Audi's family of S-branded sporty sedans, coupes, and convertibles has greatly expanded over the course of the last several years, with almost every member of the Audi lineup having gained its own high performance S variant. The 2013 Audi S7 is no exception, bringing fresh verve to the very well-received A7's portfolio and introducing a robust competitor in a segment where very few upstarts have been able to challenge the dominance of Mercedes-Benz, which pioneered the segment almost ten years ago.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Audi S7.
The 2013 Audi S7's long, flowing lines are stretched back over a four-door design that features a sloped roof intended to call to mind the proportions of a two-door coupe. The four-door coupe template has been experimented with across both the passenger car and crossover segments, but few have managed to refine it to the degree that the Germans have. The Audi S7 is a perfect case in point, a gorgeous piece of steel and glass that not only offers comfortable interior accommodations but also provides the practicality of a rear cargo hatch - a rarity in a large mid-size car.
02. The 2013 Audi S7 Puts Unique Styling Cues On Display
The 2013 Audi S7 manages to dial up the attention that the A7 already receives thanks to a host of tweaks that have been made to its exterior design. Optional 20-inch rims give the Audi S7 additional road presence, and peeking out from behind their spokes are either a set of brake calipers bearing the S7 brand, or trick carbon ceramic units that are also available with the car. Out back a quad exhaust system separates the S7's rear fascia from that of the A7, while a number of shiny aluminum accents festoon the front, back, and sides of the car in order to keep it in line with Audi's traditional S looks.
03. The 2013 Audi S7 Features A Twin-Turbo V-8
The 2013 Audi S7 is motivated by a 4.0-liter V-8 engine mated to a pair of turbochargers. Working together with an intercooler to keep the temperature of the air charge as low as possible, the setup delivers a healthy 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, which is a significant increase over the most potent power plant available in the Audi A7. The Audi S7's engine is claimed to be the most compact twin-turbo eight-cylinder mill on the market, a feat made possible by tucking the turbos between the two cylinder banks and stacking the intercooler on top of engine itself.
04. The 2013 Audi S7 Comes With An Advanced Transmission
The 2013 Audi S7 is offered exclusively with a dual-clutch, seven-speed automated manual transmission. This unit functions like a traditional automatic when the gear selector is set to D, allowing for casual cruising on the highway and easy handling of stop and go traffic. Engaging the vehicle's steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, however, allows the driver to choose each gear ratio individually in sequence, with each cog available at a speed far more rapid than what could be accomplished with an old-school manual transmission design. Even in automatic Sport mode the Audi S7 can bang through the gears with lightning-quick accuracy.
05. The 2013 Audi S7 Is Outfitted With All-Wheel Drive
The 2013 Audi S7 features Audi's trademark quattro all-wheel drive system. Not only does quattro all-wheel drive help the Audi S7 maintain traction in foul weather (making the four-door coupe a contender for the dollars of luxury performance shoppers who live in winter climates), but it also improves the vehicle's ability to launch off of the line and maintain its grip on the pavement while cornering. It is almost impossible to break the wheels loose on the S7 no matter how out of shape one gets through the apex, and the system has been biased to provide more power to the rear wheels in order to enhance handling dynamics.
06. The 2013 Audi S7 Delivers Shocking Performance
Despite its not-insubstantial curb weight of roughly 4,400 lbs, the 2013 Audi S7 is a veritable land missile with the hammer down. Thanks to quattro and launch control system, the Audi S7 is able to smoke many of its competitors in the sprint to 60-mph, turning in a time of just 4.5 seconds. It's not just the vehicle's speed (which is limited to a lofty 155-mph) that is impressive - the efficiency of its twin-turbo V-8 engine also turns heads. Even when tasked with carting around so much weight, the 420 horsepower mill returns fuel mileage figures of 17-mpg in city driving and 27-mpg on the highway.
07. The 2013 Audi S7 Is Equipped With A Sport Differential
The 2013 Audi S7 is a capable handler, and a big part of its ability to remain cool while cornering has to do with its torque-vectoring rear differential. Called the 'Sport' differential by Audi, in the S7 it allows for engine torque to be redistributed to the wheel where it will do the most good when exiting a bend in the road, which in turn increases the stability of the coupe when the driver is on the gas. The special differential is standard with the S7, and it works together with an adjustable air suspension that can raise or lower the ride height of the car in order to further improve handling.
08. The 2013 Audi S7 Shares Lineage With The Audi S6
Audi fans will have noticed by now that the specs associated with the 2013 Audi S7 - especially as regards its drivetrain and performance technologies - are remarkably similar to the Audi S6 mid-size sedan. This is no accident, as the vehicles are essentially identical under the skin and share the same platform. The Audi S7 differs in more than just its looks, as the longer body and additional weight of the coupe's hatchback design make it somewhat portlier than the S6. With so much grunt available under the hood and with so many technological gadgets working overtime to get that power to the ground, however, the differences between the cars are largely moot out on the open road.
09. The 2013 Audi S7 Is Very Safe
Audi has done an excellent job of making sure that the 2013 Audi S7 delivers when it comes to safety as well as high performance thrills. Safety options that can be had with the Audi S7 include rear side airbags and electronic goodies such as a blind spot and lane departure warning system and a forward collision detection system that can automatically brake the car if necessary. This is on top of standard items such as electronic stability control, traction control, and a full range of airbags (dual forward airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, knee airbags, and side curtain airbags).
10. The 2013 Audi S7 Faces Off Against A Trio Of German Rivals
The 2013 Audi S7 is a clear response to the preponderance of ultra-quick four-door luxury coupes that are starting to crowd European showrooms. The most obvious competitor to the Audi S7 is the Mercedes-Benz CLS, whose base CLS550 model is exceptionally fast and which can also be had in the over-powered CLS63 AMG trim level as well. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, in 650i form, is another worthy competitor to the Audi S7, while the much more expensive Porsche Panamera is an outlier that some S7 shoppers might consider if they are willing to pay the options premium for a model as well-equipped as the Audi is out of the box.