Audi S7 Sportback 4.0
Text and photos by Cheryl Tay
Text driven in December 2012
The rainy year-end weather makes driving less enjoyable than usual, with longer traffic delays, slippery roads and more-impatient-than-usual drivers. However, in the company of the Audi S7 Sportback, all these troubles are suddenly put miles away.
It is quite hard to feel much annoyance when you are nicely enveloped in the beautiful 4-litre V8 turbocharged Audi. You might occasionally get a flicker of irritation from lesser drivers, but you would very quickly get the smile back on your face because the drive of the S7 Sportback provides such a gleeful atmosphere.
The glistening white of the S7 Sportback test drive unit I got came with chrome side mirrors for that additional sporty touch. Growling from the low of its throat, the S7 Sportback is nifty and very quick on its feet, making overtaking literally a breeze.
The S7 Sportback is the latest addition to Audi’s S family and it was unveiled in late October at the National Museum. This occasion was extra special as well, as it also marked the farewell of Mr Reinhold Carl, the managing director of Audi Singapore since it started in October 2007.
Arriving in Singapore in late 2006 from Ingolstadt, Mr Carl and his team at Audi Singapore worked hard with their authorised distributor Premium Automobiles to build the brand. Their hard work has paid off, with annual sales volume increased from just 651 units in 2006 to 1,875 units last year. I believe the figures are even greater for this year.
The S7 Sportback is the last official launch under Mr Carl’s tenure and he leaves on a high, with his last major project – the brand new $70 million eight-storey Audi Centre Singapore facility opened in mid-December. He heads to Hong Kong for his next mission.
Back to the S7 Sportback, this luxury executive fastback’s sweeping lines, sporty elements and cushy interior deserve every look of admiration that it gets. Its low and sleek profile calls for attention from afar, enhanced by its long roofline.
This roofline leads to the tailgate – its fifth door – that opens up automatically via a button on the key to reveal a boot of 535 litres. This space can be further expanded when you put down the split-folding rear seats to give 1,390 litres.
Thanks to its four-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, the S7 Sportback moves swiftly as it charges through its seven gears with the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch gearbox. It builds on the speed so fast that you don’t feel it and before you know it you are above the speed limits, having to hurriedly ease off the accelerator.
Easy to drive, the S7 Sportback’s steering and handling makes the car easily adaptable to varying traffic conditions from cruising on the expressway to crawling in horrid congestion.
I also had the S7 Sportback in dynamic mode when traffic conditions were pleasant so I could enjoy the sharper gear shifts and the firmer suspension. Its solid performance is capped at 420bhp at 5,500rpm, with a peak torque of 550Nm from as low as 1,400rpm, hence helping it to be so quick-footed, taking just 4.7 seconds to hit 100km/h from rest.
The sports seats of the S7 Sportback are wrapped in leather with diamond stitching for a classy feel, electronically adjustable for convenient seating position.
The inability to extend the headrest did give me a slight neckache after driving for a long period though.
I like how the display screen rises from the dashboard upon starting up the car, as the side mirrors open up and the headlights shine up at the same time. The system also has a touchpad which gives for direct control to things such as changing the radio stations (according to the preset six).
The usual list of goodies can be found in the car – just like any Audi and its usual high equipment list – like cruise control, automatic headlights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, engine start-stop button, automatic tailgate operation and more.
Taking the S7 Sportback out in rainy weather is no issue with its solid-stopping brake system and I am grateful to the car for making this year-end driving a much pleasanter one, albeit just for a day.
At A Glance
Engine: 3,993cc V8 32-valve turbocharged
Transmission: Seven-speed S tronic
Performance: 420bhp/5,500rpm, 550Nm/1,400rpm, 0-100km/h 4.7 secs
Top Speed: 250km/h
Price with COE: $435,700
Testdrive & Enquiries: Premium Automobiles
Tel: 6566 1111
In a Nutshell
(+) Quick-footed, sophisticated looks, space-generous
(-) Can be more involving
Verdict: A heady cocktail of performance, looks and drive.
*This was first published in Wheels Asia.