The 2013 Audi S7 may not be as potent as the recently introduced Audi RS5; but for the daily driving that most of us do, it’s a much better car. So, let’s find out what it takes up the “7” from an “A” to an “S”!
Well, you won’t find too many differences on the outside, which is fine by us, as it would be a real shame to mess with the 7’s beautiful lines. Some may not be fans of luxury hatchbacks, or 5-door Coupes as the Euros refer to them, but this is by far the best looking example we’ve seen.
S models are dressed with a unique version of Audi’s “Singleframe” grille with double horizontal chrome struts, plus aero treatments on the front fascia and down the sides, black brake calipers, aluminum-optic side mirrors, gray rear diffuser, quad polished exhaust tips, and V8T fender badges.
You really have to go inside and spend some time behind the wheel to get a true sense of what S is all about. And, in the S7, that means better steering feel and flatter handling.
And of course there’s more power to be had as well, thanks to a turbo-charged 4-liter V8 with cylinder deactivation, the same engine found in the Bentley Continental GT. Output here is 420-horsepower and 406 lb-ft. of torque.
All S7’s feature the most advanced quattro all-wheel-drive system with an active rear differential that not only splits torque to whichever rear wheel is demanding the most traction, but it also shifts power to the outside wheel when cornering to help you get through with less steering input.
A lowered air suspension with variable damping and bigger brakes completes package. And it’s still a heavy package, at 45-hundred pounds, despite having aluminum body panels wrapped atop its steel structure.
So, when it comes to all-out handing, The S7 is not in M5 territory, but it’s not far off either. And like most luxury sport sedans, the S7 comes with selectable driving modes. When set to Dynamic, Audi’s Drive Select system firms up the suspension settings and adds more responsive steering. It also sets throttle response to immediate.
With that throttle to the floor, the S7’s rear biased Quattro system instantly hooks up and propels you forward with some serious thrust. It takes only 4.1-seconds to hit 60 miles-per-hour…that’s over one and a half seconds better than the A7…and 12.5 to reach the end of the quarter mile at 110 miles-per-hour.
Things are smooth and stable the whole way, with nice firm shifts from the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission; and a ferociously pleasant exhaust note.
Braking performance is equally fierce, hauling this heavyweight down to a halt in a very short average of 113-feet.
As fun as all of this is, the S7 is just as entertaining to drive at a normal “going to work” pace. Our only complaint, when in full auto mode the transmission is a little jerkier than we’ve found in other Audi’s with similar trans, but it’s mostly noticeable because everything else about the driving experience is so smooth.
The V8’s Cylinder on Demand system is virtually undetectable thanks to active engine mounts that quell vibration and even noise cancellation inside the cabin that eliminates any audible clues.
And it helps improve Fuel Economy Ratings to 17-City, 27-Highway, and 20-Combined.
Still, being a big luxury car, the Energy Impact Score is only average at 16.5-barrels of oil devoured annually, while emitting 7.3-tons of CO2.
The only thing that gets emitted inside the S7’s cabin is lavishness. It’s the same gorgeous interior as the A7, only sporting great updates like super comfortable Valcona leather seats with well-done cross-stitching, an S-sport steering wheel with aluminum finish shift paddles, unique gray instrument cluster, aluminum pedals, and illuminated S7 labeled sill plates.
And it’s more than just a pretty package, it’s a highly functional one as well, with Audi’s fairly intuitive MMI interface, and goodies like onboard Wi-Fi and Google Earth mapping.
But, you do have to pay a price for such niceties, and the S7 is not exactly a performance bargain, starting just shy of the M5 at a still lofty $79,695.
It’s easy to understand why Audi is doing so well right now. They are building some incredibly nice cars. The 2013 Audi S7 may not be a hard core performance sedan, but if you’re looking for long distance comfort with a definite performance edge, wrapped in an extremely stylish and highly functional package, the S7 is clearly a great pick!
Engine: 4-liter V8
Torque: 406 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.5 seconds @ 110 mph
60-0 mph: 113 ft
EPA: 17 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 16.5 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 7.3 tons/yr