Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Dimensions

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

Website: audiusa.com/models/

audi-rs7

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

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]