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Audi S7 Sportback

TORQUE OF THE TOWN (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Audi's S7 Sportback switches to diesel power. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 77

The second generation Audi S7 Sportback packs a massive 700Nm punch from its 350PS TDI diesel engine: yes, for the first time in an S7, there's diesel power - and it's the only option. The car also gets an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro four wheel drive, adaptive damping and virtually all of the brand's latest performance technology into a practical but exclusively styled five-door coupe-style silhouette. It's a rare and tempting proposition for the money being asked.

Backgroundword count: 154

It wasn't very long ago that a car like this simply wouldn't have been possible. Ferrari-style pulling power stats, with five-door family versatility. Vanishingly rare exclusivity and a hand-built interior for less than £70,000. And, most tellingly, rest to sixty two mph in just five seconds, yet a 35mpg WLTP-rated capability. Welcome to the second generation Audi S7 Sportback. This, as you may already have guessed, is a performance flagship for the A7 Sportback range, this a 'five-door coupe' model line that Ingolstadt has created to challenge stylised executive contenders like BMW's 8 Series GranCoupe and the Mercedes CLS. I say 'a performance flagship': actually 'the' performance flagship of the A7 range is the 600PS RS 7 Sportback model, a car which looks tempting but costs vastly more than this S7 and also costs vastly more to run because it uses a V8 biturbo petrol engine to go, well, not all that much faster.

Driving Experienceword count: 245

The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine used here with its electrically-powered compressor is basically the unit originally introduced in Audi's SQ7 large SUV, but has been embellished here with a 48-volt electrical system, which has taken the powerplant's total power output to 350PS. All of those braked horses are transmitted via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission to the car's quattro all-wheel-drive system. The electrically powered compressor is the major reason for this S7 Sportback model's startling performance. 62mph from rest takes just 5.1s - which is virtually the same as was achieved by the far more powerful 4.0-litre petrol V8 of the previous generation model. And you get that performance here with far more pulling power this time round thanks to dual supercharging that sees the electrically powered compressor working in tandem with the exhaust turbocharger and producing 700Nm of torque. The standard-fit progressive steering comes with sports ratios in its basic configuration; the greater the steering lock, the more direct the steering is. There's also adaptive air suspension. And optional dynamic all-wheel steering which below 37mph, turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts for a tighter turning circle. At over 37mph, the rears move slightly in the same direction as the fronts to aid stability. For even more dynamic road behaviour, the quattro 4WD system can be supplemented with an optional 'Sport differential' on the rear axle. This literally pushes the car into the bend, producing a high level of agility.

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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

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