“2013 Audi S7: An exhilarating performer”
Most luxury and performance oriented auto manufacturers produce models that fall into different levels based upon purpose. Within Audi’s portfolio, there exists a model hierarchy. “A” prefix vehicles represent practicality, function and luxury, while “S” designated vehicles serve up higher levels of performance than those in the “A” stable; “R” designated vehicles are high end performers; and the “RS” family of vehicles delivers heightened performance to a level of competitive capability derived from race-bred engineering.
“S” models showcase a stepped up ability and attitude, both visually and realistic terms, without sacrificing any comfort, convenience or functionality. Audi of America recently staged a product launch, displaying the top three “S” model vehicles – theS6, S7 and S8.
All three “S” models draw their motive force from a 4.0 TFSI direct-injection twin turbocharged V8 engine. The S6 and S7 sedan’s engines are virtually the same, producing 420 horsepower in a range between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm, while generating 406 pound feet of torque in a range from 1,400 to 5,200 rpm. Both vehicles are capable of moving from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The S6 and S7 engines feature specific air intakes, cylinder heads, turbochargers, engine management and covers.
The S8’s engine cranks out an additional 100 horses at 520 from 6,000 to 6,400 rpm along with 481 pound feet of torque from 1,700 to 3,500 rpm. The S8 travels from 0-60 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds with the same top speed limitation. The additional power output for the S8 is made possible by a larger crankshaft, larger internal turbocharger turbines, different cylinder heads and pistons, and a different bore and stroke.
Engine energy is transferred through an electronically controlled seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. All three S models feature torque-vectoring, which modulates energy to specific wheels as needed.
In terms of design, Audi’s S7 creation, which we’ll deal with here, breaks new ground, while representing the next evolution of Audi design. The 2013 Audi S7 blends the emotional appeal of a coupe with the luxury and prestige of a sedan, but with the functionality and versatility normally only found in a wagon. The S7 is a sleekly profiled four-door sedan – make that five- door sedan, as the rear is actually in the form of a hatch that is positioned atop a sporty, lightweight chassis, and powered by the highly efficient 4.0-liter supercharged V8. The S7’s wheelbase measures 114.7- inches, and the overall length stretches to 195.6-inches. Add the 84.2-inch width (with mirrors) and its 55.9-inch height and you come up with an elegant and spacious package.
The roofline is low, with a gracefully arched greenhouse and integrated rear doors, projecting a coupe-like silhouette. The frameless door windows and side mirrors further enhance the coupe-like form; with the “C”-pillar stretching rearward and flowing into the shoulder character line. The sharp “tornado line begins forward at the headlamps, extending across the fenders, over the doors, and terminating in a soft slope toward the taillamps. The overall effect pays homage to the 1969 Audi 100 Coupe S. Audi’s signature Singleframe? grille is contoured at the hood’s leading edge, featuring a chrome surround framing the high-gloss black lattices with chrome accents. The wide, low air inlets and horizontal struts, along with the fascia’s horizontal posture, emphasize the car’s width.
In addition to the 18 LEDs in the daytime running lights and the 11 LEDs utilized in the turn signals – two powerful LED units comprise both the low and high beam headlamps on both sides. An optional adaptive lighting system modifies the illumination level. An integrated rear spoiler deploys at 80 mph and retracts at 50-mph. Dual chrome exhaust outlets blend into the rear fascia and hint at the car’s performance capability. An optional Prestige Package enhances the dynamic appeal of the S7 with redesigned front and rear bumpers featuring air inlet grilles and extended rocker sills, along with a platinum gray diffuser insert.
The unique S model Singleframe? grille with double horizontal chrome struts, flanked by larger, lower side apron air intakes with horizontal bars. Side mirrors are executed in aluminum-optic and the rocker panels are S specific. In the rear, an integrated lip spoiler appears on the short deck lid, and a lower platinum gray diffuser displays quad (twin dual) exhaust pipes with chrome finished tips and a chrome trim horizontal bar visually connecting them.
The four-door, five-passenger sedan exhibits a long, low and sleek profile. emphasizing the car’s elegant, yet sinister stance. The S7 rides on 19-inch standard alloy wheels shod with low profile performance rubber or optional 20-inch alloys. Brake calipers are painted Black with an S7 emblem and a V8 T badge appearing on the front fenders and grille.
Moving to the interior, there is an S7 specific gray instrument cluster with white needles and emblem, a three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with contrast stitching, aluminum pedals and aluminum finish, wheel-mounted shift paddles. The starter button appears on the right side of the console with a red ring and gear selector lever executed in leather and chrome. Carbon Atlas upper is optionally available and the S seats are diamond stitched leather front and rear. Progressive technology includes Audi MMI? Navigation plus and Audi connect with Google? Local Search. Also included is Audi Drive Connect which allows the driver to set up the car’s performance and ride characteristics to his or her own taste and driving style.
My test 2013 Audi?S7 hatchback sedan sported a Glacier White metallic exterior and a Black interior with Carbon Atlas (faux Carbon Fiber) trim accents and inserts. The base price was set at $78,800 while options such as: the paint; Driver Assistance Package with Audi Adaptive Cruise control with Stop and Go, Audi Pre-Sense Plus, Audi Side Assist and power folding exterior mirrors; LED headlights with LED daytime running lights; 20-inch alloy wheels; Carbon Atlas inlays; and Destination charge boosted the final sticker to $85,570.
SUMMARY: The S7 delivers a stellar driving experience in virtually every possible driving scenario – freeway, city, and challenging, twisty mountain roads.
All three S models are incredible performers, with the S7 being perhaps the most unusual with its unique hatchback body styling. The 2013 Audi S7 delivers an incredible balance of power and handling characteristics I experimented with the Audi Drive Connect, accessible through the MMI in all settings, and the Dynamic mode proves to be the most rewarding, when it comes to spirited driving. Shift patterns, ride quality, steering input and exhaust note all benefit from the Dynamic setting. In fact, the S7 is so efficient in shifting up and down intuitively and automatically, that to use the paddle shifters seems totally unnecessary, as I was unable to come even close to matching the car’s timing and capability. All I had to do was accelerate, brake and steer, while the car sensed what gear was needed in any given situation.
Not only is the 2013 Audi?S7 sedan a virtual projectile in the acceleration department, it is extremely comfortable and supportive while it adeptly handles road conditions with stability, positively bolstering one’s confidence, and seemingly also one’s driving ability. The S7 comes to a halt too, stopping on a dime, with change.
There’s another German auto manufacturer that claims to offer the “ultimate driving machine”, but any of the Audi S models could well negate that claim, because they delivers an ultimate level of performance and satisfaction all their own. The only shortcoming that I noted was that a second power outlet set further forward than the center console’s center storage, to facilitate a radar detector’s cord without stretching it to the limit would definitely be beneficial Given that tiny flaw, the 2013 Audi S7 is beautiful to behold, as well as sexy to boot, while executing all of its functions in good stead. It is truly an elegant and exceptional performer.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: Audi S7 quattro S tronic-2013 [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$85,570.|
|Engine Type and Size:||4.0-liter DOHC, 32-valve TFSI turbocharged V-8 with Audi cylinder on demand technology.|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||406 @ 1,400-5,200 rpm|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed S tronic with Sport program and manual shift mode.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / Quattro permanent all-wheel drive with sports differential.|
|Suspension:||Front – Five-link with stabilizer bar, Sport suspension calibration and Air suspension.
Rear – Trapezoidal-link with Sport suspension calibration and Air suspension.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated discs with ABS, EBD, ESC, BA, Audi Hill holds assist and automatic brake drying.|
|Tires:||Dunlop Sportmaxx GT 265/35 R 20 summer performance tires 9.0J x 20-inch Five- parallel-Star-spoke design alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||195.6 inches|
|Width:||84.2 inches with mirrors.|
|Curb Weight:||4,508 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||19.8 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||17 mpg city / 27 mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||4.5 seconds – Top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.|