Audi Sport's range-topping five-door coupé will use Porsche derived 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to pack M5-baiting punch

Audi is developing its new RS7 Sportback ahead of a 2019 launch, with the flagship five-door coupé due to put out more than 600bhp.

Prototypes have been spotted testing on German roads with styling details in line with other Audi Sport RS models, including enlarged honeycomb air intakes at the front, bigger wheels and the trademark oval-tipped twin exhausts at the rear.

Set to be built alongside the forthcoming RS6 Avant at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant in Germany, the RS7 Sportback will feature the latest 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 found in the Porsche Panamera Turbo and Lamborghini Urus SUV. The engines power output is expected to be around 605bhp, which is 53bhp more than the outgoing RS7 and 8bhp more than the run-out RS7 Performance. A torque figure of 590lb ft is also cited by Audi insiders.

That gives the RS7 the edge in the output race against the 600bhp BMW M5, although the 604bhp Mercedes-AMG E63 S still produces more torque, at 627lb ft. 

New all-wheel-drive RS7 Sportback mixes 552bhp punch of the RS6 with sleek looks of the A7, but rivals like the Porsche Panamera offer a more composed and complete package

As before, drive will go through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel drive system. To aid performance and handling further, the A7’s second-generation MLB architecture will bring a weight reduction of around 80kg over the outgoing RS7. 

The resulting 0-62mph time is set to come down to around the 3.5sec mark, while the derestricted top speed will top 190mph. Cylinder deactivation tech will also ensure incremental improvements in quoted emissions and fuel economy.

Before the full-fat RS7 arrives, an S7 is expected to warm up the A7 range in mid-2019. It will trade in the old V8 for a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6, shared with the RS4 Avant, delivering around 450bhp. The engine is significantly lighter than the eight-cylinder unit, which should aid agility, while it should also be more efficient.  

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