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    Phantom Menace RS7 QS Tuning’s 675hp monster. This all-black RS7 is packing MTM upgrades and a solid 675hp and 860Nm – we went for a blast around the Sussex countryside to find out more…

    I’ll let you into a little secret… I’m a sucker for black cars. Over the years I’ve had five of them and I’m pretty sure that my next Audi will also be of a dark hue. There’s something about black cars that just looks so right. They give off a faint whiff of menace, which is often amplified by Audi’s recent talent for designing aggressive looking front ends. But when it comes to all out evil looks, then I think I’ve found the perfect contender.

    QS Tuning’s RS7 #Sportback looks mean as hell. Finished in glorious Phantom black, it oozes street presence and latent aggression. But this is no factory special. Lots of small changes have been made to create this all-black monster – including, of course, some rather lively power gains.

    The car is #QST head honcho, Kim Collins’, current daily driver, and as such had to tick all the boxes. That meant be rapid and comfortable, but still capable of delivering excitement. Having sold his supercharged RS5 and a tuned RS3 8V, both of which delivered plenty of thrills, the RS7 had much to live up to.

    But let’s start with the looks first of all.

    The front of any RS7 is pretty angry looking – all wide vents and gaping RS grille with those lovely angular headlights. QS Tuning have taken this further by fitting black Audi rings and painting the grille surround in gloss black. The front number plate has been removed, too (if the local constabulary are reading, it fell off, and is in the boot).

    Continuing the black-on-black theme, the window surrounds have also been done in gloss, and the windows have been tinted. To the rear, the Audi badge has been removed, leaving only the RS logo. There’s a set of rather tasty looking carbon fibre mirror caps, too.

    The paintwork has been treated to a full Gtechniq ceramic paint treatment. The idea is that it provides a barrier between your paintwork and all of the nasties that are attracted to it – stuff that really harms it such as tar, road salt and brake dust. The initial deep-clean and then application process took QST’s Alex, four days in total, but it’s given the Phantom black RS7 a deep, glossy shine that really pings when sun catches it. Best of all, as long as the correct cleaning regime is followed (including using the recommended products), all it takes is a blast with the snow foam, followed by a power rinse to get rid of any dirt and grime that’s accumulated. Then it’s just a quick dry off with a quality microfiber cloth, and it’ll be good as new. You can even do the wheels too.
    And so to the wheels…

    As an official distributor for Vossen in the UK, QS Tuning had access to an enviable range of wheels. They plumped for the rather delicious, ten-spoke items, finished in gunmetal. The 9.5x21in alloys look like they were made to slot under the RS7’s muscular haunches. With the MTM #F-Cantronic lowering module fitted, the ride height is best described as bang on the money, with just a whisker twixt arch and tyre. However, there is no catching or rubbing to spoil the show.

    Inside it’s your typical RS7 cabin, decked out in honeycomb-stitched leather, carbon inlays and a tactile, flat-bottom wheel. The heated seats are especially welcome during the freezing cold photoshoot.

    So there we have it – some carefully chosen upgrades have transformed an already aggressive looking RS7 into an absolute beast of a car. But wait – what about the engine? I hear you cry. Good point, glad you reminded me – because this thing is bloody savage!

    With the MTM M-Cantronic system boosting power to 675hp and torque to 860Nm, this RS7 is rapid – and they’re not exactly slow from the factory. Squeeze the throttle – in any gear – and your greeted by instant power. A mere flick of your right ankle and before you know it you’re doing some pretty illegal speeds. With Dynamic Drive mode engaged, the RS7 hunkers down and sharpens its responses, like a leopard waiting to pounce. Once you unleash the full force of that 675hp, you need to be ready, because it puts on speed with rabid enthusiasm.

    As we make spirited progress along the Sussex countryside, the woofle of the V8 becomes a howl as the revs rise, accompanied by a crescendo of delicious pops and crackles from the exhaust. As you back off the throttle, the crackles really are grin inducing and sound even better when you pass by buildings. In a tunnel, I imagine you may well have an accident in your designer jeans.

    The exhaust is a Milltek cat back and it really does make the most of the 4.0 TFSI’s potential. Even though it’s only about two-degrees outside, we have the windows down and sunroof open to listen to that Milltek crackling away. But it’s never drony or intrusive – it merely wakes up when you want it to – perfect.

    I recently spent a week with an RS7 Performance and was deeply impressed with it. However, with the optional extras, that car cost a whopping £105,000. If you wanted something similar, for a lot less, you could pick up a used RS7 from around £50k, and with another £10k spent on upgrades, end up with something not only faster, but better looking, too. QS Tuning have done just that and in so doing created what is arguably one of the best daily drivers you can imagine. That and the fact it looks so damned cool, makes it my current favourite feature car.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION / RS7 675hp #QST / monster #Audi-RS7-Sportback / #Audi-RS7 / #Audi-A7 / #Audi / #Audi-RS7-Sportback-QST / #Audi-RS7-QST / #Audi-R7-Sportback-QST / #Audi-A7-Type-4G / #Audi-S7-Sportback / #Audi-RS7-Type-4G / #Audi-Type-4G / #Audi-RS7-Sportback-QST-Type-4G / #Vossen-VFS / #Vossen / #MTM / #QS-Tuning / #Audi-RS7-Sportback-QS-Tuning /

    Engine 4.0 #TFSI #V8 , #MTM-M-Cantronic module, #Milltek cat back exhaust system
    Power 675hp and 860Nm
    Transmission 7-speed tiptronic
    Brakes Stock RS7
    Suspension #F-Cantronic lowering module
    Wheels 9.5x21in #Vossen-VFS/1
    Interior Full RS honeycomb leather, carbon inlays
    Exterior Grille surround and window surrounds painted black, black front badge, rear badge removed, shortened rear number plate, front plat removed, carbon mirror caps, QST logos, full Gtechniq paint protection system
    Contacts QS-Tuning
    Left: 21in Vossens. Below: Nice cut down reg plate. Above: Paintwork prep took four days. Below: Carbon Mirrors.

    Above: Looks so mean without a plate. Below: Interior awash with leather and carbon. Top: QST’s Alex has his game face on...

    “In a tunnel, I imagine you may well have an accident in your designer jeans”
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    AUSSIE #Audi-S7 / COP CAR / #Audi-S7-CopCar / #Audi-A7 / #Audi-S7-Sportback / #Audi-S7-Type-4G / #Audi-Type-4G / #Audi /

    The Aussie cops have got their hand on another fast Audi pursuit vehicle – this time it’s an S7. With over 440bhp from its 4.0 #TFSI engine, it’s sure to keep up with your average Aussie fella hooning in his Holden. These guys love their #V8 s and this is one of the best around – wonder if they’ll get it remapped?
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    We test the 597bhp Sportback. Can the 597bhp RS7 Performance deliver the goods? We tested one to find out…


    Words and Photography Davy Lewis / We drive the RS7 Performance /

    Remove the RS7’s fancy clothes and underneath you’ll find the heart of an RS6 – everyone’s favourite supercar baiting estate. And that, my friends, is no bad thing. The RS6 is a mighty piece of engineering. So the same engine, running gear and chassis should make its arguably prettier sibling just as epic. It takes me approximately ten minutes (the time it takes the 4.0 TFSI to warm up on this frosty morn) to realise that the RS7 is every bit as good as the RS6.

    But this is no ordinary RS7 – this is the RS7 Performance. That means you get even more bang for your (extra) bucks – a hefty 605hp (597bhp) in fact. This, as you may surmise imbues this 1930kg leviathan with the kind of performance that will scare your mother (trust me, I tried it. Sorry, Mum). It’s as if the engineers at Audi Sport thought, “We can squeeze a bit more out of this 4.0 #V8 – let’s see what happens when we make a few tweaks to the exhaust and ECU…”

    The Performance also gets a raft of extra goodies including 21in alloys, titanium finish trim and mirrors, while inside there are carbon inlays and swathes of Alcantara as well as privacy glass as standard. But it’s the engine tweaks and sports exhaust that steal the show.

    The result is one of the most brutally efficient, point-to-point cars you’ll ever encounter on the road. A mere tickle of the throttle, whatever gear you happen to be in, unleashes a wave of torque that flings you at the horizon with devastating ease. There’s the very briefest moment of calm before a wall of boost is delivered by the turbochargers sending everything into fast forward. In first and second it really is pin you back in your seat ferocity. The rear end squats, the front lifts and the quattro drive delivers pure, unrelenting grip that never ceases to amaze.

    But there’s more. The ease with which you can put on speed (however fast you’re going) is nothing short of mind blowing. Squeeze that throttle at 50mph and before you know it you’re hitting 70mph. Do the same at 70 and you’ll be into three-figures in the blink of an eye. Such is the refinement of the RS7, it’s scary how easy it is to approach very naughty speeds without realising it.

    The blistering acceleration is accompanied by a crescendo from the V8, which transforms in an instant, from burbly V8 murmur, to an almost NASCAR howl. In Dynamic mode, with Sport engaged via the shifter, the exhaust emits the kind of noise you’d expect from an oldschool muscle car – it’s quite at odds with the understated looks. As you back off the throttle, the cacophony of pops and crackles is addictive. It’s the same when you rev it while stationary. You can feel the whole car throb as you wake that V8 – it makes a delicious, raspy crackle that makes you giggle like a schoolboy who’s just flicked a well-aimed bogey at a girl in double maths.

    The test car was fitted with some very desirable options, which bring the price from £92,725 up to £105,830. The Assistance Pack may not sound as exciting as something like carbon ceramic brakes, but it is a very handy package. It includes the rather spectacular Night Vision Assist, which highlights potential danger way ahead of you. For example a person standing at the side of the road will be highlighted in yellow; if the system spots that they have moved in front of the car a warning is sounded and they are highlighted in red with a further warning. Similarly, if you get too close to the car in front, an audible and visual warning will be made. Ignore it and the car will apply the brakes to avoid a collision.

    The Advanced Parking pack includes the auto park function. You simply line the car up next to a parallel space and the cameras and sensors do their thing – steering the car into the space. All the driver has to do is gently press the throttle in reverse and then again in drive. Considering the ample girth of this thing, it’s a very handy function.

    Prod the start button and the big V8 makes itself known. Inside the RS7 comes to life as the #MMI screen gracefully emerges from the dash; the clocks illuminate, and sweep around the dials; and on this car, the Bang and Olufsen tweeters rise majestically from the corners of the dash. Firing up the RS7 is a real sense of occasion. Above the climate control system, you’ll find an array of buttons for the parking sensors, but the one in the middle is the ‘man’ button. Press it and the rear wing rises from the tailgate – it is, quite possibly, the coolest thing ever. Of course, the recessed wing will rise automatically once you hit 80mph (and retract again below 50mph), but once I’d spotted the manual override button I kept it up all the time.

    And so to the exterior… The RS7 offers a lesson in understated menace. Many people won’t give it a second glance, while others will spot the significance – those aggressive air intakes in the front bumper, that trademark honeycomb grille, the discreet RS badges and, of course, the twin, oval tailpipes. Although a sleek design, the RS7 is a chunky car. From the rear haunches, to the large door mirrors – it feels very solid. My only gripe was the fuel filler flap, which felt slightly flimsy and didn’t appear to sit 100% flush. No biggie of course, but this is a £100,000 car.

    The test car was fitted with the optional #DRC-suspension setup, which is a very capable system. In Dynamic (the full-fat everything turned up to eleven setting) it was quite firm on the local country roads. The 21in alloys certainly play a part in this, so it’s perhaps too firm for day to day use. Once on a smoother bit of black top, it really does feel dialled in to the road with little body roll as you thread it through turns. The steering is undeniably light, but there’s so much grip available you can relax safe in the knowledge that the RS7 has got this. Around town and on pothole-infested roads, I selected Comfort, which took the sting out of all but the gnarliest craters in the highway. Of course, you can set your own particular Individual mode, so for example, you could set the suspension to Comfort and the engine, gearbox and steering to Dynamic.

    As part of the test, I drove the RS7 from my home in Wiltshire to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Leicester to shoot Revo’s RS3 (see page 32). It was a 5.50am start and I wasn’t looking forward to the drive, but as soon as I opened the door of the RS7, all was well. The interior looks so welcoming and comfortable that it can make even the worst Monday morning feel better.

    A prod of the start button and with the heated seats switched on, I was looking forward to my drive. A quick toggle of the MMI controller to set the sat nav and I was off, accompanied by that lovely, woofly sound of the V8. The roads were slippery and it was dark, but the RS7 just ate up the miles. It felt so comfortable, that the two-and-a-half hour drive flew by. With few cars on the road, I was able to make good progress. On the M5 it was so refined and quiet, yet when I hit some fast A-roads, I was able to really open up that 4.0 TFSI with some explosive acceleration exiting roundabouts.

    I arrived at Bruntingthorpe fresh and ready to get to work. Once the work was completed, I took the RS7 out for an acceleration test. There’s no S-tronic launch control available (too much torque, apparently), so the RS7 uses the eight-speed tiptronic box, which is excellent. So you don’t get that explosive, off-the-line shove as with launch control, but you still make very rapid progress. Nail the throttle and that rear end squats as this big car just grips and goes. With the traction and stability controls off, the RS7 squirms around a tad as it fights for grip, but once it hooks up, it’s relentless.

    The 0-62mph time of 3.7secs seems eminently possible. Press the throttle at 100mph and the speed with which it reaches 130mph makes me wonder if it’ll ever stop. I back off at around 140mph (part of the track is closed, so there’s less space today). The rate at which the stock steel brakes slow down this 1930kg car is mighty impressive, too.

    This is one of those ‘feel good’ cars. It offers so many sensory delights that you cannot help but fall in love with it, even on a cold Monday morning. The interior is a highlight, but it’s that engine that really steals the show. I was genuinely sad to see the RS7 leave, when the chap from Audi came to pick it up. If you don’t need (or want) an RS6, but fancy some of that epic performance, then the RS7 makes a very compelling case for itself.

    SPECIFICATION #2017 / #2017-Audi-RS7-Performance-Sportback / #Audi-RS7-Performance-Sportback / #Audi-RS7-Sportback / #Audi-RS7-Performance / #Audi-RS7 / #Audi-RS7-Type-4G / #Audi-Type-4G / #Audi /

    Power: 597bhp
    Torque: 553lb/ft
    Performance 0-62mph: 3.7secs / Top speed: 189mph (de-limited)
    Price: £92,060 (£105,000 as tested)

    The view most often seen of an RS7...
    Above: RS7’s interior is a real star of the show.
    Main pic: 21in alloys give the RS7 huge road presence.
    Left: The 4.0 #TFSI Below: RS7 mission control...

    “Nail the throttle and this car just grips and goes...”

    “A wall of boost is delivered by the turbos”
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    Paul Harris
    Paul Harris replied to the discussion, Audi RS7 suspension
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      Replied on Sunday, 13 November 2016

    John is correct and we thank him for pointing out our error, but we can see how the mistake occurred. The technical summary for the RS 7 quotes: ‘self-tracking trapezoidallink axle with wishbone, anti-roll bar, air-suspension/suspension with Dynamic ...

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    John T. Shea
    John T. Shea created a new discussion
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      Posted on Sunday, 13 November 2016

    Contrary to what your RS 7 road test says on page 13 of your March issue, the RS 7 cannot be fitted with both adaptive air suspension and Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). They are two different and mutually exclusive suspension systems. DRC uses coil spri...

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    Paul Harris
    Paul Harris updated the group cover
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    Paul Harris
    Paul Harris updated the group picture
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    Paul Harris
    Paul Harris updated the group picture
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