So what exactly is this RS 7? As the second recipient of the 48-volt version of the brand's twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 (after the current RS 6), is this merely a version of that estate in a posh frock? Like its showroom counterpart, the RS 7 Sportback certainly looks perpetually ready to wield its sledgehammer performance - its sinewy body virtually hugs the road surface, and its sizeable wheels are shrouded by boldly flared arches that leave no margin for doubt about the mettle of this Audi Sport offering.
Inside, there are grippy RS sport seats upholstered with perforated Valcona leather. And you're positioned comfortably in front of a perforated RS sport leather steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and multifunction buttons, including the RS MODE button, which the driver can use to enable the drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays on the Audi virtual cockpit instrument binnacle screen. These provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces.
More screens sit on the centre stack, and the driver can use the upper one to call up an RS monitor that gives an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures.
Unlike the previous generation RS 7, this one is provided with a three-seater rear bench in the interest of maximum versatility. When its split seat backs are folded down, up to 1,390-litres of luggage space can be made available, and when five adults are on board 535-litres remain at their disposal.