2014 Audi RS7

2014 Audi RS7

Episode 3404
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

In the rarified world of ultra-high performance Audis, many think the exotic R8 is the champ. But it’s actually the 5-door RS 7 that is the most powerful Audi sold here. That’s right…you don’t need supercar style or impracticality for serious, street-fighting, track melting capabilities. Too good to be true? Well, buckle up!

It took us no time at all to absolutely fall in love with the Audi RS 5 when we hit the track with it last year. But to be honest, that car pales in comparison to this car, the 2014 Audi RS 7.

Building on the far from pedestrian S7, Audi pumps up the performance in just about every area of this vehicle. 

Weight has been shaved by 30-pounds. And there’s more power, thanks to Audi cranking up the boost in the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 to 17.4 psi. That makes for 560-horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque. Quattro all-wheel-drive, along with the S7’s sport differential, and air suspension, are all standard. 

One thing that hasn’t changed, is that much like the S7, this car seems up for just about anything you can throw at it; feeling smooth and steady no matter the speed. Compared to the impressive S7, it cuts through the cones even more effortlessly.  Dynamic driving mode keeps the body roll well under control, but doesn’t necessarily make it feel more responsive. 

However, the electromechanical steering is insanely quick on turn-in with a precise, heavy weight, but unsurprisingly little feel. More would be hugely welcomed. The upgraded brakes are great for such a heavy car, but not quite in supercar territory with average stops of 117 feet from 60. 

Acceleration, however, is glorious, as there is a ridiculous amount of torque and quattro traction propelling you on an 11.7-second adrenaline rush through the quarter-mile at 123 miles-per-hour. The transmission is a straight-up 8-speed Tiptronic automatic, not a DSG, but it works better than most dual clutch boxes, so we have no complaints.

The first two gears seem ultra-low…that’s for acceleration, getting you to 60 in just 3.6-seconds while the top gears go into extreme overdrive. Manual shifting is hard to get just right on the power sweet spots, so just let the computers and accelerometers do their thing and propel you to glory.

Now if you’re on the highway and you choose to nail the throttle to its fullest, make sure you’re not even close to someone’s bumper, or you’ll be in it in no time as this thing just flat take off. So, it’s quicker than a BMW M6 Gran Coupe, but not quite as fast as the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. But perhaps more importantly, thanks to cylinder deactivation among other things, it out fuel misers both of them. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16-City, 27-Highway, and 19-Combined. So, our average of 22.1 miles-per-gallon of Premium is quite good for supercar-like performance. 

This vehicle is clearly made for eating up mass quantities of Autobahn miles at thrilling speeds in extreme serenity, as Audi seems to be in competition with themselves on building the most amazing interiors. No one else is really even in the game, as here the custom-crafted environment gets even better. 

It looks and feels like those super expensive pieces of custom luggage you see that cost well into 5-figures. RS extras include shifter, steering wheel, carbon-fiber trim, unique door handles, and instrument panel. 

Front seats are just great, very racy feeling yet also luxurious to the hilt. While it doesn’t feel, or look particularly big, ease into the rear seats and the car feels huge. 

Instead of a one size fits all approach to the exterior design, buyers can opt for standard, matte aluminum, or carbon styling. This example sports the matte aluminum look along with new bumpers, revised Singleframe grille, adaptive rear spoiler, lower diffuser, and big elliptical taillight tips for the highly recommended optional sport exhaust system. Full LED lighting is standard. 

But let’s be honest. At $105,795, the $25,000 price leap over an S7 may purely be for bragging rights. Most owners will never experience the full potential of this car. We really don’t have the appropriate roads in North America to fully exploit the RS 7’s capabilities. You do need the German Autobahn, or at least, your own track day for that.

We thought the S7 was terrific. But in creating the 2014 RS 7, the otherworldly Audi engineers are again on point. Too good to be true? Not hardly. Overkill? You’re darn right!

Specifications

  • Engine: 4.0-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 560
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 11.7 seconds @ 123 mph
  • EPA: 16 mpg city/ 27 mpg highway
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles