A PERFECT BLEND: 2014 AUDI RS 7
The jaded attendants at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s parking garage have seen every luxury car imaginable. When I drove up in an Audi RS 7 sedan, with its stunning front grille, I scanned their stoic faces for any reaction, but I saw none. The next morning, when I checked out, however, I discovered they had parked it in a special area with the Bentleys and BMW 7 Series sedans. They clearly treasured it. What the attendants couldn’t possibly know is that the car, while stunningly beautiful, contains a raging inner beast. A 560-horsepower, 4-liter, V8 engine erupts whenever the driver hits the accelerator. A sports exhaust outlet opens up and the cabin is filled with a delicious roar, much like the deep bass pipes of a medieval organ would fill a cathedral. Audi claims a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 3.7 seconds.The RS 7 model, introduced in the United States in October 2013, is built by quattro GmbH, a division of Audi, much like Mercedes has its AMG and BMW has its M performance lines. It is intended to be “maximum Audi,” the company says, and it delivers just that. It may be the perfect choice for a CEO who wants four doors for family or friends, a spacious trunk and all the beautiful touches,such as the stitching on the seats and wood inlays with aluminum striping. The 20-inch gloss-black wheels are works of art by themselves.Yet it can be driven robustly when you’re in that mood. Its suspension, engine and transmission are set-up more aggressively than other Audis and it competes against the Mercedes CLS and the BMW 6 Grand Coupe. There is no manual shift, but paddles on the steering wheel allow you to drive it like a Formula One race car when you want a surge of adrenaline. This car offers a most satisfying combination of luxury, utility and performance.
- Horsepower: 560 hp.
- Price as Tested: $122,545
- MPG: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
- Plus: The Bang & Olufsen sound system is incredible.
- Nit: Tires are vulnerable to potholes.
- What it Says About You: You demand excellence.