2015 Audi S7

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Audi S7's standard features now include LED headlights and a head-up display.

The decision to buy a beautiful, high-performance luxury car like the 2015 Audi S7 is one that might be a little hard from a purely logical standpoint. After all, the S7's little brother, the A7, is an excellent choice with a lot of the same virtues, and it costs considerably less. Why spend the extra money? The simple answer is power -- lots of power. With 420 horses on tap, the S7's V8 is one of the most satisfying motors in the market. Ladies and gentlemen, let the rationalization begin.

To be fair, there's other stuff to love about the 2015 S7, including respectable fuel economy and a nimble, athletic feel around corners that coexists with exemplary ride quality. Credit for the latter goes in part to the brilliant adaptive air suspension, which cast a spell on us with its almost eerie balance and smoothness. Moreover, the S7's interior is as sumptuous as they come, with superb materials and technology features. Stiff competition notwithstanding, the 2015 Audi S7 is a great driver's car with tremendous aesthetic appeal inside and out.

Exterior Highlights
Available in a single well-equipped trim level

The 2015 Audi S7 comes in a single well-equipped trim level. Unlike the A7, which comes in a five-passenger configuration, the S7 has two individual rear seats, meaning a strict four-passenger capacity.

Standard features include 19-inch wheels, full LED exterior lighting (headlights, running lights and taillights), an adaptive air suspension, a sport differential, a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and keyless ignition and entry. Inside, you'll find a head-up display, a driver information center with a 7-inch display between the gauges, Audi Drive Select (providing adjustable settings for steering, suspension and transmission calibrations), diamond-stitched leather upholstery, eight-way power heated front sport seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system with console-mounted controls and a central 8-inch display, a rearview camera, a navigation system with voice controls, Bluetooth, Audi Connect (including enhanced Web-based navigation and information services plus mobile WiFi connectivity) and a 14-speaker Bose audio system with a CD/DVD player, HD radio and iPod connectivity.

Options for the S7 include a number of packages. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel, while the Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go functionality), lane-departure warning/keeping, a 360-degree parking camera system and the Audi Pre-Sense Plus collision mitigation system. The Individual Contour Seating package features multicontour front seats with ventilation and massaging functions, passenger memory settings, comfort rear seats and leather upholstery without diamond stitching. Finally, the Black Optic package tacks on special 20-inch wheels, body-color exterior mirrors (instead of the standard silver ones), a blacked-out grille and gloss-black window surrounds.

Individual option highlights include 20-inch wheels, power-closing doors, a faux-suede headliner, night vision assist, rear side airbags and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system with twice the power of the Bose system (1,300 watts versus 630).

Sleek, handsome design, MMI controls entertainment, communication and navigation, Audi Connect with Wifi capability, excellent support

In standard Audi fashion, the interior of the S7 is characterized by sleek, handsome design and excellent materials quality, with some S-specific flourishes thrown in for good measure. Audi's MMI controls entertainment, communication and navigation functions via a dash-mounted pop-up screen and a control dial surrounded by buttons on the center console. The system boasts logical menus, crisp graphics and a touchpad to enhance functionality.

The S7 is also equipped with the Audi Connect telematics suite, which includes mobile WiFi capability, Google Earth data for the navigation system and simplified Google search functionality for points of interest. The WiFi is a boon for passengers on a long road trip or for turning the S7 into a 420-hp workstation.

Whether you stay with the standard sport seats or opt for the multicontour comfort seats, you'll enjoy excellent support during long trips and spirited back-road runs alike. Legroom is adequate, however, and there's something to be said for the snug comfort of the twin rear bucket seats versus a traditional three-across bench seat. The S7's handy hatchback design permits easier loading of larger items that just won't fit in the trunk of a conventional sedan. Official luggage capacity is 24.5 cubic feet, and lowering the rear seatbacks opens up considerably more room.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Audi S7 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning/keeping and a blind-spot warning system are also standard. Rear side airbags are optional.

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