If you’re in the market for a heist or three and require a getaway vehicle, allow me to suggest the Audi RS7 Performance. To be honest, the ‘basic’ RS7, with its 560 horsepower, is a more than capable car in which to leg it after a successful bank job – there’s enough space in the boot for all that loot, and it’s ferociously fast in a straight line. The ‘Performance’ edition is that basic RS7, but it’s been poked and prodded to make it even angrier – the 4-litre, twin-turbo engine now makes a totally nonsensical 605 horsepower, which means that when the getaway driver floors the accelerator, you and your ill-gotten will rocket to 100 kph from standstill in about 3.6 seconds, laughing all the way from the bank. Did the RS7 need a 45 horsepower bump in its power output (and a torque overboost from 70 kgm to 75 kgm, when you’re going full tilt)? The only sensible answer is ‘No’ – absolutely nobody, not even hardened bank robbers, needs a 605 horsepower fastback saloon. The RS7 Performance exists simply because it can – and for that, we must all give thanks.
I must confess to having a soft corner for the RS7, ever since it was first announced in 2013. I’ve always thought that powering the shit out of what is essentially a large family car is a hilarious idea, however pointless the exercise. Very few people are going to scare the spouse, the kids and the dogs witless by gunning the RS7 to its maximum velocity of 305 kph (if they want to remain married and/or out of jail, at any rate) but the very fact that they can do so, if they’re momentarily gripped by some kind of brain fever, is excellent. It doesn’t hurt that the RS7 (the thug version of the A7) is one of the best looking cars on sale today, anywhere in the world, and definitely the best looking Audi you can buy, save for the R8 supercar – they really got it right with those beautiful, swooping fastback lines. It sounds completely mental, too, like a thunderstorm with a bone to pick – I guarantee that you’ll want to roll down the windows as soon as you drive into a tunnel.
This is a car that dispenses with foreplay and gets straight to the point. You climb into the superbly built cabin, cast an appreciative eye over the quality of the materials in use, adjust your seat just so, slot the gearbox into Drive, mash the pedal and blaze off towards the horizon, turbos whistling and exhausts crackling – that’s it. This is not to say that the RS7 isn’t capable of behaving itself – quite the contrary, in fact. This behemoth is so easy to drive, at any speed, that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s showed up to the office with only a quarter of its power output in working order. It’s comfortable, quite roomy, rides reasonably well despite its enormous 21-inch alloy wheels and can, if you so wish, doddle around at city speeds or slower.
Screw doddling, though, because why would you buy this car if that was your thing? Follow the procedure I mentioned earlier and you’ll begin to justify its existence, as it transforms into a blunt instrument that’s bent on flinging itself into orbit. Even a slight tap on the accelerator makes it lunge forward greedily, and its straight line performance is astonishing, as is the level of grip the all-wheel drive Qauttro system offers; it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you’ll be able to surprise some proper supercars from the traffic lights while driving this thing. Around corners, it hunkers down and does what it needs to, without drama, although the steering wheel is rather lifeless – you have no real idea about the exact amount of grip that’s left in the tyres. All told, for just under Rs 2 crore, the RS7 Performance will keep you thoroughly entertained and in a great deal of comfort. Is it worth the Rs 15 lakh or so over the standard RS7? That depends on how quickly you want to make your getaway…