Audi makes no secret of the fact that, even with the particularly sporty RS models, there is no way around electrification in the medium term. But the combustion engine fans can still take a deep breath in peace and quiet – for the 40th birthday of Audi Sport, the former Quattro GmbH, the sports car department with the four rings presents itself with the double pack of RS6 Avant / RS7 and gives them the subtly packaged performance badge. Visually, apart from the unfortunately only optional 22-inch wheels in your choice of color, nothing worth mentioning has happened, but under the hood, thanks to the new turbocharger and 0.2 bar more boost pressure, there was a slight increase in performance to 463 kW / 630 hp and 850 Nm of torque, which are applied from 2,300 tours. The acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds is just as unimportant as the top speed, which remains limited at an impressive 305 km/h. It is the impressive drivability of the all-wheel drive hatchback coupé, whose thick fenders and martial front end continue to cause a lot of attention.

Mobile phone cameras keep clicking and thumbs up when the Audi RS7, with its 40:60 power distribution in favor of the rear axle, makes its way – even in the sun-drenched wine region of Napa Valley. The 12.0 liters of premium fuel in standard consumption are lavish and without explaining the electrification. No one will be bothered by this – RS7 and performance package with 30 hp and 50 Nm more. Depending on the traction, the sharpened Quattro model can also transfer up to 70 percent of the power to the front axle or up to 85 percent to the rear axle – in milliseconds. The optional RS dynamic package Plus, including wheel-selective torque control with the sport differential, creates even more dynamism in everyday sporting life. This provides additional traction and thus stability when accelerating out, especially on tight bends.

Incidentally, the 5.01 meter long Audi RS7 Performance cannot do without noticeable electrification. The 48-volt electrical system brings a mild hybrid system into play, whose starter generator can recover up to twelve kilowatts of power when decelerating. Without the driver having to do anything, these are stored as electrical energy in a small lithium-ion storage unit. If the hatchback is traveling between 55 and 160 km/h and the driver takes his foot off the accelerator, the on-board electronics decide, depending on the driving situation and the selected driving program, whether to recuperate or to coast. In everyday operation, together with the cylinder deactivation in partial load operation, this should save almost a liter of fuel per 100 kilometers.

The chubby Audi RS7 already had power in all situations and now, as a performance version for a price of 135,000 euros, even more. That doesn’t change the fact that the RS7 isn’t just a visually impressive driving machine that simply puts you in a good mood. The customer has the choice between variable air suspension and electronic damper control with roll compensation – both can please and since the RS7 Performance is probably used less as a curve chaser and more as a powerful motorway monster due to the vehicle class and more than two tons of unladen weight, the air suspension appears with an impressive level of comfort the better choice despite the 22-inch model. The newly developed aluminum rim is not only a real show, but each of the four wheels weighs five kilograms less than a comparable construction – form follows function and the unsprung masses that are not yet worth seeing.

The doubly charged eight-cylinder with a displacement of four liters pushes on after a barely noticeable turbo lag, as if there were no tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. In addition, depending on the driving program, the beefy booming sound of the flap exhaust system, which accompanies the number jumps of the digital speedometer with a staccato, while the occupants are pressed into the excellent leather chairs. Incidentally, in the class of such a luxury model, the air-conditioned sports seats should also have electric side bolster adjustment and an electrically operated thigh rest to make the picture just as perfect as it is befitting. The interior of the performance model remains as it is – elegant and well-made. The space is perfect for two, but ideal for four people. The loading space of 535 to 1,390 liters makes even many station wagons useless, because long objects can be transported through the area at full throttle with the rear seat folded down. And if you want a station wagon: the performance package is also available for the Audi RS6.