THE AUDI S7 BOTH COMFORTS AND EXCITES
Audi didn’t invent the four- door coupé but it has certainly perfected it. The company seems to have targeted the market and the other manufacturers seem to have not noticed. Add to that its S and RS engines and bodywork and Audi is making hay whilst the sun shines.
The coupé trend was started by Mercedes, with its original banana-shaped CLS, the four-door coupé market has boomed and for good reason. The design is extremely practical and yet still provides the sporty look that many people are ultimately looking for.
But I’m still a bit old school. In my mind, a coupé should have two doors, though even I have to admit that, as I slide into the leatherclad rear of the cleverly designed Audi S7, I can see the merits of this strange quirk of the car industry.
The 7 range is based on the A6, so is similar in size, albeit with a lower roofline. There is, however, plenty of headroom and leg room, so it’s hard to see why anyone would go for the standard saloon, unless they’re a basketball player.
To look at, the S7 is imposing, although not a pretty car. It’s mean and tough, rather than soft and smooth. Perhaps sleek is a good word? It’s certainly a head-turner, and across a wide spectrum, from teenagers to old people. Audi’s design team seem to have nailed general appeal without losing an edge. Clever.
Inside, it’s the usual story. I’ve said it many times before, but I’ll repeat myself yet again; amongst its rivals Audi has by far the best interiors on the market. It’s clever, well-thought-out and looks a million dollars. The quality of the materials and the way it’s bolted together is incredible. You work out what’s where in seconds and everything falls to hand in a logical way. There’s nothing I would change.
The roof doesn’t impinge on rear headroom as badly as you’d think, although getting in and out is, of course, not as easy as in an S6. In the rear, there’s an incredibly wide, but shallow boot.
One issue is the lack of a rear wiper on the gently sloping rear screen. I left the car parked under a tree and after a rain shower in the night, I couldn’t see out the back.
The back end is topped off with a deployable wing, stowed in the top edge of the boot lid. You can actually raise it all the time using a button on the dash, but I have no idea why you’d want to pretend you’re going fast, when everyone can clearly see you are not.
On the road, the engine is more than powerful enough for anyone, with the 100 kmph mark coming up in just 4.7 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 kmph, but it feels like the S7 is capable of so much more.
But it’s the torque that really grabs you. The S7 feels like it could pull an oil tanker and not break a sweat. It’s also neatly spread through the rev range, making it versatile and entertaining. That’s important, especially with the number of luxury cars on the market today that deliver a dull driving experience.
The gearbox is smooth and precise, without the hunting many other cars suffer from. Reverse is the key let down. It takes an age to select reverse, which is not good when you are doing a three-point turn and people are waiting to get by.
The suspension is true Audi, stuck to the road with a very large tube of Super Glue. Nothing phases it, regardless of the surface, although it does tend to track into worn grooves left by trucks and the like, probably due to its wide tyres.
The brakes are extremely effective, giving you the confidence to push on, knowing you’ll be able to bring the big car to a stop in short measure. Audi really has got its braking spot-on, as I’ve yet to drive one that doesn’t have great stopping power.
The S7 is sleek and cool in equal measure, plus it’s composed and sure-footed on the
road. You also get that Audi build quality that really sets it apart from some of its rivals. It all feels so solid and built to last. There’s no wobbly switchgear or poor trim. Even the doors shut with a reassuring ‘thunk’.
In short, it’s everything you will have come to expect from big Audis. It’s more brutish than the S5, which is neater and more resolved rear end, but for everyday use, the S7 ticks every single box.