The 2018 Audi S7 continues to turn heads with its shape, despite being this generation’s final model year. Its modern V8 power and Quattro heritage bring performance credibility and, naturally for an Audi, the interior exudes a high sense of quality with its design and materials.
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2018 Audi S7 Overview
What's New for 2018
There are no significant changes for the 2018 model year, as a new generation will debut for the 2019 model year.
Choosing Your Audi S7
Taking the standard A7 and updating the powertrain and chassis, the 2018 Audi S7 is like the cherry on top of a sundae. Powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, it generates 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque at a very accessible 1,400 rpm. Using a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive, the S7 charges to 60 mph in an estimated 4.5 seconds. The EPA rates the S7 at 16 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, and 18 combined.
The S7 is priced from $82,175 (including the $975 destination charge). For that, there are a lot of standard features in addition to the unique powertrain.
Helping ensure the chassis can handle the newly found speed, adaptive air suspension is standard as are more powerful brakes and Audi Drive Select which offers Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic, and Individual chassis and powertrain settings.
The front and rear fascias are shaped to deliver a more aggressive appearance and the 20-inch wheels, quad exhaust outlets, LED headlights and taillights, and bright aluminum-optic paint on the mirrors help punctuate the S7’s performance capabilities.
The interior features a standard rearview camera, a 14-speaker Bose audio system with SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and HD radio capability, Audi’s MMI infotainment system, navigation, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and 14-way power front seats that are covered with Valencia leather.
Likely most enticing to potential owners, the S Sport Package ($3,900) includes a torque-vectoring rear differential, a sport exhaust system, variable-ratio steering, and red painted calipers. On the safety front, the Driver Assistance Package ($2,000) features adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, active lane assist, and high-beam assist. A Comfort Seating Package ($1,850) features 18-way power adjustable front seats with ventilation and massage, while a Cold Weather Package ($500) brings a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The Audi Design Selection - Arras Red interior theme is available for $1,250 and includes carbon twill and red decorative inlays.
In place of a surround-view camera display, the S7 features a corner-view camera system, but only as part of the Prestige Package ($1,950). This package bundles together a head-up display, soft-closing power doors, and allows for the optional Black Optic Package with 21-inch wheels for $1,700. Without the Prestige Package, the Black Optic Package is available for $750 and includes high gloss black trim and unique 20-inch wheels.
A Bang and Olufsen premium audio system ($4,900) and a night-vision system ($2,500) are also features only available through the Prestige Package.
Though it's the current generation’s final year, the 2018 Audi S7 still provides the performance and tech necessary to compete in this demanding segment. The S7 begs for the S Sport Package, while the Driver Assistance Package should also be considered for the added safety it brings.
2018 Audi S7 Review
Hatchback sedans were never hot sellers here in America; luxurious ones were even less successful. But in 2012, Audi brazenly ignored the historically maligned segment and trotted out the A7, a large hatchback with swooping lines and elegant grace. Immediately, the press and the public swooned, and it seemed as if the stoic Audi eradicated all memories of 1980s hunchbacked Sevilles, Continentals, and Lebarons.
In S7 trim, the big and handsome Audi becomes even further realized, marrying the arresting shape and practical usefulness of the regular A7 with twin-turbocharged V8 performance. The 2018 Audi S7 continues to offer an alluring combination of speed and style.
Like all good German cars, the options can run amok with the S7. Get greedy with the extras, and that can mean adding exorbitant sums of money to the bottom line.
There's two distinct flavors of the S7: base and Prestige. The Prestige costs an additional $1,950 but includes diamond-stitched valcona leather, corner-view cameras, ambient LED lighting, and a head-up display. We think all that for another two grand is a no-brainer, especially at the $81,200 price point at which the S7 starts. Of all the available options, we'd stick with just two: the Driver Assistance Package and the S Sport Package.
Here's our S7 after the Ingolstadt techs finish screwing it all together:
- Model: 2018 Audi S7 Prestige
- Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
- Output: 450 hp / 406 lb-ft
- Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- Fuel Economy: 16 City / 24 Hwy
- Options: Driver Assistance Package ($2,000, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, high-beam assist), S Sport Package ($3,900, a sport rear differential, dynamic steering, sport exhaust, and red brake calipers), rear-passenger thorax side airbags ($350)
- Base Price: $84,125 (including a $975 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $90,375
We sometimes wonder if the S7 should have been a Jaguar instead of an Audi. After all, this hatchback encapsulates that old Coventry mantra of space, grace, and pace. And boy, does it have pace. The heart of the S7 is a twin-turbo V8 that churns out 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque – stats that let this big bruiser rocket to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. It's a powerplant that's fast and authoritative from anywhere along the rev range, and there's little turbo lag from those twin snails resting atop the motor.
All this firepower is routed to each of the four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It's a gearbox that makes fast work out of shifting when pressed hard, but if you act ambivalent as to your intentions of pressing on or backing off, the transmission will get confused. If you're not selecting gears with the column-mounted paddles, it's best to refrain from being a Jekyll and Hyde when piloting the S7 – but this is probably sound advice to follow no matter what you're driving.
Out on the road, it quickly becomes apparent that the handling is just as impressive as the powertrain. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system manages to keep the S7 feeling neutral in the corners up to impressively high speeds, lending it a more rear-drive-esque personality. With the Sport S Package, an electronically-controlled rear differential with torque vectoring brings even more performance-oriented handling, and adds another layer of chutzpah to this leather-and-wood-trimmed bullet.
In the world of high-dollar automobiles, distinctive style matters. With the S7, we have no doubts that the discerning clientele will find the design of this big hatchback about as chic and hip as you can get at this price point. Let your eyes wander from the front fascia to the rear, and the car's elongated and elegant lines invariably draw you in. It's an emotive design, exacerbated by the long, low, and long proportions, and is easily the best looking four-door in the Audi lineup. Few cars this practical look this good.
Slide into the richly-appointed cabin, and you'll notice that the mantra of restrained elegance which guides the exterior styling continues to reverberate here. All the materials are sumptuous, from the soft-touch dashboard and door panels to the diamond-stitched leather upholstery found on Prestige models. Compared to the A7, there's a subtle but definite improvement in the overall richness of the interior, such as fancier woods and more interesting patterns and motifs. Our only major complaint is with the second row, which is tight on both leg room and head room – the sacrifices for style, we presume. But the front seats are bolstered and comfortable, and cargo space is better here than the similarly-sized but trunk-backed A6 sedan.
The Best and Worst Things
Great style and phenomenal power make the S7 a perfect back-road bomber by day and boulevardier by night.
Our biggest complaints with this luxo-hatch is the tight rear seat and a transmission that's occasionally unsure of itself. But these are minor quibbles with what is otherwise a very good car.
Right For? Wrong For?
For the well-heeled buyer who appreciates performance and wants to differentiate themselves from the sea of traditional luxury sedans, the S7 fits the bill.
But if you're looking for something that's practical for a family-hauler, we'd suggest something else, if only for that tight rear seat. The Mercedes E-Class wagon, for instance, offers more passenger and cargo room. And in E63 trimmings, you can bet that it will give the S7 a run for it's money.
The Bottom Line
Looks, power, and practicality. For most cars, you get to pick two out of three. But the 2018 Audi S7 is one of those rare vehicles which effortlessly combines all three traits in a suave, refined package that's just as at home on the country byways as it is in downtown on a Saturday night. If you're looking for the most ideal realization of what an enjoyable and practical luxury car can be, take a gander at the excellent S7.