Last weekend I finally got my chance to get behind the wheel of some real German power. I’ve gotta say, I am incredibly impressed.
As the title implies, this was obviously a four year old pre-owned model that I got to drive, but it still felt brand new. Everything on the interior felt like it was designed with the finer things in mind, but also with enough sporting touches that you knew there was something else to this beautiful machine. The leather seats, while extremely comfortable and beautifully stitched, also had a fair amount of bolstering to you keep you secure when putting power down in a corner. The wheel felt masterfully crafted and fully fitting of a luxury car, but also had the perfect 9-3 hand positioning. It is a car not only meant to be driven to your fancy job in the big city, but also tearing up country roads and dominating track days.
The exterior is the standard Audi design, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. It is mostly identical to the design of the 2015 A7 (which is also gorgeous), with the exception of the subtle S7 badging on the front grille and rear trunk/boot. While the badging is small, it definitely gives it enough of a difference to stand out as something special, even from a distance.
While I could talk about the S7’s fantastic interior and exterior styling all day (and probably will in my free time), we should really get to the most important aspect of the car, which is of course, the driving. I didn’t expect the S7 to be a slouch, since it has a reputation as an all-wheel drive powerhouse, but I don’t think I had a full respect of what the car was easily able to achieve. That situation was rectified as soon as I pushed the throttle to the floor.
With 450 horsepower and 406 ft-lbs of torque coming from its twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8, the S7 was able to aggressively push to 60 mph in around four seconds, all while keeping its composure. The twin-turbo V8 wouldn’t mean much without Audi’s seven-speed DSG transmission smoothly, yet aggressively putting that power down. It is part of what brings the power picture together, and makes the combination of the sound and perfect power application an absolutely intoxicating experience that lures you into pushing it as hard as you can in the straights.
The beauty of the S7 isn’t just from straight line speed though, but from how it allows you to power through corners effortlessly with full confidence in the car’s ability. While I consider myself somewhat experienced to spirited driving and taking corners at higher speeds, the S7’s cornering ability impressed me even more than I thought it would. The S7 is not only able to carry a fair amount of speed through corners without braking, but is also able to push through those corners with a significant amount of power if you so desire. I had some fun experimenting with that by cornering as a luxury car driver and as a sport car driver. The S7 not only delivers on both, but absolutely excels.
Throughout my time driving the car, ride comfort wasn’t something I actually thought about, purely because I had no reason to really think about it. Generally when I’m thinking about ride comfort (or lack thereof), it is because I’m driving something that feels like a space shuttle re-entering the atmosphere every time it hits a pothole. During my drive, it never felt like I was driving anything other than a fast and angry cloud. I know the road we took had potholes and divots. I just didn’t feel them.
Now, if this was a new car, this is probably where I’d wrap my review up with some line about this being the gentleman’s race car, which it most certainly is to me, but this isn’t a new car. This is a pre-owned model, so we get to cover the best part of this particular car: the price.
This S7 is a pre-owned model that was found at Huber Motor Cars in Fredericksburg, VA, and is still for sale at the time of this article’s publishing. Much like other luxury cars, this S7 has depreciated a fair bit. The 2015 S7 had an original MSRP of $83,500, but after four years and 58,000 miles on it, the price on this S7 has dropped to $42,000. This about fits into the market value of other S7s and sort of makes it seem like pretty fair bargain for German performance.
Based on my time with the S7 (and not the “pros and cons” of ownership) I’d say it is well worth the money for a German performance vehicle. You’re getting the best of modern sport, tech, and comfort, without paying the new car premium. Plus, the S7 is just an extremely fun car to drive, and in all honesty, that’s all I really give a f@#k about.