2020 Audi RS7 Sportback revealed: price, specs and release date

Everything you need to know about the new Audi RS7 Sportback – the high performance version of Audi's five-door A7 coupé...

2020 Audi RS7 Sportback front

Price from £90,000 (est) | On sale Early 2020

Could the new Audi RS7 Sportback be the ultimate ‘hot hatch’? Okay, it’s based on a luxurious five-door coupé rather than a family runabout, but it still combines a hatchback-style boot opening which is good for practicality with scorching performance.

How fast are we talking? Well, as the sleeker sister of the recently revealed RS6 Avant estate, it features a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 which produces 592bhp. That’s 212bhp more than you get in a Porsche 911 Carrera, and enough to shift the RS7 from 0-62mph in just 3.6sec.

2020 Audi RS7 Sportback rear

Those figures (and the RS7’s body shape) mean its closest rival is actually likely to be another Porsche: the Panamera Turbo. However, it will also take on swoopy four-door performance saloons such as the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 and upcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupé.

To help it do so, it gets Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system. Plus, there are customisable RS1 and RS2 driving modes – activated via a button on the Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel – that let you quickly adjust the engine and handling responses.

RS7 buyers can also choose from air and steel suspension (the former is slightly more comfort focused) and add rear-wheel steering, where the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts to improve cornering agility.

Then when you’re in less of a hurry, the engine can shut down half of its eight cylinders to save fuel, while a mild hybrid system which allows the car to coast for up to 40sec at a time with the engine off also helps in this regard.

2020 Audi RS7 Sportback dashboard

Like the regular A7 Sportback on which it’s based, the RS7 provides space for four six-footers and a sizeable 535-litre boot. Yet there’s no mistaking the two models, because the RS is 80mm wider and has a largely bespoke body; only the bonnet, front doors, tailgate and roof are carried over.

Notable design highlights include a nose that’s inspired by the R8 supercar, and pumped up wheel arches reminiscent of those on the original Quattro coupé from the 1980s. Meanwhile, sitting within those arches are massive 21in alloy wheels, with 22s an option.

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Best and worst performance cars

Like the idea of the new RS7 Sportback, but don't want to wait until next year? Then read on as we count down the top 10 performance cars currently on sale – and reveal the model that's best avoided.

10. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

If you're after effortless performance, an estate-style body and the ultimate badge appeal, then look no further than Porsche's Panamera Sport Turismo. Just don't expect it to shift a wardrobe, because its boot has a 425-litre capacity, compared with the RS6's 565 litres.

Read our full Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo review or let us help you buy a Panamera Sport Turismo

9. Mercedes-AMG C43

Mercedes-AMG C43

This is a softer, less focused (and cheaper) alternative to the riotous C63 models, but it's still far from a slouch, thanks to a 385bhp turbocharged V6. It sounds fantastic when you rev is hard, too, but is unsurprisingly pretty thirsty.

8. Porsche Panamera

New Porsche Panamera vs Tesla Model S

We actually prefer the regular Panamera to the Sport Turismo, because it costs less, is slightly better to drive and it's very nearly as practical. Both cars ride surprisingly well by performance car standards.