(The Audi S7 is priced at $179,900)
Pros: ferocious V8 with the soundtrack to match, gorgeous design, bespoke feel, strictly limited edition of 50
Cons: no full-size spare wheel, even more feel at the steering wheel would be welcome
The only negative I could find about the S7 during a return trip from Sydney Airport to the Hunter Valley was the fact that the latest R8 supercar was also on the drive. A bunch of fortunate journalists got to try each car over a length of the journey and I spent my first stint in the gorgeous R8.
Compare the S7 with almost any other 4-door sedan or coupe on the market at any price and the four circles indicate the winner. It’s a knockout.
I have already given the A7 in 3.0 TFSI quattro guise a rave review, but that car had a generous 220 kW of power not 309. Yes, that’s 309 kW backed by 550 Nm of torque (ed. That’s 414 hp and 4.6 ft lbs of torque for the rest of us.) Only a direct comparison with the R8 makes it seem sub-supersonic. In recent memory almost no 4-door car in the world could sprint from zero to 100 km/h in five seconds. The S7 needs just 4.7.
Audi looks almost certain to become the world’s biggest seller of luxury cars. The range is extraordinary. I could hardly believe that all I had to type was “Audi S7” because that’s it, just the single variant!
The S7 shares its mechanicals with the S6 sedan as the A7 does with the A6. This car is the ultimate 6/7 offering, but is so capable that the $200K pricetag seems reasonable.
Check out those 20-inch alloy wheels and how well they fill the guards. Does any other German sports luxury sedan have quite such a wide stance and such a hunkered down look, combined with what I would call sheer beauty?
The interior is almost as impressive. Bespoke Valcona leather (see image) sets the S6/S7 apart, echoing the R8.
The S7 is a 4-seater. But doesn’t it cosset those lucky occupants!
Where A7 buyers have to be careful with the extensive options list, the 50 S7s on offer locally (with a matching supply of S6s) are highly specified. In fairness, at $200K you’d expect that.
Bose sound, digital television, the aforementioned sumptuous and visually appealing Valcone leather, Renn Sport air suspension, head-up display, an electric glass sunroof, Quattro sports differential, LED lights and automatic cylinder de-activation are all standard.
The S7 doesn’t merely pack the kit, it packages it magnificently. This car is just lovely.
Despite having seats for just four, it is an astonishingly spacious 2-seater because luggage volume is 1390 litres with the rear seatbacks folded.
The biggest downside is the absence of a fifth 20-inch wheel but packaging one would be a challenge!
Performance & Economy
This is an all-new 4.0-litre V8 equipped with twin turbochargers and, as I have said, cylinder de-activation.
You never sense the moment when the S7 stops running on all eight and switches to four but it’s a major reason why this so-fast sports car has an official fuel economy figure of 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres (24.5 mpg.) That puts it in close company with 6-cylinder Commodores, Falcons and Aurions (it’s an Aussie thing.)
Audi’s 7-speed S-tronic gearbox (yes, it’s a DSG but Volkswagen has the rights to that acronym) works almost seamlessly, although these dual-clutch gearboxes (manuals disguised as autos and with no third pedal) can be a little hesitant when manoeuvring in tight situations.
The 309 kW is available from 5500 rpm through to 6400, while peak torque of 550 Nm (and this I think is the major contributor to that 4.7 zero to 100 km/h time) cuts in at 1400 rpm and remains on duty until 5200.
Ride & Handling
This does feel like a big car on tight roads and perhaps you’d rather be punting the TT RS Plus under such conditions but on a track it would be astonishingly quick.
The quattro all-wheel drive system is extremely advanced but the S7 still feels like a car where the front wheels have more influence on the handling. Much of that is due to weight distribution, because Quattro sends the power where it’s most needed.
Thanks to the Renn Sport air suspension, the ride is always good and with the drive select system set to ‘Comfort’ it approaches plush.
You’ll need to engage ‘Dynamic’ to get the steering feel enthusiasts want and it remains the case that Audis without this feature, e.g. the TT RS Plus, continue to lack sufficient heft at the rim.
There is even an ‘Individual’ mode in drive select and I tended to set everything on ‘Dynamic’ except the suspension because we weren’t on a track.
This is an extremely fast car and always feels big. While great on any road it really demands a racetrack to show its prodigious best.
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This article was proudly researched and written by Shaun Mcgowan a writer from carloans.com.au blog.