2021 Audi RS 7 Sportback Review: 7 goes to 11

Singapore’s first taste of the high-performance RS 7 Sportback is a forceful powerhouse that’s also full of familiar flexibility 

SINGAPORE – The Island finally gets a 7 that goes to 11, and it is glorious. This is the first time the Audi RS 7 Sportback has come to Singapore.

In the A7’s first generation, from 2010 to 2018, the RS model was never sold here on an official basis – the top-dog here was the semi-hot S7.

The A7 Sportback is Audi’s big four-door coupe, for those who think sedans are too boring and SUVs too gauche. Like any RS model, it’s an A7 that’s been cyborged-out and trained in the Dark Art of Going Very Fast by Audi Sport, the motorsport/high-performance outfit of the brand, formerly known as quattro GmbH.

And judging from the number of blinged-out, big-wheeled, body-kitted first-gen A7 Sportbacks on the roads, a high-performance A7 is something that will sell better than Audi’s staggeringly fast RS 6 Avant.

We use the RS 4 Avant to explain the appeal of Audi’s estates

We tested the first-gen RS 7 on a short test ride in the Alps way back in 2013, and it was charmingly GT fast, with an aggressive edge set off by the A7’s elegant styling.

2013 Audi RS 7 Sportback - Singapore- CarBuyer.com.sg
2013 Audi RS 7 Sportback

But the new RS 7 Sportback blows that car clear out of the mountain lake, even when standing still. 

Anorak tip: The first RS 7 didn’t get the flared-out wide-track treatment, but this baby does. The regular A7 is 1,908mm wide, but the RS 7 gains a mump-esque 48mm (making it wider than a Lamborghini Huracan) and with the normal A7 it only shares the bonnet, front doors, and roof – you can see the rear fenders bulging to contain the 22-inch wheels that are standard fit.

2021 Audi RS 7 Sportback - Singapore Review - CarBuyer.com.sg

There’s a grimacing front end with huge grille sections, a large rear diffuser and twin oval tailpipes, and all this murdered out in black. Okay, you might find that on a dedicated modder’s ride, but not the colossal brake system. The point is, this is a proper RS car, and definitely not a foam-in-your-(insert undergarment of choice here) type deal.  

2021 Audi RS 7 Sportback - Singapore Review - CarBuyer.com.sg

We could go on about the newest Quattro all-wheel drive system, the rear sport diff that makes the tail kick out like a rear-wheel drive car, the suspension setup – but more on the car’s running gear later. 

On paper the new car ‘only’ gains 40hp and 100Nm of torque from the first-gen, with the 0-100km/h time dropping from 3.9- to 3.6-seconds. But in real life the new RS 7 is a slightly mind-bending combination of two opposites – freakishly, ferociously quick and unruffled serenity – in one car. 

2021 Audi RS 7 Sportback - Singapore Review - CarBuyer.com.sg

While the regular A7 is already plenty refined, the RS 7 keeps that nature despite itself.  If you managed to smuggle someone into the low-slung, coupe-like monstrosity without them noticing the RS bits, or the V8’s start-up bark, they wouldn’t be much the wiser as the RS 7 can waft along with the best of them.

2021 Audi RS 7 Sportback - Singapore Review - CarBuyer.com.sg - 22inch wheel

Double-glazed windows help cut wind noise, and the lack of obvious tyre roar (common on performance cars) is a plus, but that the car can deliver such good ride quality despite 22-inch wheels (this one can’t, in contrast) is also near miraculous. 

Page 2: What’s the RS 7 like when you turn it up to 11?

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong