From £64,065
Hot version of Audi's luxury liftback is fast, inert, easy to live with – exactly what you’d expect

Our Verdict

Audi S7

The Audi S7 has pace, refinement and quality, but lacks ultimate feedback

  • First Drive

    Audi S7

    Hot version of Audi's luxury liftback is fast, inert, easy to live with – exactly what you’d expect

What is it?

It’s the Audi S7 which, alongside the Audi S6 and Audi S8, is arriving in the UK as I write. All three share the same base engine: a twin-turbo V8 that replaces the V10 in the old S6 and S8. The ‘7’ doesn’t have a natural predecessor because it’s a new model but, as you’d expect given its architecture, it shares more with the S6 than the S8.

That means the 4.0-litre engine under its nose develops 414bhp and drives through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox in a car that, on the EU’s official set of scales, tips at just over two tonnes. A liberal dousing of interior carbonfibre makes no difference to anything but aesthetics.

That’s a lot of weight, then, despite some aluminium in the body, but you’d expect that. The S7 carries a lot of kit, I suppose; quattro with a self-locking centre diff is standard, as is a sports rear differential with torque vectoring, which we know makes a big difference to the RS5’s agility. 

What's it like?

Well, there’s no point kidding you: the S7 drives as you’d probably expect. Agility isn’t high on its attributes list, and nor is interaction or engagement, but rapid ground-covering pace it has in spades. It has plenty of oomph for the road, too, with lots of low-end torque and decent response (although the engine note is so muted you only seem to hear it at full chat), while getting close to 30mpg, thanks to occasional cylinder shutdown. I saw high 20s on a mixed route.

The S7 is air sprung and, depending on how you set up its dampers via the MMI system’s astonishingly comprehensive stages of tune (steering, engine/gearbox response, dampers and more are all adjustable), the S7’s ride ranges from rubbish to acceptable. 

There’s a little bit of tyre noise, too, but otherwise in its softest spring setting the S7 is a capable car that’s easy to get along with. Our test example came with Dynamic Steering, an expensive option that quickens the rack at low speed (to as little as two turns lock to lock at a standstill). A lot of drivers find these counter-intuitive but, to be honest, I don’t mind them so much. In this case, it’s not like you’re missing out on a great deal with the standard rack.

Should I buy one?

Maybe. The Audi is a bit of a blunt instrument, fast and un-furious, but it was never going to be anything else. Nor does it pretend to be. We’d always look to recommend something with a superior dynamic repertoire, but heck, if the S7 sounds like your thing, fill your boots.

Audi S7

Price £61,995; 0-62mph 4.7sec; Top speed 155mph (limited); Economy 29.4mpg; CO2 225g/km; Kerb weight 2020kg; Engine V8, 3993cc, twin-turbo, petrol; Power 414bhp at 6400rpm; Torque 406lb ft at 1400rpm; Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

Join the debate

Comments
16

26 July 2012

Still love it. Best car i will probably ever own.

seb

26 July 2012

A very honnest review, Volskwagen didn't give out free meals this time?

 

26 July 2012

Why don't they get it?,three words, agility, interaction or engagement,that's the testers opinion, and i having no access to all todays new cars have to take his word, oh, and a few other note scribes also,sort these three areas,and we have........?

Peter Cavellini.

26 July 2012

Autocar wrote:

2020kg

This makes the new M5 seem light. Shockingly overweight.

26 July 2012

This S7 is much faster than factory promise. 0-62 mph 4.2 secons, by autobild.

And think guys, Audi S6 is much faster than the S7. So it can hits 0-62 mph 4.1-4.0 seconds. And i can imagine how fast a new Audi RS6 will be, and the RS7.

http://i1244.photobucket.com/albums/gg566/DeDeGCF/AutoBild%20-%20Scans/AutoBild%20-%20Audi%20S7%20Sportback/autobild_-_audi_s7_sportback.jpg

26 July 2012

I'm not a fan.

Oh and I still prefer saloons to hatchbacks in cars of this size.

26 July 2012

Overdrive wrote:

Oh and I still prefer saloons to hatchbacks in cars of this size.

Why?  What advantage does a saloon have over a hatchback in "cars of this size"? A hatchback is rigid enough, equally handsome (MORE handsome in my view), and you don't have to sacrifice as much practicality.

(TBH, I struggle to see the point of saloons at all.) :~

26 July 2012

Audi_A5 wrote:

Overdrive wrote:

Oh and I still prefer saloons to hatchbacks in cars of this size.

Why?  What advantage does a saloon have over a hatchback in "cars of this size"? A hatchback is rigid enough, equally handsome (MORE handsome in my view), and you don't have to sacrifice as much practicality.

(TBH, I struggle to see the point of saloons at all.) :~

Two reasons, to my eyes for cars of this size saloons look better and although hatchbacks nowadays can hardly be called unrigid, the fact that saloons are more rigid still, they are that little bit better to drive and and more refined.

And in terms of practicality, sure you'd have more room in the hatches on the very odd occassion (for most people) when you fold up the rear seats, otherwise there is very little difference in boot size.

I do prefer hatchbacks in Golf sized cars though.

26 July 2012

are more car manufacturers going to get the message that making cars fat and grossly over-wheight is not the way forward. Colin Chapman and Gordon Murray can surely not be the only ones to understand?

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

26 July 2012

This is a really dull car. It's far too heavy as well.

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