Official: meet the Audi RS7 Twin-turbo, 552bhp V8-powered limo-like hatchback

Making its debut on Audi’s stand at the Detroit Motor Show, alongside the SQ5, Ingolstadt’s latest RS model appears as some well-timed artillery against the also very recently announced BMW M6 Gran Coupe.

It’s based on the Audi A7, naturally, but only in body shape doth this RS7 share any sibling genetics. Because underneath rests the same twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 engine as used in the upcoming RS6 Avant (itself only announced last month). At this rate we’ll be getting a new RS-model every few minutes.

So that V8. It’s the same one used by Bentley, and Audi in the S8, producing some 552bhp and 516lb ft of torque, which if you’re unaware, is a significant amount of firepower. Audi reckons that - mated to a standard eight-speed automatic box and quattro four-wheel-drive - the new RS7 will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155mph.

Tick the ‘Dynamic Plus’ pack and you’ll raise that top speed to 189mph. Nice. Incidentally, the M6 Gran Coupe’s pub-lording stats are 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and the possibility of 189mph. Clearly, the battle for pub supremacy is won in tenths.

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