The Audi S7 is in a funny position, essentially being the middle child of an altogether extraordinary group of siblings. This “lineup” begins with the A7, the junior in terms of both performance and price but extremely well-regarded nevertheless. Every Audi “A” sedan has a more powerful “S” sibling, of course, and the S7 takes the A7’s looks and adds a whole lot of horsepower and torque. But even the S7 defers to the RS 7, the older brother with a base trim that costs well over six figures. And yet the S7 is arguably the best of the three, adding to what’s great about the A7 without making you feel like you’re bordering on supercar territory (until 2015, Audi was offering a V8 version of its top R8 model for a little under $10,000 more than the $100k+ RS 7).
The 2016 S7 received significant updates to both design and drivetrain. So overall changes to the model for 2017 are limited. There will be two trims this year, however, with a new Premium Plus starting just under $80,000. The Prestige trim takes over from the single 2016 S7 trim (the 4.0T quattro) and starts at $82,900. A few new design options are available, including 20-inch S-design wheels, 21-inch titanium wheels (with the Black Optic package), and red brake calipers (with the S7 Sport package). The Black Optic package mostly features dark trim accents, but the S7 Sport package adds a sport rear differential and Audi’s dynamic steering system—for enhanced handling—along with a sport exhaust.
Under the hood is a 4.0-liter V8 with turbocharged direct-injection technology that boosts its performance while attempting to maintain a semblance of decent fuel economy—the 2017 S7 is rated at 17 mpg city/27 highway/21 combined. But we’re concerned with performance here. The TFSI (turbo fuel stratified injection) V8 puts out a sizable 450 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, mated to an “S tronic q” 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi’s proprietary quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system comes standard on both S7 trims. Overall, the setup is good for a 3.9-second run from 0 to 60 mph, which is pretty freaking fast for a 4-door hatchback.