Audi Versus Audi! 2014 A7 And 2014 RS7.
By: Anthony Fongaro | October 2015
Full disclaimer: Midwest Motors in Lake Zurich, IL was gracious enough to let me get behind the wheel of their 2014 Audi A7 (pictured on the left) and 2014 Audi RS7 (pictured on the right). Their contact information is below.
When you write with a dealership such as Midwest Motors, being able to talk and coordinate with the owner can spark some terrific ideas for articles. Case in point: during a recent brainstorming session, Midwest Motors’ owner, Ben, crafted an interesting idea for a comparison test. Instead of doing an Audi vs. a BMW test, why not do an Audi vs…another Audi. And not just that, but essentially the same Audi.
Audi certainly has a lot of impressive models to choose from, but Ben and I quickly found the perfect candidates. Meet the 2014 Audi A7 3.0T Quattro and the 2014 Audi RS7 4.0T Quattro. Even though these are both have the highly desired Prestige trim level, there are some obvious differences. The A7 is non-offensive black while the RS7 is painted an “attention-hungry” Audi Exclusive Samoa Orange color. To the untrained eye, both have a handsome fastback body with top-notch German-built quality. Pitting brother against brother won’t be easy, but it will definitely be fun. Why should you buy either of these four-door hatchbacks? We took both for a drive to find out.
Lucky number 7
Before we get behind the wheel, we need a little background about Audi’s naming conventions. Both models here have a “7” in their names, and that’s on purpose – both look quite similar. But under the hood, they’re quite different. In Audi speak; anything with an “A” at the beginning of it is geared more towards the “everyday Audi driver,” where fuel economy is the primary focus. Audi also has an “S” line of cars, such as the S7 that we are not testing, which adds some well-deserved “sportiness”. Finally, Audi has the ultra-powerful “RS” model, which is all about speed, performance and power. Whichever version of the A7 you choose; you will get Audi’s angular Sportback design. Trust me when I say that these two look much better in person than they do in photos.
Since these both are Sportback vehicles, the trunk opens up much larger than a regular sedan, which gives you more space for all the junk you’ll inevitably accumulate in the car. The drawback to this design means people over 5’11” won’t be too happy being in the back seat for extended periods of time.
T for turbo?
You would think so, right? Nope! Well, at least for one of these Audis. The 3.0T V6 in the A7 doesn’t have a turbocharger. Instead, it uses a supercharger since a supercharger provides immediate power and is more compact compared to slapping a turbo onto the engine. Whatever Audi wants to call this engine, the V6 is good for 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Since the V6 also has an eight-speed automatic transmission and uses Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, it can go from 0 to 60mph in 5.4 seconds.
The actual turbocharged engine resides in the RS7. Audi wasn’t content to just have one turbo to power this beast. Instead of one turbo, the RS7 has twin-turbos attached to its 4.0-liter V8. This pumps out a supercar-like 553 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which cranks the insanity level up to 11. With the same eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the RS7 will get from 0-60 mph in around 3.7 seconds.
Do they really feel different to drive?
If you were blind-folded and someone sat you in either the A7 or RS7, you probably wouldn’t notice a big difference. The only differences you could use to determine which vehicle you’re in are some trim pieces, the padding on the seats, and the various “RS7” badges in the RS7. The RS7 has a few badges, and the seat padding is slightly different, but otherwise, both cars have the same beautiful interior and one of the best infotainment systems on the market. Both Audis also feel smaller on the inside even though they are midsize cars. The difference lies when you hit the gas.
Both the V6 and V8 are relatively quiet when you first turn them on, which might surprise you given the immense horsepower difference. But once you press the throttle, you know what car you’re driving. In the A7, the supercharged V6 and eight-speed transmission are velvety smooth while delivering excellent power. Steering feel is…vague but nothing too alarming. Overall - pleasant and soothing.
The RS7 is also pleasant and soothing but adds a few shots of adrenaline to the driving experience. The twin-turbo V8 may not be very loud, but it can still get you into quite a bit of trouble. As expected, the RS7 has sharper handling, increased steering feel, and enough power to get you past the speed limit faster than you can say “twin turbos!” Going from the A7, which is a decently quick car, to the RS7 was like getting off of a Ferris wheel and onto a roller coaster.
Not surprisingly, both Audis come with a long list of standard and optional features. The A7 Prestige and RS7 Prestige both have Audi’s MMI navigation system with handwriting-recognition technology, rearview camera, heated front seats, power liftgate, and sunroof.
The A7 is geared more for luxury with heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, special 20” wheels and the S-Line exterior trim. The brushed aluminum interior accents with the contrasting black seats and trim gives the A7 a sophisticated and luxurious interior without being over-the-top.
While the A7 is geared more towards luxury, the RS7 blends luxury with performance and enhanced technology. The RS7 we tested came with a carbon fiber front spoiler, rear diffuser, side mirrors, and interior accents, a heads-up display, night vision assistant, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and other active safety features. Some of these options are available on the A7, but this RS7 was almost fully loaded.
Choose your animal
Comparing the A7 and the RS7 really comes down to three things: 1. Do I absolutely need over 550 horsepower in my life? 2. Do I absolutely want to pay double the price for the RS7? 3. Is the RS7 worth twice the price of the A7?
The regular A7 is already a great vehicle that you can stuff with your kids, dog, maybe a provocative statue and drive around in a blend of comfort and style. The RS7 is all about being EXTREME. It looks docile, but poke it with a stick, and it’ll attack the road like a fearsome tiger (probably why this one is orange). Both are fantastic, and I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.
This 2014 A7 has an as-tested price of $51,990 while the RS7 floats around the $100,000 mark. If you look at newer versions, you’d be looking at a bill of around $80,000 for the A7 and $125,000 for the RS7.
So is there a winner? Of course – both are winners! If you want a sensible sedan that has a nuke under its hood, go for the RS7. You will be smiling every time you mash on the throttle. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a sensible vehicle that can do anything and go anywhere while costing the same as a new Hyundai Genesis, a used 2014 A7 will be right for you. So is the RS7 worth twice the price of the A7? Absolutely. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be quite happy as you blow by people on your way home.
Thanks again to Midwest Motors. They are located at 540 Cortland Drive, Lake Zurich, IL 60047.
Visit their website at http://www.midwestmotors.com/.
Images courtesy of Midwest Motors.