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- Gorgeous and practical shape
- Thundering performance
- Elegant interior
- Terrific ride and handling balance
- Surprising utility
- Crests $100,000 easily
- Steering a touch vague
- We don’t have one of our own
The Audi S7 and RS 7 are like habanero and ghost peppers—among the hottest cars you’ll find anywhere.
The 2018 Audi S7 and RS 7 are something of a rarity in the automotive marketplace: a pair of high-performance five-door hatchbacks with room for five passengers—and their gear.
Its basic design is beginning to age, but it’s doing so remarkably gracefully, which is why we’ve rated this desirable duo an exceptionally high 8.4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
For 2018, there’s little change to note aside from redesigned wheels on both models and a new sport exhaust for the RS 7.
Both models are based on the Audi A7, itself a desirable and different luxury car spawned from the far more conventional A6 sedan. But where the A7 boasts a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, the S7 uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 rated at 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The RS 7 ups that to 560 hp as well as 518 lb-ft of torque in standard tune, or an astounding 605 hp and 553 lb-ft on the RS 7 Performance. If you’re popping for the RS 7, you might as well go all the way, right?
Regardless, both models shuttle power to all four corners via an 8-speed automatic gearbox and have firm but not punishing suspension settings. Their luxurious interiors start as the standard A7 but differ in some trim finishings and the design and upholstery of their seats. The RS 7, with a few options, can become downright gaudy, however, so shop carefully.
What sets these two apart from rivals like the Audi S6, the BMW M550i and M5, and the Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63 is their hatchback configuration. A sloping roofline means that they’re a little tight in the rear seat and not quite as roomy as, say, a station wagon, but they still offer more utility and a sexier shape than you’ll find in a regular sedan.
Both models come well-outfitted with features but offer even more tech for an extra cost—but the sky’s really the limit on the RS 7, which can be built up to more than $150,000 with every option box ticked.