Europe is littered with all manner of high-performance cars that the United States will never see. Every so often, though, insatiable, vocal lusting will convince an automaker to give the US a taste of the forbidden fruit. This time, Audi's heard the cry, and it's responding with a Stateside version of the RS7 Performance.
The non-Performance RS7 already exists in the States, and its 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine provides an ample 560 horsepower. The RS7 Performance turns the dial up to 11 with computer tweaks that boost the car's output to 597 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which rises to 553 pound-feet for short periods of time thanks to an overboost function. The tweaked motor mates to an eight-speed automatic, and the power heads to the pavement via Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
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Those powertrain specifications combine to provide some seriously quick metal. Whereas the standard RS7 hits 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, the RS7 Performance will do it in 3.7. With the optional Dynamic Package, the car can reach a top speed of 189.5 mph -- without that package, it's limited to the same 155 mph as the ordinary variant.
Perhaps most surprising of all is the RS7 Performance's estimated fuel economy. Despite the additional output, Audi estimates the hopped-up RS7 will meet the current model's EPA-estimated 15 mpg city, 25 mpg highway figures.
The RS7 Performance was announced alongside the RS6 Avant Performance, which has the same powertrain, but it's sandwiched into a station wagon. The US will not receive the RS6 Avant Performance, because the market continues to ignore wagons in favor of crossovers and SUVs.
While the European models launch starting in November, Audi did not release any information regarding a US release date, and the automaker has not yet returned a request for clarification. Audi told Autoblog to expect additional details around the time of the LA Auto Show, which opens to the media on November 18.