2013 Audi S7 Review – Video

Sexier, faster and more special

2013 Audi S7 Review – Video

When Audi decided to enter the ‘four-door coupe’ market held by the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, the automaker did the unthinkable. Instead of producing a conventional four door vehicle with a trunk, Audi produced a five-door. Yes, the dreaded ‘H’ word; a hatchback.


1. The S7 is equipped with a 4.0L turbocharged V8 that produces 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.

2. Sending power to the quattro all-wheel drive system is a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

3. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

4. Priced from $78,800, our loaded up test car came in at $94,570.

A lot of Americans have yet to warm up to the idea that a hatchback can be anything other than cheap transportation. There is a reason why Mercedes-Benz keeps the B-Class out of the US market and why the BMW 318ti never had a successor (though in that car’s case the styling might be more to blame). Simply put, premium hatchbacks don’t sell. As proof, Audi’s own A3 was outsold by the more expensive, less practical BMW 1-series coupe/convertible last year.


But like Porsche did with the Panamera, Audi went ahead and created a high price, high class five-door anyway; the A7. And you know what? They may have been onto something. Last year with only a single engine option, the A7 outsold the pricier Mercedes-Benz CLS. This year, however, there is a new contender to challenge the Audi and Mercedes. BMW has entered the four-door coupe market with its 6 Series Gran Coupe. So, to remain on top, Audi is adding not one, but two new models to the A7 lineup. First, there is the S7 featured here, and later in the year there will be an AMG-fighting, 560 hp RS7.

2013-Audi-S7-Exterior (27).JPG

Like the recently introduced Audi S6 and S8, the S7 utilizes Audi’s new 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine that produces 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Like any good Audi, power is sent to the all-wheel drive quattro system via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The turbo V8 uses cylinder on demand technology that will shut off part of the engine under light loads to save fuel. This gives the S7 an official consumption rating of 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. After a week driving the vehicle we achieved an average of 18.6 mpg.


With 420 prancing ponies waiting to be unleashed, the S7 is a rocket. Even though it weighs 4,508 lbs., the S7 can reach 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds. But the power is not linear in its progression. The throttle is heavily delayed in response off the line, and once the engine does wake up, it feels like its producing all 420 hp right now as it launches you into the stratosphere. This forward thrust feels incredible when on boost as the car riffles through the gears quickly and quietly; too quietly in fact. Unfortunately the S7 lacks enough engine sound to back its performance. True, this isn’t a sports car, but a bit more V8 rumble wouldn’t hurt.

2013-Audi-S7-Exterior (19).JPG

Audi does offer a setting to make the engine louder, but the difference is barely audible.

With all this speed, corners approach quickly. The S7 just laughs them off though thanks to wide, 265/35R20 summer tires and, of course, Audi’s trick torque-vectoring ‘Sport’ rear differential. Point this car at a corner, hit the gas and the sport differentiate will sort its way out of the bend. That said, even with the active rear differential, the S7 lacks the sports car reflexes of the smaller S4. Chalk it up to a heavier curb weight or a more mature target audience, but the vehicle is more GT cruiser than back-road terror.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.


It’s surprising then that when it comes to relaxed driving the S7 falters, if only slightly. Even in comfort mode, the transmission is far from smooth and can be found clunking around hunting for gears. When taking your family to the local mall, the constant head bobbing caused by the jerky transmission will make other drivers think you are trying to re-enact the Bohemian Rhapsody scene from Wayne’s World.

Another gripe we couldn’t help but note was that the crash detection warning goes off more often than Gordon Ramsey during a taping of Hell’s Kitchen.

The S7 is equipped with an air suspension that has the Audi sit 10 millimeters lower than the regular A7. Not only does this improve handling, but the lower stance makes the S7 look more purposeful. It also receives a revised front grille, side sills and rear bumper as well as the addition of aluminum colored side mirrors, quad exhaust tips and gorgeous 20-inch wheels.

2013-Audi-S7-Exterior (44).JPG

From the front and side, these changes have transformed the already good looking A7 into a sexy beast. The LED headlights and big rims really set the whole design off.


Inside, it’s easy to agree that Audi has detailed the S7 properly for a vehicle costing close to $100,000. Our tester came with quilted white leather seats. Beautiful, yes; and they’re comfortable too, though we suspect keeping them clean might be less enjoyable than sitting in them.

The dashboard and center console have real carbon fiber trim, which seems to be a theme these days for any vehicle featuring a sporty demeanor. Like any Audi, the thick rimmed steering wheel itself is a great design, and feedback through it lets you know what the car is doing at all times. Still, it is not as responsive or communicative as the S4’s steering, but again, this car is more of a cruiser.

All of the other buttons and dials are premium feeling and you get the sense this car is special. But if that is not enough, Audi takes things one step further. Opt for the nearly $6,000 Bang & Olufsen sound system and the front tweeters become motorized, popping out of the dashboard every time the stereo is turned on. If that is still not enough over-the-top engineering wizardry, the infotainment screen also does a motorized dance on vehicle start-up. Sure both are unnecessarily complex items just waiting to malfunction, but touches like these remind you that you are in something high class and distinguished.

2013-Audi-S7-Interior (27).JPG

But wait, Audi is not done yet. To impress upon fellow country club members that the S7 is not some cheap hatchback, high-tech features like night vision and factory-installed wireless Internet are even available.

See Also: 2012 Audi A7 Prestige Review

And finally, there’s the rear liftgate. It adds a dose of practicality not found on its competitors and allows the Audi to hold 24.5 cu-ft of cargo. As well, there are convenient tie-down loops within the cargo hold to ensure larger items do not smash the sidewall trim to pieces. With 37-inches of legroom, the rear seats can accommodate two adults (the car is only a four-seater), but it’s not exactly spacious. There is a surprising amount of headroom back here though considering the sloping roof line.

The S7 starts at a price of $78,800, which is slightly higher than the Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 4MATIC but significantly cheaper than the BMW 650i Gran Coupe xDrive. After adding options like the Innovation package, 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, and the destination charge, our test car came in at $94,570.

2013-Audi-S7-Exterior (42).JPG


Like the 650i Gran Coupe and CLS550, this is more of a stylish, fast luxury car than a sporty special. That said, by using ‘A’ for regular models and ‘S’ for upgraded models, Audi does a great job differentiating its trim and price levels. It makes the S7 seem more unique, though if you want real performance, that RS7 will arrive soon.

In the mean time, the A7 family continues to outsell both the CLS and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe in the United States. So it appears a luxury hatchback can sell in America. It just has to be unique, look good and go fast.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked