Design-wise, the 2013 Audi A7 and S7 really stand out. Looking at these models' distinctive silhouette, there's been nothing quite like them in recent automotive history—and that's even including models that some would call rivals or alternatives, like the Mercedes-Benz CLS or Porsche Panamera. Altogether, the A7's mix of flowing, smooth sheetmetal and chiseled details give it a somewhat more aggressive look than most of Audi's main-line sedans, yet compared to those other fastbacks or fastback sedans, it's much more graceful.
The A7 may be a throwback to older European oddities like the Rover SD1 or Citroen CX. The sheet metal has already sparked a debate among enthusiasts, but we'll only wade in to say that it's gorgeous—with just a hint of quirkiness. From the back, the A7 can look a little bulbous, but otherwise the design is cohesive and different, mating an aggressive front end design that most of the Audi lineup now has in common with nicely sculpted side sheet metal and a unique fastback-coupe tail.
The A7 doesn't make waves inside the way it does on the outside, but it does show the best of Audi interior design, which includes some of the best-coordinated materials and trims on the luxury-car market. With a look that's essentially borrowed from the A8 flagship sedan—though slimmed down a bit and sitting low to fit the A7's more rakish look and feel. The smoothly styled, straight-across instrument panel helps maximize interior space, while matte-metallic finishes and two-tone soft-touch surfaces, along with some woodgrains and flowing door and dash contours, altogether make this interior feel special.
A centerpiece of the instrument panel is the MMI touch controller, pop-up nav screen, and rather thick, low center console; they're much the same as in the bigger A8, but the interface itself is even more cleaned-up and simplified.
Key differences that help distinguish the S7 from the A7 include S7 logos throughout, special matte-black brake calipers, and a couple of S-specific alloy wheel designs. S sport seats are also included inside, along with several special trim and inlay materials.