS 7

Peter is a big fan of Audi's "four-door coupe," the A7, which we drove when it first came out. He liked its luxury and hatchback practicality, as did Lyra, who was less enthusiastic about the car's profile. Now, Audi adds performance to the A7's portfolio with the all-new RS 7, which is a product of quattro GmbH, its tuner division.

Appearance: The RS 7 is striking. Audi's familiar trapezoidal grille gets polished-black honeycomb and is flanked by gaping air intakes. The look screams performance. The narrow headlights have Audi's full LED system. The roof is significantly raked, much like a coupe, which does limit rear-seat headroom. It's an aerodynamic design, but Lyra still doesn't like the cropped rear end. Some options enhanced the car's visual impact, such as 21-inch five-spoke blade-design wheels and the Optic Package ($950), whose matte-aluminum trim stands out against the Misano Red Pearl paint ($500). The RS 7 has dual-oval exhausts integrated into the bumper design.

Performance: The RS 7 is powered by a 4.0-liter TFSI twin-turbo V-8 that puts out a whopping 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Even though the car weighs 4,500 pounds, it doesn't seem to hinder the acceleration, which can pin you back in your seat. The exhaust note might seem tame on idle and in regular or driving, but when you step on the gas, the beast growls to life. The estimated mpg — 16 city and 27 highway — is frugal enough to avoid a gas-guzzler tax. Audi's 8-speed Tiptronic automatic is one of our favorite transmissions; it's smooth, quick and competent. The RS 7 has continuously adjustable air suspension, which we felt worked well for most driving conditions, and for a big car, it corners well. The dynamic steering is well-assisted, but Lyra felt like she was fighting it in some highway driving.

Interior: It's luxurious, with premium leather, soft-touch surfaces and some of the best-looking trim we've seen: The dash and door panels of our tester had a very attractive pinstriped finish ($1,300) that combines layered aluminum and black wood inlays. The Valcona leather seats have a quilted pattern with white stitching. They are soft, well-bolstered and comfortable. Then there's the tech, which uses Audi's somewhat unwieldy Multi Media Interface system. The center nav screen is retractable and emerges from the dash when you turn on the car. Our tester had the Audi Connect system that uses Google satellite imagery, which takes navigation mapping to another level visually but can also be distracting. The rearview camera has several viewing modes. Our favorite: a corner view to see what's coming from each side. Our tester also had the optional Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System ($5,900). Peter thinks it's simply the best sound system he has heard in a car. The car's power tailgate has a high opening, so the close button is a reach for shorter people.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Luxury interior: Quilted leather seats, unique pinstripe trim.

Sound system: The Bang & Olufsen provides a lot of bang for a lot of bucks.

Hatchback: I think it's more convenient than a trunk, with 24.5 cubic feet of space.

Lyra Solochek

No more slamming: Optional power soft-closing doors gently pull themselves closed.

Head-up display: The speed reading is reflected onto the windshield.

Quattro: Sure-footed all-wheel-drive ride.

The bottom line: Is it a luxury sedan, a four-door coupe or a practical hatchback? All three, and now it's also an impressive performance car. It's over the top in a good way, but it likely can't be fully appreciated on a daily commute.

2014 Audi RS 7

Price: $104,900 start, $122,545 as tested

Powertrain: 4.0-liter TFSI V-8, 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, quattro all-wheel-drive system

Horsepower: 560 at 5,700-6,600 rpm

Torque: 516 pound-feet at 1,750-5,000 rpm

0-60: 3.7 seconds

Curb weight: 4,475 pounds


in inches:

Wheelbase, 114.8

Length, 197.3

Width, 84.2

Height, 55.8

Seats: 4

Fuel economy:

16 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway

Fuel type:

premium unleaded

Safety features: airbags and side curtains, side impact protection, crumple zones, night vision, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, pre-sense plus, active lane assist, corner view camera



The Daily Drivers: 2014 Audi RS 7 02/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 13, 2014 5:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.