German tuner helps unleash the full potential of the S7 (and A7)

The new year is upon us and whether you loved 2016 or not, welcoming 2017 still offers the respite of a fresh start. That attitude holds true in a lot of places, but not in the aftermarket tuning world where companies like M&D Exclusive Cardesign are just as uniquely capable of building tuning kits no matter what year it is. The German tuner shows us as much with the particularly impressive M700 tuning program for the Audi S7, which it converted into a more potent version of itself that’s capable of producing 700 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque.

You could say that it’s got the credentials to line up against the range-topping RS7, but even that wouldn’t be fair to what M&D was able to do to the S7. For one, the current version of the RS7 tops out at 597 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Second, the program also features plenty of other refinements, particularly to the sedan’s exterior and interior. And then there’s the rather boisterous livery, which the tuner says was inspired from Audi’s own racing history. Like it or not, the graphics are colorful, to say the least.

Ultimately, M&D’s program for the Audi S7 speaks to the capabilities of the sedan if its full potential is maximized. Take what you will from how the car looks (I’m personally not a fan) but you can’t deny that 700 ponies and 701 pound-feet of twist is as impressive a power bump as there is for the S7. Even better, the MD700 program actually extends to the Audi A7 so even if you don’t have the S7, this kit is still within reach, provided of course that you’re willing to let M&D work its magic on your sedan.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi S7 MD700 by M&D Exclusive Cardesign.

  • 2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign
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    2017
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Exterior

I can’t fault anyone who isn’t keen on M&D Exclusive Cardesign’s exterior work on the Audi S7. Frankly, I count myself in this group, not because I’m not a fan of the tuner’s creativity, but more because I think the program is too flamboyant for a car like the S7. It could work on a car like the S4, but not on the S7.

In any case, those who do agree with M&D’s exterior styling for the S7 will be delighted to know that the tuner went all-out in dressing up the S7, even going so far as to tap Prior Design, whose expertise in aerodynamic body kits really shone through. For this program, M&D opted to get Prior Design’s PD700R wide body kit, variants of which we’ve seen get fitted on other Audi models in the past. For the S7, the body kit is comprised of a new front bumper, an add-on spoiler, and widenings in the front section. New side skirts with its own add-on lip spoiler can be seen on the sides while the rear section of the high-performance luxury sedan is treated with a new rear bumper, a diffuser, and its own set of widenings. The result is a more robust and more aggressive-looking S7 that plays well into the engine upgrades that M&D has in store for it.

2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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The PD700R wide body kit itself is actually a good addition to the S7. Where M&D loses me is the decision to splash the car with colorful racing livery that is apparently inspired from the German automaker’s own racing history. Color me boring, but the black, red, and gray overlay graphics are a little too much for me, especially when you consider that a Prior Design-kitted Audi S7 already looks imposing enough on its own.

Fortunately, M&D also added a new set of 21-inch Rennen Forged R60 X-Concave alloy wheels wrapped in 265/30ZR21 Continental tires. They at least take some attention away from the liveries.

What other tuners have done

For some reason, neither the Audi A7 nor S7 are hot items in the aftermarket world. Sure, there have been some specialized programs in the past, but very few actually come with the same scope as the one being offered by M&D Exclusive Cardesign. Fortunately, we can always count on Audi tuner extraordinaire ABT Sportsline to have something up its sleeve when it comes to programs for the German automaker. This particular upgrade is actually compatible to S7 models dating back to 2012MY versions, but the tuner also prepared an update of its own for 2014MY models and later.

2012 Audi AS7 Sportback by ABT Sportsline High Resolution Exterior
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Note: photo of the Audi AS7 Sportback by ABT Sportsline.

The exterior upgrades aren’t much; actually, ABT only has a carbon fiber reinforced rear spoiler and fender inserts on offer for the S7. The good news is that the tuner more than makes up for it with an extensive list of wheel options, ranging from 20 to 21 inches in size and coming in a variety of colors, including Gun-Metal and Mystic Black.

At least on this section, it’s safe to say though that M&D Exclusive Cardesign’s program for the S7 is the most visually striking kit we’ve seen for the luxury sedan in recent years. You actually might have to go all the way back to the “Seven Sins” program prepared by Pogea Racing back in 2011 to get a visual upgrade that’s in the vicinity of what M&D was able to do.

2011 Audi A7 Seven Sins by Pogea Racing High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Note: photo of the Audi S7 Seven Sins by Pogea Racing

Interior

On its own, the Audi S7’s interior already looks spacious and well-endowed. That much you can at least expect from Audi and one of its most luxurious sedans. Heck, there are even optional materials like an aluminum and Beaufort walnut inlay and Valcona leather to make the cabin look and feel more high-brow. An argument can definitely be made that leaving the S7’s cabin alone is a smart choice for owners of the model.

2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Interior
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That said, those who do opt for a few upgrades here and there can still get it from M&D Exclusive Cardesign. Don’t expect any massive changes though as the tuner is only offering a sports steering wheel taken from the Audi RS7 to go with a recoded infotainment system that now allows it to function as an actual TV that passengers of the car can take full advantage.

What other tuners have done

The upgrades offered by M&D are a different approach from what we’re accustomed to with interior upgrades, specifically the recoded infotainment system. Traditional improvements are also available though and these ones, coming by way of ABT Sportsline, fit into that mold. Those who opt to get the German tuner’s AS7 tuning program stand to receive a new floor mat set, integrated entrance lights with ABT Sportsline’s own logo, a start-stop switch cap, and, well, that’s about it. The modifications are admittedly not much, but at the very least, these upgrades have always been what ABT Sportsline has offered in the past and don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Drivetrain

2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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Say what you will about M&D Exclusive Cardesign’s treatment of the S7’s exterior and interior, but you can’t deny that what it did to the sedan’s 4.0-liter bi-turbocharged V-8 engine is worthy of applause. The tuner worked up the engine with a fresh set of modifications on various areas of the engine, including the air intake path and the turbochargers themselves. Upgrades on those sections are complemented by HJS high-flow catalytic convertors, a new sport exhaust with larger downpipes, and tailpipes taken from the RS7. Add a bespoke ECU software tune and the total output ends up reaching 700 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque, a mammoth spike from the S7’s standard output of 420 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque on account of the car being a pre-facelift 2014 model.

Add a bespoke ECU software tune and the total output ends up reaching 700 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque, a mammoth spike from the S7’s standard output

M&D didn’t disclose the performance numbers of the 700-horsepower S7, but considering the massive increase in power and the standard unit’s ability to hit 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, expect the M&D-tuned S7 to cover the same speed in under four seconds before peaking at a top speed in excess of 200 mph, provided that the tuner removed the car’s speed limiter.

The final numbers are staggering by anybody’s standard. At the very least, it blows away what ABT Sportsline was able to do with the facelifted 450-horsepower S7, although it’s important to also point out that there are significant differences with the approach both tuners took.

M&D’s program is clearly more extensive, as shown by the modifications on a number of hardware components on the S7’s engine configuration. By contrast, ABT tuner only opted for software modifications through the use of its New Generation tuning module. This approach traditionally nets more conservative power gains and we see that in this example as ABT was “only” able to coax out an extra 100 horsepower from the bi-turbo V-8, thus bringing the total output to just 550 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. The gap in power is significant, but as I said, that has more to do with the actual upgrade methods than capabilities of both tuners.

So pick which one suits you best. Would you prefer M&D’s upgrade with all the hardware modifications to go with the software tune or would you prefer the more conservative approach from ABT Sportsline? It’s an easy choice on the surface, but then again, certain S7 owners want certain things out of their cars and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if some of them opt for the more controllable upgrade provided by ABT Sportsline.

In any case, check out the table below to see the power and performance differences of both programs.

Tuner Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Time Top Speed
M&D Exclusive Cardesign 700 horsepower 701 pound-feet under four seconds* over 200 mph*
ABT Sportsline 550 horsepower 501 pound-feet 4.3 seconds* 155 mph

Pricing

2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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The pricing for M&D Exclusive Cardesign’s program for the Audi S7 can go in a number of different ways depending on what a customer gets. The tuner hasn’t released the cost of availing its own upgrades, but a look at Prior Design’s website reveals that getting the PD700 kit for the S7 could go up to as high as €8,000, which converts to about $8,400 based on current exchange rates. Remember, that’s the price of the widebody kit alone so if you want the full scope of M&D’s tuning kit for the S7, prepare to shell out somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000.

On the flip side, ABT Sportsline’s New Generation tuning module for the S7 costs just €5,490. That converts to around $5,775. Add the set of wheels and tires that could go up to as high as €7,000 ($7,360) and you’re looking at a price tag just north of $13,000. The kit itself is a lot cheaper than M&D’s but at the end of the day, it’s still all about what an owner wants go get out of his S7. If it’s power he wants, he’s going to have to open up his check books.

Competition

Audi AS7 Sportback by ABT Sportsline

2012 Audi AS7 Sportback by ABT Sportsline High Resolution Exterior
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It’s been established that the dearth of any meaningful programs for the Audi S7 means that customers will likely have to get creative to find the right tuner for their luxury sedans. Fortunately, choosing ABT Sportsline means that you’re choosing one of the industry’s best. As previousluy mentioned, the German tuner has a full scope of upgrades for the S7, none more important than its very own New Generation tuning module that brings the sedan’s output numbers up to 550 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. That should be enough to cut the S7’s 0-to-60-mph time to around 4.2 seconds from its standard 4.5-second time while also maintaining its 155-mph, electronically limited top speed.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2017 Audi S7 M700 By M&D Exclusive Cardesign High Resolution Exterior
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This is one of those tuning programs that really cater to a specific set of people. M&D’s upgrades are special in some ways and not so in others, which adds to its hit-or-miss appeal. I can see some people going crazy over it and I wouldn’t have any problem with it. On the other hand, there are those who’ll want to stay away from this tune. It’s simply a program for a specific taste of people and in the end, that’s really what the aftermarket tuning scene is all about. You and I don’t have to like a specific program as long as somebody else does.

  • Leave it
    • * Livery is a hit or miss
    • * Not much going on in the interior
    • * Could cost a lot
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