Audi A7 TDI
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Overall

The sleek four-door hatch began as a single model with one engine, but as the months tick by, there are more choices of trims and power levels, all the way up to 560 horses.

Drivetrain

A supercharged V6 supplies 310 horsepower to all four wheels in the regular A7 while the S7 gets a 420-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8; all-new RS7 ups the V8′s boost to the tune of 560 horsepower, while a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel packs 240 horses and over pound-feet.

The goal of making a four-door “coupe” as useful as possible might seem like a strange thing, but Audi has managed it with the stunning A7. It’s a hatchback that looks like a sedan, plain and simple. Audi does some of its best work crafting interiors and the A7 really stands out. In back there’s seating for two adults, although you can opt for a three-person bench for more flexibility. The A7′s base powerplant is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that comes straight from the A6 and produces 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. A 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 420 horsepower is part of the high-performance S7 package. If you’re looking for even more drama and performance, the new RS 7 uses the same engine as the S7, but ups the turbo boost significantly. The resulting 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet torque makes the RS7 the most powerful Audi on the road for 2014. Its zero-to-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds is astonishing too, thanks to its use of a beefed up Quattro all-wheel drive system and seven-speed automated manual transmission borrowed from the S7. At the other end of the scale, the new A7 TDI rolls out Audi’s excellent 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 with 240 horsepower and a still-monumental 428 pound-feet of torque. Both turbo-diesel and supercharged V6 engines connects to eight-speed “Tiptronic” automatic transmissions. Audi claims that the A7 TDI will zip to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, which is just one-tenth off the base model. All A7s arrive with the latest Quattro all-wheel-drive that sends 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels. Up to 85 percent can be directed to the back wheels and up to 70 percent to the fronts if necessary. As well, extra torque can be sent to the outside wheels for extra grip while turning. Fuel economy in regular A7s is helped by an auto stop/start system that’ll save a little fuel during commuting, and even the RS 7 gets cylinder deactivation to help burn less gas under light loads. Those watching their wallets will appreciate the TDI’s 24 mpg rating in the city and 38 on the highway. The base (and amenity-rich) A7 serves up multi-zone climate control, multi-position heated front seats bi-xenon lighting and 10 airbags. The option list gets a bit crazy in its thoroughness and includes some very exotic audio equipment plus active warning systems to help keep you from running into other vehicles, both inside and outside your lane. The S7 also includes a more aggressive grille, 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust pipes and all the toys, while the RS7 adds an adaptive rear spoiler, an even lower rear diffuse and large oval tailpipes to more easily spot the differences as it rockets towards the horizon.

Base price (incl. destination): $61,000; $105,900 (RS7)
Type: Four-door sedan
Base Engine (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC supercharged V6 (310)
Optional engine (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC, turbo-diesel V6 (240); 4.0-liter DOHC V8, twin-turbocharged (420, S7; 560, RS 7)
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic; seven-speed automated manual (S7, RS 7)
MPG (city/hwy): 18/28
Safety: Front airbags; front- /rear side-impact airbags; front knee airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 4,200