Although it has been a year since Audi had revealed a more potent version of the RS7, called the RS7 ‘Performance’, it is only now that we get this particular variant in India, and it has been launched at Rs 1.60 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). This is about 25 lakh more than the ordinary RS7 (if you can all a 553 bhp sedan that), with the extra dough buying you 44 bhp more, a few more optional features now offered as standard and a number of mechanical and electronic driving aids bundled in an optional ‘Dynamic Package Plus’.
It is still powered by the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, but with it now producing 597 bhp. Although the torque figure appears to have been unchanged, at 71.4 kgm, there is a new ‘overboost’ function, which momentarily pushes the peak torque output to 76.5 kgm. It can’t be accessed at will though, with the ECU offering the extra torque only when the engine and transmission settings are in ‘dynamic’, and throttle is wide open. Other familiar bits are the eight-speed tiptronic (a torque convertor, not a dual clutch transmission) and the Quattro system which splits up the power between the front and the rear axles via a centre differential. If you are not averse to spending more, Audi also offers a Quattro system with a sports-differential, with it being capable of continuously distributing the torque between the rear two wheels to find more grip.
While adaptive air suspension is standard – it lowers the car by 20 millimeters in the Performance, Dynamic Ride Control, which is a purely mechanical system and links up the shock absorbers diagonally via hydraulic lines to allow them to react faster to changing road conditions, as optional. Also optional is Dynamic Steering, which, as the name suggests, is able to change the steering ratio on the go depending on how it is being driven.
Visually, it would be a quite a task to differentiate between an RS7 and a Performance, unless it is in the Performance-only blue color. The Performance gets the Matrix LED headlamps as standard along with 20-inch alloys, although carbon ceramic brakes are an option. There is a Matt Titanium styling package available only with the Performance, which covers some of the exterior elements in matt grey, adding to the things which can help you distinguish it from the normal RS7.
Two years back when the RS7 first landed it in India, it was launched at Rs 1.29 crore. Although the prices have been creeping up since then, even at this present price, very few other sportscars, forget sedans, can rattle of a zero to hundred time of 3.7 seconds.