It seems as if the car industry can’t help inventing models you really didn’t know you wanted. Take the super-powered coupe-cum-saloon segment. On paper, it seems pretty obscure to pack a powerhouse engine into a big four-door half coupé/half saloon which doesn’t really fit a fully-grown adult in the back, right?
Yet it’s becoming an increasingly competitive arena for the big players. Right now, buyers with enough credit at the bank can choose between the BMW M6 Gran Coupé, the Porsche Panamera Turbo, the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and, this, the new Audi RS 7 — the only one from this all-star pack that manages to pull its two tonne chassis to 60 in less than four seconds.
This is a car that could be diagnosed with a personality disorder. On first meeting it’s smooth and well-behaved but, like a wolf in a nice dress, it doesn’t take long for the 552hp beast to reveal itself.
Prod the accelerator a little too eagerly in light traffic and it can soon feel like a runaway train, just thankfully with better brakes. Its looks are understated and at the same time brash, it’s completely impractical on the surface, but then you open the boot to find that it’s bigger that most London studio flats.
The V8 has a satisfying growly roar, but you can’t fully take it in from the serenity of the sound-proofed cabin.
In short, it’s a car of two halves, and we’re not talking cut ‘n’ shut.
If you like your cars good-looking, effortless, beautifully put together and live within easy access of a German autobahn or disused airstrip, this car won’t disappoint. An hour in the RS 7’s sports seats and that coupe-cum-saloon market will soon start to make sense.
Price From £83,495 0-62mph 3.9sec Top speed 155mph (restricted) Economy 28.8mpg Engine V8, 3993cc, twin-turbo Power 552bhp Esquire approves Audi RS 7 Sportback audi.co.uk