The Audi S7 Sportback is still one of the prettiest offerings from the German automaker. Sure, it seemingly offers less value than the mechanically identical Audi S6, but it also offers enough space and style to make competitors like the Porsche Panamera seem wasteful. Equipped with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, it's missing the character of the V8 of old, but its 48-volt mild-hybrid electric system makes it more economical, while an electric supercharger completely eradicates any hint of lag. But a car like this has more to offer than just 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Inside, you'll find luxurious heated seats and four-zone automatic climate control. Add to that LED taillights with animation and you get a hint of just how tech-savvy this big brute is. But is this behemoth a truly attractive proposition when the Audi RS7 exists? Let's see.
There have been quite a few tweaks and additions to the specifications of the lower-rung A7 Sportback models but this fully equipped S7 is left mostly alone for 2022. Safety is slightly improved though - rear-side airbags are no longer optional but standard from this year, and a more advanced, direct tire-pressure monitoring system is fitted. Other than that, a few changes to the available interior and exterior colors and some streamlining of the options and packages are the only other changes.
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Despite its monumental size, the S7 is incredible at powering through corners and rocketing you out the other side with minimal drama. Simply point where you want to go, bury your right foot, and hold on as the S7's quattro all-wheel-drive system finds grip where there should be none and blasts you down the road. The adaptive air suspension system keeps the car relatively flat and allows you to enjoy laidback cruises too, but there's still no getting around the sheer mass of this thing. If there were no Porsche Panamera in this world, we'd think the S7 is close to perfect, but Stuttgart has the handling thing nailed. Nevertheless, the S7 will impress even seasoned drivers and will offer a concentrated yet comfortable dose of performance as standard. Brakes are impressive too, and you don't really feel the regenerative qualities of the hybrid system intruding on your drive much. If all that doesn't sound quite good enough, an available adaptive steel suspension setup, a sport rear differential, and all-wheel steering can be specced to narrow the gap between this and the Porker. As an immensely practical, sporty, and comfortable GT, this S7 is hard to fault.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Audi S7 is a technical masterclass and an exhibition in integrating the latest and greatest technologies in an attractive and classy manner that is sure to age like a fine wine. It's one of the prettiest mass-produced cars in modern history and it manages to be fast, luxurious, practical, and rather efficient. Its numerous standard features mean that the S7 can do battle with the best that the rest of the world has to offer, while its brilliant integration of the rear hatch makes it incredibly practical too. Think of a modern feature or innovation and the S7 likely has it - as standard. However, when you're spending this much money on a car, you may yearn for a little more than just a long fact sheet detailing a list of nerdy gimmicks - whether they work or not. There's no real reason to look past this car and there's no doubt that you'll garner plenty of attention in one wherever you go. But if you care about true driver engagement and a characterful engine, we recommend sampling Munich or Stuttgart's offerings first.
We've already mentioned earlier in this review how the Porsche Panamera is a lot sharper and more exciting to drive than the S7, and that has more to do with Porsche's overall brilliance than the fact that the Panamera is available in rear-wheel-drive format. Similar to the S7, the base Panamera comes with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but here it only produces 325 hp and 331 lb-ft in torque. There's also no denying that the Porsche, although prettier than it's ever been, is still downright ugly. That fact is exacerbated when the Porker is parked next to the Audi. In addition, it offers far less cargo space behind the rear seats and it costs almost four grand more in base form. That figure rises considerably if you opt for a bigger engine or AWD. As a fun-to-drive and brilliant GT, the Porsche is not phenomenal, but the Audi is a better all-rounder.
It may seem a little unfair to pit the S7 against its big brother, but the RS7 is considerably more expensive, asking for at least $118,500 before any options are specced. Granted, it comes with a list of features that is just as long as that of the S7, but is it really worth considering when the cars are so similar? Well, they're not all that similar. Sure, they share the same basic shape but the RS7 is clearly far more muscular and brawny. In addition, it comes with an incredible 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with a similar mild-hybrid electric system. Not only does the V8 sound far better than the S7's V6, but it produces a stonking 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, the interior looks even more incredible without becoming tasteless, while the added power and other performance enhancements mean that the RS7 can get to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. It does all this while offering the luxury and practicality of the S7, so despite its lofty premium, we'd choose the RS every day.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Audi S7 Sportback: