It arrived in a dark matte grey. If it had a decal on the side saying German Air Force it would have been appropriate. It is the car for fighter pilots who return home to find an ex-girlfriend on the doorstep holding the 2.4 kids they knew nothing about.
I am talking about the Audi RS7 Sportback. I stared at it in the car park, like a stand-off between myself and Darth Vader. Before I even pushed the start button it commanded ultimate respect. Its LED daytime lights were like evil eyes promising a journey to the dark side. That journey would be powered by a turbocharged V8 pushing out a planet-hauling 412kW and 700Nm. It hits 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and while the top speed is limited to 250km/h, hand over some cash for it to be properly unleashed and you will find yourself doing 305km/h in no time at all.
Push that start button and it roars like something from deep inside a cave in Lord of the Rings. The car vibrated with the power coursing through the exhaust beneath. When you need extra space, you could trade in your 911 Turbo for a Panamera Turbo, or even go for a Range Rover Sport supercharged, but the RS7 is in a league of its own. It conjures up emotions of 1960s American V8 muscle cars as it bellows along but as much as a Mustang or Camaro has presence and even power, they pale in comparison to the RS7.
Push down on the accelerator and I can only describe it as being similar to being in a German Touring Car. The power is immense and the engineers have matched all this power to a character that is second to none. It is raw, something that petrolheads will lust after for years and which gives the finger to hybrids, electric cars and all that low emission stuff. It would eat a Nissan Leaf for breakfast.
As great as it was to power away from traffic lights with grannies behind in Toyota Corollas shaking from the tremors it created, it had to be taken out of the city. It urged me to find an open road, preferably a valley with mountains on either side so the sound could echo. Here it could blast like a low level jet and make it through turns last seen in a dog-fight in Top Gun. Despite its size and weight, all that power transfers to the road through the quattro all-wheel drive system and grip levels were incredible. Leave it in sport auto mode and it does what you want it to perfectly well.
Switch to manual and the paddles behind the steering wheel make you feel as though you are in control of the beast as you drop a gear. Hear the shock wave disappear behind you as the revs climb at a rapid rate. All that power means you hit the rev limiter in next to no time but keep it in the band and you can flick through the gears with your hands tightly grip- ping the wheel, finding new levels of confidence in every corner. Unlike a sportscar, you get all of this with space.
Not only for the 2.4 kids but also for your golf bags and a few weekend bags. It is for families with surnames like Scheckter, Senna, Raikonnen. Climb out of it and people will step away. You have to respect someone who drives the RS7. There is a perfectly valid argument that you could have more than enough performance and all the space you need if you opt for the superb A7 Sportback bi-turbo TDI.
I understand and yes, it is possibly a little more responsible, but use the word responsible around the RS7 and it will come after you like Stephen King’s Christine. Have some respect.
The Facts: 2014 Audi RS4
Engine: 3993cc, V8, turbocharged, petrol
Power: 412kW at 5700rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1750rpm
Top speed: 250km/h
Fuel consumption: 9.8l/100km (Claimed)
Price: R1 501 500