Prestige Trim ($6,330 -- includes S-line exterior, navigation, MMI touch, Audi Connect emergency telematics, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, four-zone automatic climate control, ventillated front seats, Bose surround sound stereo, HD radio, power-adjustable steering wheel, adaptive headlights, interior ambient lights, color gauge display); 20-Inch Wheels and Summer Tires ($1,200); Audi Side Assist Blind Spot Warning System ($500); Moonlight Blue Metallic Paint ($475).
Supercharged, direct-injected V6, gasoline
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
310 @ 5,500-6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
325 @ 2,900-4,500
Eight-speed automatic with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles with sport/competition modes
The A7 charges off the line with authority, all four tires putting the power down. Switching the automatic to Sport, Drive Select to Dynamic and ESC to Off netted quicker acceleration by about two-tenths. Went even quicker using Manual mode (still shifts for itself) with a small amount of power braking. Manual shifting via console lever (pull back to downshift); will not hold gears to rev limiter; does blip throttle on downshifts.
Lengthy pedal travel and a spongy feel, but man does the A7 stop short, so to speak. Sticky summer tires help here. Dead solid stability, but quite a bit of ABS pumping through the pedal. Repeatable distance, and no fade.
Skid pad: Steering feels too light and artificial during the low speeds of the skid pad, even in the Dynamic setting. Chassis was quite responsive to drop-throttle to squelch understeer with stability control off, but ESC On's slight addition of brakes and reduction of throttle proved just as adept as the test driver's right foot was. Slalom: Electric steering firms up during the higher speeds of the slalom, but still isn't what you'd call precise. The summer tires offer decent grip, but there's no getting around the fact that the A7 is a long and heavy car, with considerable body roll. Best method is to come in slow and gradually increase throttle throughout. Lifting off the throttle brought the tail out, and it acted like it wanted to swap ends with ESC off. AWD allows full-throttle slalom exit with no traction issues.