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Audi delivers on its sports hatchback promise

The 2013 Audi S7 - the "sports" version of the already impressive A7 - is a car that brings an amazing level of performance, power and prestige without sacrificing the balance of comfort and convenience.

The 2013 Audi S7 - the "sports" version of the already impressive A7 - is a car that brings an amazing level of performance, power and prestige without sacrificing the balance of comfort and convenience.

While the cosmetic changes that separate the A7 from the S7 are subtle, the extra oomph that the S7 brings to the table in the form of horsepower is significant and impressive indeed.


The 2013 Audi S7 delivers superb performance, but it can also help you run your "normal chores" - thanks to a functionality that can also impress.

Some may not be fans of what could be described loosely as a luxury hatchback (at least in terms of the basic architecture sense), but this is by far the best looking example available.

And, while looks go a long way in this segment, a dash of practicality can also sweeten the package. In the looks department, S models are dressed with a unique version of Audi's single-frame grill, plus aero treatments on the front fascia and down the sides.

Black brake calipers, aluminium optic side mirrors, grey rear diffuser, quad polished exhaust tips and V8T fender badges are also featured on this model.

Having said that, you really have to spend some time behind the wheel to get a true sense of what makes the S7 an S7.

Essentially, that means better steering feel and flatter handling, to name just some of the "upgrades."

And of course, there's the out-of-this-world power upgrade thanks to the turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with cylinder deactivation.

This is the same engine found in the Bentley Continental GT but output here is 420-hp and 405 ft-lbs of torque - slightly detuned from the Bentley version.

All S7's feature the most advanced quattro all-wheel-drive system available. It has an active rear differential which 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 complete the package.


When set to dynamic, Audi's Drive Select system firms up the suspension settings and adds more responsive, weighted steering. It also quickens the throttle response, and with the pedal is pushed to the floor, the S7's rear biased all-wheel drive system instantly hooks up and propels you forward.

It takes only 4.7 seconds to reach 100 km/ h, which is almost a full second better than the A7 with the top engine. Things are stable the whole way up to its 250-kilometre top speed with firm shifts from the seven-speed dual clutch transmission, accompanied by a ferociously pleasant exhaust note.

As fun as all that is, the S7 is just as entertaining to drive at normal, going-to-work pace. The cylinder-on-demand system is virtually undetectable thanks to active engine mounts that quell vibrations. The S7 even has noise cancellation inside the cabin that eliminates any audible clues. The big advantage of this system is it helps improves fuel economy ratings to 12.7L/100km city and 8.3L/100km highway.


What really stands out about the 2013 Audi S7 is the sheer quality of the interior. It's just extremely well made and the stunning interior design gives it a unique "flavour."

It's the same gorgeous interior as found in the A7, although updates like Valcona leather seats with cross stitching makes the S7 distinct. The S-sport steering wheel with alu-minium shift paddles, unique grey instrument cluster, aluminium pedals, and illuminated S7 labelled door sill plates also make the interior feel special.

But as mentioned, the S7 isn't only about image, it's also practical. Being a liftback means easy access to the trunk, and while it might not be very deep, it goes back a long way. Of course, you can always fold down th rear seats if you need to carry larger items.

Sitting in the rear, the S7 feels quite spacious. There's plenty of knee room, and despite its sloping roof line, headroom is fine for all but the tallest people.

The S7 is also a highly functional car, as well, with Audi's intuitive MMI interface standard along with features like Bluetooth and a DVD player. But you do have to pay a price for such features and the S7 costs $20,000 more than the base A7.

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