Audi's shapely A7 five-door hatchback hasn't been lacking in the style department, but the German automaker figured its design icon was due for a little more motivation from the engine room.
Enter the Audi S7, a fashion-forward alternative to the mechanically identical Audi S6. The S7 shares the S6's 4.0-liter twin-turbo TFSI V8 engine, which puts out 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft. of torque - enough to propel the five-door to 60 mph in just a tick under 5 seconds before topping out at the customary 155 mph agreed upon by German automakers.
Despite the underhood grunt, the S7 achieves a reasonable 24 mpg combined (using European testing) thanks to cylinder displacement technology that shuts off half of the car's cylinders when the power isn't needed.
The V8 mates to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. An optional sport differential will split power between the rear wheels for even more rear drive-oriented traction.
Helping make the most of the available power is an adaptive air suspension that sees the S7 sitting 10 millimeters lower than the standard A7, along with a selectable drive dynamics system to adjust the car's steering, throttle and suspension tuning. S7s will come to a quick halt thanks to large ventilated disc brakes or, for some markets, available carbon ceramic units.
There are also 19- and 20-inch wheel designs available.
Inside, Audi has upped the standard A7's style with exclusive sports seats covered in Valcona leather with diamond-patterned stitching, a unique steering wheel with contrasting stitching and aluminum shift paddles, a unique gauge cluster, start button and aluminum optic pedals - along with S7 badging throughout.
Interior features and technology includes Audi pre-sense plus driver assistance system, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, Audi side assist, active lane assist, Head up display and night vision assistant with pedestrian detection, Audi MMI Navigation plus with Audi MMI touch handwriting recognition, Audi connect including Google Earth navigation, Google Search with voice recognition, weather forecast, fuel prices, news feeds and Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices and Bose surrounded sound as standard, while Bang & Olufsen offer up an optional system with added speakers and additional power befitting of a range-topping sport model.
If you're interested in ordering an S7, you have nine exterior shades to choose from, including exclusive Estoril Blue crystal effect and Prism Silver crystal effect.
The S7's primary competitor is the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, the extra-strength version of the CLS that created the four-door coupe segment. Other more traditionally-styled performance sedans like the Jaguar XFR and the Cadillac CTS-V are also worth a look.