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S7 Sportback

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Audi S7 Sportback

Motoring Review

Strictly speaking a four-door coupé shouldn't really exist.  The word coupé has mostly been synonymous with low-slung two-door, compact performance vehicles aimed at your typically single or 'admit-two' executives.  Some motor vehicle manufacturers have turned this ideal on its side recently to include those wanting the practicality of four doors (and extra space inside) while still holding all sporty ideals in high regard.  Enter the Audi S7 Sportback, a sleek and low-slung muscle machine with an unusual rear treatment that adds real visual interest and pushes the coupé-like boundaries even further as technically the boot lid and the nature of it design can be called the S7's fifth-door.

The Audi S7 Sportback has a long engine hood, a long wheelbase and sort overhangs.  Its dynamically tensioned roof and parallel window line give the five-door model the character of a coupé.  The large A7 Sportback is just short of 5m long and almost 2m wide, but it stands only 1,42m tall, which is really its saving grace in the 'looks department' according to coupé loving enthusiasts.  There is a spoiler that extends from the motorized rear hatch to improve stability at highway speeds.  The boot can swallow a large 535 litre capacity and the rear seats can be folded down to create even more space (increasing to 1,390 litres).  There are S-specific design elements which are found on the single-frame grille, front bumper, side mirrors, the sills, the rear bumper, the diffuser and the dual-tailpipes.   The front ends gets the usual slim headlights with integrated daytime running LEDs.  Rounding off the exterior are large wheels, shod with low profile rubber further hinting at Audi's performance presence in this car.

Interior specifications are upmarket and luxurious. Given its size the S7 Sportback provides ample head and legroom for all occupants.  Of all cars for sale in this class, the S7 certainly does not disappoint.  From intuitive gear, including Audi’s MMI system, to fine grain Milano leather and Burr walnut wood inserts, to a large and bright colour LED screen, to user-friendly control systems – the S7 Sportback seems to have it all.  For once Audi has elected to fit the A7 Sportback with a comprehensive array of standard equipment, which means those bank-breaking optional-extra tick boxes on the order sheet are kept to a minimum.   

The Audi S7 Sportback is fast - very fast, for its size that is.  It's also economical thanks to Audi's groundbreaking hybrid aluminium body construction as well as its “cylinder on demand” technology.  The Audi S7 Sportback uses the same engine as the S6 and S6 Avant, the new 4.0 TFSI with 309 kW and 55 Nm of torque.  The twin-turbo V8 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 250 km/h is electronically capped.  Cylinder on demand works under 'part load' by deactivating four of the eight cylinders for an efficiency gain that is particularly used at moderate highway speeds.  The S7 Sportback consumes on average just 9.7 litres of fuel per 100 kms.  The S7's power is pushed to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive wheels through a shifting 7-speed S tronic transmission.

All the usual safety suspects come standard in the S7 Sportback.  These include:  ABS brakes, dynamic stability control, and front, side, curtain and rear side airbags.  There is an extensive array of high-tech driver assistance systems, including standard active counter-steer assist, which helps drivers maintain control in critical situations like mountain passes, or braking hard on gravel or wet and slippery surfaces.  Other safety options include active lane assist, automatic parking and night vision assist.

Generally speaking, owners of Audi S7's do not typically push their cars as one would a TT, instead the S7 (although very fast) is more sought after for its effortless refinement and ability to cover vast distances with absolute ease – this is said to be its biggest advantage.  Pricing is at R919 600 for the Audi S7 Sportback quattro.  (Prices are subject to change according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)

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