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2018 CarWale Track Day: Audi RS7 Performance

What is it?

It’s over 5 meters long, seats four in opulence and has quilted leather all over the cabin. Judging by its appearance and equipment list, I didn’t expect the Audi RS7 Performance – a 2 tonne sedan, to be up for a track day. In a way I was right – this isn’t a sports car by any measure. It was never meant to be. However, if you take it easy into the corners, the RS7 can decimate your internals with organ-shifting acceleration and a brutal soundtrack. 

What makes it special?

This car is a classic case of ‘when too much horsepower is not enough’. The standard RS7 makes 552bhp and that’s already more than all non-turbo Porsche 911s. Clearly that wasn’t enough for Audi’s RS division. Enter the RS7 Performance with the same 4-litre, twin turbo V8 but with 45 extra horsepower. Next to the base output, 45bhp doesn’t sound like a vast upgrade but on a race track, every horsepower counts. 

What I think it can do

Being the second most powerful car of the lot, there’s a lot the RS7 Performance can do despite the weight and size disadvantage. It might be a double tonne car but let’s not forget it also has Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive traction and brake discs the size of a large Domino’s pizza. Perhaps the ideal way to muscle the RS7 Performance around the MMRT is by not rushing it into corner entries. Instead, using the massive brakes and easing off the throttle, hoping the front end bites and finally letting the V8 powerhouse take care of the rest.   

The track test

Like all great circuits, the MMRT makes for an apt automotive equaliser. Its blend of recurring sweeping corners favour pointy, light weight cars whereas the long back straights give powerful heavyweights like the RS7 a chance to cover up plenty of ground in no time. Now we have tested the RS7 Performance on the road and back then it gave us one of our quickest acceleration figures ever. On the track, the brutal acceleration certainly matters especially when flying past the start-finish straight and punching out of C3. Over the long straight that follows, there is simply no stopping this hulk of a sedan riding the tidal wave of torque that builds right from 2,000rpm. However, it’s when you drop the anchor at speed that you realise the weight of the RS7. If you brake too hard and flick the wheel you can shift the weight far too forward and lose traction at the rear.

C8 is a nearly flat 90-degree right-hand corner that’s shortly followed by a similarly angled off-camber left-hander. Here the RS7 appeared surprisingly agile in the hands of our pro driver Rayomand Banajee. Like the Ameo Cup car, the RS7 chassis is unfazed by the smack of a curb or off camber turns but given all that weight, it’s easy to overwhelm the grip from its tires if you enter a corner too hot or power out mid corner because at this point the car is tipping on its nose with a lot of weight over the front axle. 

All in all, the RS7 Performance displayed great poise and gripped well around corners but there is no getting away from its sheer size. To get the best lap time you have got to keep your entries clean into corners while keeping the car close to the apex and use that incredible quattro traction to power out. In the end, the RS7 pulled a 1m 59.73s lap time which is mighty impressive if you consider the fact that you can go round again with three of your friends and their stuff without losing too much time. 

Last words

Ever wonder what it would be like to control an alarmingly fast nuclear-powered missile through a haze of obstacles in a controlled environment? Driving the RS7 Performance at the MMRT is as close as you will ever get. 


Pictures by Kapil Angane


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Audi RS7 Sportback Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Chennai₹ 2.05 Crores onwards
Hyderabad₹ 2.07 Crores onwards
Kolkata₹ 1.89 Crores onwards
New Delhi₹ 1.97 Crores onwards
Mumbai₹ 2.02 Crores onwards
Bangalore₹ 2.17 Crores onwards
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