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.
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 Audi 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 Audi 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.