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2013 Detroit Auto Show: Gaze in awe of Audi’s magnificent RS7

Audi brought the original RS6 over to the US in 2002 and created quite a stir. This was a super sedan to give the M5 a run for its money, and that’s not a very common thing. This made it all the more heartbreaking when the next generation, even more insanely powerful and incredible, didn’t make it over to our shores. Then, just recently, we got some pictures of the upcoming third-generation RS6 Avant, which were followed closely by the news that we wouldn’t be getting it in the US. This would normally send fans of the four rings into a deep funk, but Audi’s debut of the RS7 in Detroit made us instantly forget all about the RS6. Mechanically, the two cars are identical, but the RS7 wears an attractive fastback body, while the RS6 is a regular sedan.

It almost seems impossible, but the RS7 is even more attractive than the already beautiful A7 that it’s based off of. The front fascia is now adorned with big ducts which clearly mean business, and there is the usual honeycomb grille. Also typically RS-like are the aluminum-look side mirrors and the dual oval exhausts. There is still plenty of leather in the interior, but the wood of the A7 has been replaced with carbon fiber, and it looks amazing. Under the hood is a Bentley-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 rated at 560 horsepower and 517lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through an eight-speed ZF transmission, with 40 percent of it going to the front wheels and 60 percent to the back. Audi says it’ll get to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, and there is an optional performance package which raises the electronically governed top speed from 155mph to 190mph. Cylinder deactivation allows the RS7 to cruise on four-cylinder power and combined with start/stop gets it a rating of 21 combined mpg on the European test cycle; although it should be noted that the European cycle is hopelessly optimistic, and this figure has essentially no meaning in the real world.

The RS7 is an awesome piece of machinery, and one which we’ll actually be getting in the US. Prices are expected to be in the neighborhood of $100,000. I guess it’s time to rob that bank.