Favorite driver's magazines

Audi A7/S7

Sleek and chic.

You don’t buy an A7 for rational reasons; it’s mechanically identical to an A6 but costs thousands more. With the A7, it’s all about the design. This low-slung machine is visually arresting. That radically sloping rear end hides a practical hatchback, so there’s an extra measure of utility, but the rear seats are much more intimate than those of the traditionally shaped A6. Standard rear seating is for two; a set of seatbelts for the middle position can be had, but that hardly makes the middle position any more habitable. Otherwise, this interior mirrors that of the A6, and a finely crafted cabin it is. The infotainment system can incorporate Google Earth images and uses Audi’s touch pad, which allows you to spell out navigation destinations with your finger (this is not only cool but also less distracting than other methods). Because the A7 is a more upscale offering than the A6, there’s no four-cylinder engine here, and Quattro is standard. The supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 and a velvet-smooth eight-speed automatic are sufficient to shoot this gorgeous missile from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. If that’s not quick enough, there’s the new S7, with a twin-turbocharged V-8, a quicker-shifting seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox with shift paddles, and an upgraded chassis. Do you need the S7? No. But might you want it? Oh, yeah.

COMPETITORS

BMW 5-series GT

Jaguar XF

Mercedes-Benz CLS-class

Porsche Panamera

new for 2013

In addition to the new S7, there are minor updates to the standard A7. Auto stop/start helps save a bit of fuel in the city; lane-keep assist is now available; a corner-view camera helps when pulling out from between cars; and a third seatbelt is available for the rear seat.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; and ABS are standard. Rear side air bags, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, a corner-view camera, adaptive headlights, Audi Pre Sense Plus, lane-keep assist, and infrared night vision with pedestrian detection and a head-up display are optional.

MPG

CITY 17–18

HWY 27–28

PRO

Stunning good looks

Speedy new S7

Hatchback usability

CON

Rear-seat space

Options can send the price soaring

Base Price: $60,995–$79,695

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: 3.0T A7 Premium, 3.0T A7 Premium Plus, 3.0T A7 Prestige, 4.0T S7 Prestige

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 4- or 5-passenger

ENGINES: 3.0L supercharged V-6, 310 hp, 325 lb-ft

4.0L twin-turbo V-8, 420 hp, 406 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 7- or 8-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 94.3 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 24.5 cu ft

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