Autos: Ruling Class

  • The S7 is one of three new S models that Audi is offering for the 2013 model year.
<< Back to Robb Report, April 2013
  • Paul Meyers

Audi evidently believes in the rule of three, which holds that it is best and most effective to present things in threes, whether they are animals in a fairy tale, clerics in a joke, or unalienable rights in a historic document. For the 2013 model year, Audi is offering new versions of three S models: the S6 and S8 sedans and the S7 four-door hatchback. Each is a high-performance variant of its corresponding A model.

The new S models are technologically innovative, impressively fast, and intoxicatingly fun. But when all three were driven along coastal and canyon roads in Southern California over the course of an eight-hour day, the $78,800 S7 proved—to borrow a phrase from "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"—just right. It represents the most balanced combination of performance, style, and everyday usability.

The S7 is powered by a 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 that produces a respectable 420 hp and 406 ft lbs of torque. The car’s interior is impeccable. It includes quilted-leather seats that seem to have been lifted from a Bentley Continental GT, and a center stack and driver displays that are perfectly positioned. Active engine mounts under the hood quash engine vibrations, and an active noise-cancellation system inside the cabin nixes unwanted sounds. The S7 also is equipped with Audi’s Multi Media Interface, which combines the car’s information and entertainment components in one operating system. Audi Connect technology includes Google Earth navigation and wireless Internet connection for as many as eight devices.

Equipped with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the S7 feels poised at all times, ready to take on harrowing corners or treacherous road conditions. The car inspires confidence in every situation, daring the driver to test its limits. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts seamlessly and swiftly in automatic mode, and it also allows the driver to select gears using the paddle shifters that are mounted to the steering wheel.

Audi has developed an engine system that enhances fuel economy without compromising the S7’s sportier characteristics—the car reaches 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. When the S7 is cruising on the highway, the engine will deactivate four of its eight cylinders, enabling the car to achieve an estimated 27 mpg.

The S7 is just the latest offering in the A7 model line. Later this year, Audi will begin delivering the new RS 7 to U.S. dealers. The arrival of this 560 hp monster should complete another trifecta for the company.

Audi, www.audiusa.com

From Around the Web...
Richard Petty
The titan of the track discusses why he won, where he competes now, and how he defines luxury…
Robb Report's Car of the Year contest ended in a tie between the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
The results mark a first in the annual event’s history and bode well for the industry…
Robb Report Car of the Year 2017
During Robb Report’s annual competition to determine which sport or luxury car best deserves to be...
More than 150 Robb Report readers convened in Napa Valley to judge 13 extraordinary automobiles…
Watch video profiles of each of the Car of the Year 2017 contenders...
The Giulia Quadrifoglio, the high-performance variant of Alfa Romeo’s new sedan, went on sale in December with a starting price of $72,000.
The top-of-the-line sedan is powered by a biturbo V-6 that churns out more than 500 hp…
The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3
Next year, the model comes with a new engine, a revised chassis, and plenty of performance…
The 2017 Ruf CTR at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show.
With 700 hp and a top speed of 223 mph, this two-door tears it up…
If the DB11 were less of a looker, it might earn more attention for being the Best-performing, best-handling Aston Martin yet
The company’s first all-new car in 13 years was worth the wait…
The Lexus LC 500 will arrive at U.S. dealerships this spring sporting a bold new look for the brand…