With a gorgeous shape and stunning performance, it’s hard to find fault with the 2021 Audi A7. That is until you realize that there is an even faster S7 and RS7 parked right next to it.
Vehicle Comparisons: The 2021 Audi A7, S7, and RS7
These sporty hatchback coupes can achieve the nearly impossible. The 2021 Audi A7, S7, and RS7 provide the exhilaration of a racing coupe and the sophistication of a luxury sedan. Where other automakers have failed to thread the needle, Audi makes it look effortless.
The 2021 Audi A7 is equipped with one of the most intuitive tech interfaces on the market and a powertrain that dares supercars to jump. Thanks to adaptive steering and Quattro all-wheel drive, the A7, S7, and especially the RS7 can carve up corners like a hatchback on steroids.
There are 3 model trims for the 2021 Audi A7. There’s a Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige model. There are 2 model trims for the 2021 Audi S7 – the Premium Plus and Prestige. The 2021 Audi RS7 luxury Sportback does away with model trims all together.
Let’s take a look at the A7 and S7 vehicles first.
Performance Capabilities of the A7 and S7
The 2021 Audi A7 has a 3.0 Liter twin-turbo V6 engine that’s mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It’s capable of achieving 335 horsepower and 369-pound feet of torque. The A7 travels from zero to 60 MPH in about 5.2 seconds.
There’s also a hybrid powertrain available for the 2021 Audi A7. It’s an e-plug-in hybrid that uses a 2.0 Liter four-cylinder turbo engine that’s partnered with an electric battery. If fuel economy is a concern, then this is the powertrain to choose. The Audi A7 doesn’t get stellar gas mileage otherwise. The hybrid gets 24 miles per gallon and boasts a maximum driving range of 440 miles. Yet it still produces 362 horsepower and 369 lb. ft. of torque. So, there’s no need to compromise performance for fuel economy with the hybrid powertrain.
The 2021 Audi S7 tunes up the performance of the twin-turbo V6 to reach 444 horsepower and 443 lb. ft. of torque. That takes the 2021 S7 from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The S7 shares the same transmission as the 2021 Audi RS7 – the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Smooth shifts and low RPM power are on command with the Tiptronic.
The S Sport package equips the S7 with dynamic all-wheel steering, Quattro sport rear differential, and sport exhaust. These are some of the standard features on the RS7. The Quattro sport rear differential distributes torque across the rear wheels to give the S7 superior cornering and steering capabilities. It carries an added charge of $4,000. That’s a bit of a bargain when you compare it to the cost of the RS7. You can also equip the S7 with adaptive steel suspension. These are important upgrades to make the 2021 Audi S7 luxury Sportback realize its full Quattro performance potential.
Performance of the 2021 Audi RS7
Now, let’s talk about the RS7. The Audi RS7 is in its second generation. Some of the visual departures from the A7 and S7 are the flared-out wheel wells and lower ground clearance. Many of the performance add-ons from the Audi S7 come standard on the RS7, as mentioned earlier.
Under the hood, the 2021 Audi RS7 has a 4.0 Liter, twin-turbo V8 engine. It produces 591 horsepower and 590-pound feet of torque. For the sake of comparison, the Aston Martin DB11 produces 503 horsepower with its V8 engine and travels from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds. The 2021 Audi RS7 goes from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds.
The 2021 Audi RS7 is a super-fast luxury vehicle that shares a powertrain with the Porsche Panamera. Of course, the Porsche has the fastest shifting transmission, (probably the best gearbox on any vehicle), but the RS7 comes close with its 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. It has launch control like a true supercar and fine-tuned shift times that are optimized for delivering maximum power to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Quattro sport differential
The 2021 RS7 comes with a Quattro sport differential, all-wheel-drive steering, and adaptive airbag suspension. The air suspension in the RS7 is slightly different from the A7 and S7 upgrades. In the RS7, the suspension can be adjusted across 3 different driving modes. You can also adjust the driving dynamics with 6 additional presets. It has auto, comfort, dynamic, and efficiency modes. Plus, there’s the customizable RS1 and RS2 modes which can be activated from the steering wheel controls.
Roland Waschkau is the sport differential specialist at Audi Sport GmbH, and he elaborates on the RS7’s equipment in an Audi press release. “For customers looking for dynamic driving on dry roads, we offer our sport differential, the Quattro sport, for the rear axle. This makes the car agile by actively shifting the drive torque between the rear wheels as required. Race tracks and high coefficients of friction also play an important role in tuning, particularly for the RS models. Unlike the traditional center differential, the sport differential is an electronically controlled system. It consists of two clutches and a superimposed transmission, while the software is specially adjusted and finetuned for each vehicle.”
If you’re a true speed demon, then you’d most likely want to upgrade the RS7 to include ceramic brakes. The large, lightweight calipers help the 2021 RS7 reach a maximum track speed of 190 miles per hour. No Audi RS7 would be complete without the sport exhaust package either. Why not let it rumble?
The Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH summed up the 2021 RS7 quite nicely in a company statement. “RS vehicles have a strong and unique character: spontaneous maximum performance wherever and whenever desired, and effortless performance on long journeys,” said Oliver Hoffman.
“An RS is a true Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde. It is important for every kilometer, no matter how it is driven, to be an experience. This is achieved thanks to the breathtaking design, high-end look and feel, and outstanding quality,” says Oliver Hoffmann, who is also responsible for Technical Development at the Neckarsulm RS vehicle test site.
Exterior Design Elements of the A7, S7, and RS7
The 2020 version of the A7 and S7 already got a few upgrades to the exterior. So, this 2021 model isn’t due for a refresh anytime soon. The 2021 Audi A7, S7, and RS7 have a five-door coupe design with a Sportback exterior.
The 2021 A7 comes with 20-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof top that streams down toward the rear hatch. That sloping fastback roof design has been copied by lots of different automakers, but Audi still rises above the competition with the A7 and S7. The front has a clamshell hood, wide grille, and LED headlights.
The 2021 Audi S7 comes with 21-inch alloy wheels, S model front, and rear bumpers, as well as S model badges. The choices for exterior paint are a bit brighter, a bit bolder than the A7. There’s also a black optic package available for the S7 that upgrades the exterior with a blacked-out body kit and special wheel design.
When it comes to the 2021 RS7, only the hood, roof, front doors, and tailgate are the same as the A7 and S7. Otherwise, the 2021 Audi RS7 strikes its own pose. It has 21-inch wheels, signature RS bumpers, mesh front grille, RS exhaust ports, and gloss black rear diffuser.
The 2021 RS7 takes a wide and low, aggressive stance. If you include the carbon fiber package, the RS7 equips carbon fiber inserts for the front and rear air diffusers. Those large wheel wells also get filled out with 22-inch rims with a polished anthracite finish.
Audi Tech and Interior Amenities
The 2021 Audi A7 and S7 models might have a five-door coupe exterior, but the interior is 100% luxury sedan. It has a cascading dashboard resplendent with ash or dark wood trim, leather upholstery, and large digital screens.
The 2021 Audi A7 might not be the first vehicle that comes to mind when you think of family haulers. It’s a performance luxury sedan, but there are some features that a growing family would appreciate. For example, there are 24.9 cubic feet of cargo space and an available wireless charger.
The intuitive tech interface inside the 2021 A7 and S7 simply stands out as one of the best in the automotive world. The base model A7 comes with two touchscreen displays. There’s an 8-inch screen on the upper deck of the center console and another 8-inch touchscreen beneath it. You can upgrade the top deck with a 10-inch navigation system. When you include the 12.3-inch instrument display, the 2021 A7 and S7 have about 30 inches of screen.
The 2021 Audi S7 comes with a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system and heated front seats with S model quilts and stitching. The woodgrain of the A7 is replaced by brushed aluminum or carbon fiber inserts. The S7 has a sporty interior, but it’s no less refined.
For the most part, the 2021 Audi RS7 follows the interior layout of the S7. Of course, there are RS badges and accents in place of the S badges and more color choices with the upholstery, but there isn’t much difference. There is one special touch though – the available black Alcantara headliner in the RS7.
Additional luxury features from Audi come with packages. There’s plenty of upscale amenities available for the right price. You can add ambient lighting, heated rear seats, premium leather on the dashboard and doors, heated steering wheel, and Audi cockpit. The choices go on from there, but you’d have to wade through a number of packages to find the right blend of features for your specific tastes.
Safety Gear from Audi
The 2021 A7 platform was awarded a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and automatic emergency braking comes standard on all models. Otherwise, you’ll need to jump up to the Premium Plus model on the A7 or add a package for driver-assisted safety features on other models.
The Driver Assistance package has traffic sign recognition, intersection assist, lane assist, and Audi Pre Sense technology for the rear of the vehicle. You can go a step further and add the Audi Side Assist package which throws in a pedestrian warning and Audi Pre Sense for the side of the vehicle, as well. All told, these packages together cost an extra $2,750. That’s not bad for one of the best safety suites on the automotive market.
At the Finish Line
One of the most obvious differences in these Audi Sportback models is the price. The 2021 Audi A7 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $69,200. The 2021 Audi S7 has an MSRP of $84,400. Finally, the 2021 Audi RS7 costs around $114,000.
Those price points are only the beginning. When you equip packages, trims, and options, the price of each one of these vehicles can go up considerably. A maxed-out 2021 Audi RS7 can cost upward of $150,000.
If a six-figure MRSP doesn’t hurt your eyes, then the 2021 RS7 is a supercar in luxury guise. It has the sophistication of a luxury sedan and the athleticism of a racecar. The RS7 is on par with Porsches and has the longevity to stay viable over years of enjoyable use and lots of turns of the odometer.
For the best bargain, the 2021 Audi S7 with additional safety gear and the S Sport package really stretch the value. You get some of the best performance equipment from the RS7, some top safety technology, and the iconic styling of the A7 platform. Sometimes, the middle car takes the trophy.