Over the course of a few days at last week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi managed to release its entire S line-up, breaking cover on the new S6, S7 Sportback, and top-of-the-line S8.
The middle of that pack is the S7 Sportback, which is the sports version of the A7 Sportback released only a year ago. With the onus on improved performance compared to its A7 counterpart, the S7 Sportback offers an entirely new engine that can also be found on the new Bentley Continental .
Aesthetic changes made on the S7 Sportback compared to the A7 are minimal, but with a new 4.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 420 horsepower - a noticeable increase from the 296-horsepower output of the top-end A7 Sportback - that hardly seems to matter. There are enough added horses on the S7 Sportback to take the A7’s performance capabilities to a whole new level. After all, that’s what Audi’s ’S-program’ is all about: take the whole line-up and ratchet up the power to havoc-wreaking circumstances.
Updated 05/02/2012: Audi has unveiled a new promo video for the S7 Sportback presenting the car in action on the streets of Munich for the first time.
Find out more about the Audi S7 Sportback after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
There weren’t a lot of exterior and interior upgrades done on the S7 Sportback compared to its A7 Sportback counterpart. Among the subtle changes include a new bespoke front grille, a redesigned front bumper, new side sills, a new rear bumper that can fit both a diffuser and quad tail pipes, and a set of 19" wheels with an option of upgrading to a 20" set.
Inside, the whole scale of technological goodies housed in the A7 Sportback also make their appearance in the S7 variant. Notable changes for the latter’s interior include new sport seats dressed in Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, a new three-spoke steering wheel, and plenty of decorative trims that do enough to differentiate the sports version of the A7.
Whereas the Audi A7 Sportback is powered by a number of engines, including a 3.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 296 horsepower and 324 lb/ft of torque, the S7 Sportback will carry a new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged TFSI V8 engine that produces an output of 420 horsepower and 406 lb/ft of torque. This will leave it with a 0-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
The engine is then mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission while running on Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Incidentally, the new S7 Sportback’s powertrain can also be found on the new S6 , as well as the new Bentley Continental line-up.
Suspension and Brakes
The Audi S7 Sportback carries an adaptive air suspension sport whereas braking comes in the form of large internally ventilated brake discs on both the front and rear of the car. For an added price, customers can also choose carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs.
No word yet on the price for the 2012 S7 Sportback, but seeing as the A7 Sportback carries a $59,250 price tag, expect it to hit further north of the $70,000 mark.
When compared to the new Mercedes CLS-Class , the conundrum surrounding the S7 Sportback is that it carries more performance against the standard model. That, however, changes when AMG gets involved in the latter. The CLS63 AMG features a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 engine that will deliver a total of 518 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque. A far cry from the S7’s 420 HP V8 engine.
Meanwhile the top-end CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY is more around the S7 Sportback’s wheelhouse, courtesy of its 408-horsepower V8 engine. Top speed only hits 130 mph compared to the electronically limited 155 mph top speed of the S7 Sportback.
In terms of design, we’ll give the slight nudge to the CLS-Class because it just looks sportier and more aggressive than the luxury-inspired S7 Sportback. Not to say that the S7 Sportback doesn’t look good because it most certainly does; we just prefer one over the other.
- New engine
- Still looks like a winner
- Not a lot of aesthetic upgrades
- Competition is stiff
- Pricing has yet to be announced