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, it’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.