Colin-on-Cars – Audi A7 gets a racy addition

Audi’s A7 range has gone all sporty with the addition of the S7 Sportback that comes with very ‘race me’ looks backed up by 331 kW of power.

Embracing the new Audi design language means dynamically styled front trim, wide sills and rear diffuser with four tailpipe trims. Distinctive S trim elements in dark chrome and aluminium on the radiator grille lamellas, the front blade, the side air inlet, the exterior mirrors and the rear diffuser enforce this.

Inside, the Audi S7 Sportback is an extended range of standard equipment to enhance the interior comfort. This includes the Audi virtual cockpit with 12,3-inch display, MMI navigation plus, four-zone automatic air-conditioning, HD touch displays with haptic feedback, contour ambient lighting with up to 30 colours, Audi phone box and smartphone interface, Bang and Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound and a panoramic glass sunroof. The full suite of Audi connect technology around connected infotainment, remote services, safety and convenience features are a few of the key standard specification.

The upholstery comprises S sport seats with integrated head restraints, embossed S logo and rhombus pattern come standard. For additional comfort, Audi offers multi-adjustable customized contour seats optionally with ventilation and massage.

With the sporty four-door Coupé, comprehensive comfort and driver assistance equipment is available. As such, the driving experience expertly blends sportiness with long-distance capability. Specification options available include 360 degree camera, adaptive cruise control, night vision assistant, lane change warning and quattro with sports differential to name a few.

The mild-hybrid system (MHEV) on the new Audi S7 Sportback helps to improve fuel efficiency. The 48-volt MHEV system comprises a belt alternator starter (BAS) and a lithium‑ion battery with a capacity of 10 Ah housed in the vehicle floor beneath the luggage compartment. The BAS is connected to the crankshaft.

During deceleration it can recover up to 8 kW of power, which it then stores in the lithium-ion battery. When the driver accelerates again, the BAS reacts instantly by restarting the engine.

MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation from a speed as low as 22 km/h. Thanks in part to the integration of the mild-hybrid system and the vehicle sensors, the S models realize a fuel saving of up to 0,4 litres in real driving conditions and can coast for up to 40 seconds with the combustion engine deactivated.

The 3.0 TFSI engine develops 331 kW of power and its specific torque is 600 Nm. Transmission is controlled via a tiptronic gearbox. Top speed is governed at 250 km/h and acceleration is stated at 4,6 seconds.

As on every S model from Audi, quattro permanent all-wheel drive comes as standard on the Audi S7 Sportback. In normal driving conditions, its self-locking centre differential distributes torque between the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio.

If one wheel encounters slip, most of the drive torque goes to the axle with the better traction. In the extreme, 70% can flow to the front wheels or 85% to the rear wheels. For sports driving, wheel-selective torque control enhances sporty handling: It brakes the two wheels with reduced load on the inside of a bend slightly before they lose grip.

The standard-fit progressive steering already comes with sports ratios in its basic configuration; the greater the steering lock, the more direct the steering is. Its S-specific electro-mechanical servo assistance filters out disagreeable bumps but communicates useful information to the driver.

As an option, dynamic all-wheel steering is available – this combines dynamic steering with a variable ratio of 9.5:1 and 16.5:1 at the front axle with separate rear-axle steering that is operated by spindle drive and track rods. At speeds up to 60 km/h, the rear wheels turn as much as five degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels.

The S sport suspension on the Audi S7 Sportback comes with damping control as standard, and lowers the body of the vehicle by 10 millimetres. Adaptive air suspension – the air suspension version with adjustable damping – makes its appearance on the vehicle as an explicitly comfort-oriented alternative.

It can be set to three modes and includes a ‘lift’ position for poor roads and automatic levelling. In the ‘auto’ mode the body is lowered by a further 10 millimetres (at speeds of 120 km/h) upwards, and in the ‘dynamic’ mode the vehicle remains always at this low ride height.

The new Audi S7 TFSI Sportback quattro Tiptronic is priced at R 1 500 500 and comes standard with the 5 year / 100 000 km Audi Freeway plan, inclusive of all taxes.

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