Not only can the S7 please enthusiast drivers with its fluid responses and beastly power, it also hides hatchback versatility under its swept-back design. A 450-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 powers all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; an adjustable suspension offers settings to suit every mood. To top it off, the S7’s chic interior and a long list of available tech and infotainment options can make the cabin a comfortable, luxurious place to be while eating up the miles.
The Audi S7 gives such a great first impression that it could sell shares in Halliburton to Bernie Sanders. It’s exceptionally handsome, as any executive-class four-door ought to be, and it feels like an ingot on wheels. It will recalibrate a driver’s sense of what the words “solidity” and “responsiveness” can mean in a $90,000 luxury sedan.
Compared with the 2013 S7 we ran through a 40,000-mile long-term test, the 2016 edition tested here has gained 30 horsepower for a total of 450 from the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. That’s still a lower state of tune than in other applications (500 horsepower in the Bentley Flying Spur and 560 in the Audi RS7), although it has the same output in the more conventional S6 sedan.
We already were fans of Audi’s MMI infotainment and telematics system and its integration with the large driver-information panel between the speedo and the tach. These have both been updated—4G LTE connectivity, Apple Siri Eyes Free integration, and web radio streaming are new—while the rest of the cabin offers fresh trim options (our test car had carbon fiber). The quilted-leather environs were assembled to Audi’s usual high standard.
Power to Spare
With the extra ponies, this 2016 model shaves 0.4 second off the zero-to-60-mph time, but only in comparison to our long-termer when it was similarly new. After 40,000 miles, that car could edge the 2016’s 3.9-second run to 60, both employing the built-in launch control. We can’t say how this one would fare after similar break-in, but it’s basically a dead heat to 100 mph and through the quarter-mile in the low 12s. There has been no change in peak torque, but in the 2016 car the power plateaus 300 rpm higher in the rev band. Crossing our scales at 4508 pounds, this test car was 49 pounds heavier than the 2013 example, a negligible one percent change.
Its track numbers reflect performance ability beyond what most drivers can use in daily driving. If speed is the object (and money isn’t one), there’s always the more raucous RS7 to consider, although our Lightning Lap experience suggests that those seeking a track-day companion ought to keep shopping. These are large, roomy, luxurious cars that do a lot of things well, including going fast, but the mass alone should warn off the boy-racers.
The 2018 Audi S7 offers outstanding style and technology both inside and out. See interior & exterior photos. 2018 Audi S7 New features complemented by a lower starting price and streamlined packages. The mid-size 2018 Audi S7 offers a complete lineup with a wide variety of finishes and features, two conventional engines.
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