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Audi S7: The New Direct High-Velocity Shot at BMW, Mercedes

Back in October, I breathlessly reported that the new Audi S8 spanks everything short of a Corvette ZR1 in a straight line, and whips most cars in handling. I closed by noting that Audi, after years of lobbing shots at BMW and Mercedes-Benz, had finally landed a direct hit. Now, like a board game opponent who is ready to sink your battleship, Audi’s going for the kill, and the next shot out of the cannon is the all-new 2013 Audi S7.

Let’s check the stats, shall we? The new S7 hits 60 mph from zero in a blistering 3.9 seconds and charges through the quarter-mile mark in 12.3 seconds at 112.1 mph. Let that sink in a minute. This is the S7, not the upcoming and even more powerful RS7. It’s a high-style luxury sedan that will dust the likes of the Camaro SS and Mustang GT all day long. It’s only four-tenths of a second off the Corvette ZR1, a GT-R, or the ludicrously fast S8. It’s even slightly quicker in a straight line than the 400-pound-lighter RS5. All from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing a claimed 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque (though like its big brother, the S8, it may be underrated). That’s the beauty of AWD launches, folks. Right, then. How about the competition?

The primary target is the segment originator, the Mercedes-Benz CLS550. (Secondary would be the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, which we’ll test soon.) The last one we tested was rear-wheel drive, but worry not, we’ll be testing an all-wheel-drive model soon. Going with what we have, I can tell you the S7 is the easy winner on performance stats. The S7 is four-tenths of a second quicker to 60 mph and half-a-second and 2 mph quicker in the quarter. It pulls higher sustained gs on the skidpad, is faster around the figure eight, and even gets better fuel economy.

In fact, the S7 will even run with Mercedes’ big stick, the CLS63 AMG. The two are dead even to 60 mph and the AMG gains only two-tenths of a second on the Audi in the quarter-mile, though it’s traveling nearly 10 mph faster when all that extra horsepower hits its stride. The Audi, though, pulled high gs, was faster around the figure eight, and out-stopped the AMG from 60 mph by 10 feet, needing only 103 feet to come to a standstill. So, how ’bout that RS7, huh?

Read more: Scott Evans, MotorTrend


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