About a decade ago Audi introduced the S7; a slinky four-door hatchback with a 420 horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 under the hood. While 420 horsepower was nothing to really sneeze at and a generation ago 350 horsepower was pretty impressive, in the top-tier luxury/sport cars executives expect 350-plus horsepower from the base models. As you travel up the ladder to the really impressive models that will get everyone to look, itâ€™s now 550 horsepower that is the benchmark. Indeed, that’s where Audi went after only one model year in the US for the S7; it introduced the RS7, which kicked the horsepower up to 560.
So where does that leave the forlorn generation of “only” 400 horsepower road rockets? Well, a lot more affordable. Today’s S7 retailed for nearly $80,000 – though, admittedly, that got you a lot of kit. Standard was the S-Tronic 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, a sport differential, adaptive xenon headlights, a powered tailgate, heated and power-adjustable front sport seats trimmed in Valcona leather with diamond-pattern stitching, three-zone automatic climate control, Bose surround sound, Audi MMI with Navigation Plus, adaptive air suspension, 19″ wheels, and a powered moonroof. Today’s example was ordered in Ibis White with Lunar Silver leather – a nice combination – and added in Cold Weather Package with a heated steering wheel and rear seats for good measure.