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2020 Audi S7 Spied Looking Just as Under-the-Radar Fast as Before

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 6/15/2018 Alexander Stoklosa

What It Is: The high-performance S version of Audi’s second-generation A7 hatchback, caught here testing in what appears to be production-ready bodywork. Giveaways that this is the mightier S7 variant include its spicier wheels, quad exhaust outlets, and more aggressive bumper contours.

Why It Matters: Mercedes-Benz’s rapidly proliferating cadre of similar-looking sedan-based “four-door coupes” (the AMG GT four-door and the new CLS-class) need something to compete with besides each other. Mercedes might hold the distinction of being first to the sexier-than-normal-sedan game with its original CLS, but Audi perfected the form with the first-generation A7 that followed. While the latest A7 isn’t quite as showstopping as its predecessor, it’s still a seductively shaped piece-so while shoving more horsepower into any car typically makes it better, the S7’s power advantage over the A7 will help make up for some of the style Audi lost in its redesign.

a car parked on the side of a road: 2020 Audi S7 Spied Looking Low-Key Fast© Brian Williams - Car and Driver 2020 Audi S7 Spied Looking Low-Key Fast

Platform: As before, the S7 and A7 are essentially variants of the A6 sedan. Both A6 and A7 are new for 2019, are derived from the Volkswagen Group’s MLB architecture, and wear evolutionary styling changes. The S7 prototype pictured here keeps the A7’s new full-width taillight treatment, wider hexagonal grille, and more prominent body-side creases. Reshaped bumpers carry more aggressive intakes up front and feature four exhaust cannons poking out the back. Overall, the transformation from A7 to S7 is as subtle and under the radar as before, which we dig. And leaves some room for more dramatic styling to distinguish the next-generation RS7.

Powertrain: Details about the new S7’s powertrain are slim, but Quattro all-wheel drive is a given and a 48-volt hybrid-assist system, as seen in the new A7 and A8, is highly likely. The outgoing car’s characterful 4.0-liter V-8 could return-presumably making a bit more than its current 450 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque-or we could see a more potent version of Audi’s twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6, which currently spins out 444 horsepower in the RS5. An eight-speed automatic transmission could replace the old car’s dual-clutch automatic to deliver a smoother around-town feel. (BMW’s latest M5, which competes more closely with the upcoming RS7, made that switch in its most recent redesign.)

Competition: BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Mercedes-AMG CLS-class, Mercedes-AMG GT53, Porsche Panamera.

Estimated Arrival and Price: Today’s S7 starts at just over $82,000, a price point we anticipate will elevate slightly with the new car’s arrival on U.S. shores next year.

2020 Audi S7 Spied Looking Low-Key Fast: The second-generation S7 adopts most of the new A7’s styling cues but mixes in just enough aggression to match its higher performance. Read more and see photos at Car and Driver.© Brian Williams - Car and Driver The second-generation S7 adopts most of the new A7’s styling cues but mixes in just enough aggression to match its higher performance. Read more and see photos at Car and Driver.

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