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STYLING | 10 out of 10
The A7 is pretending to be a coupe, and a particularly graceful one at that.
Edmunds' Inside Line
you might see traces of the Alfa Romeo GTV6, Giorgetto Giugiaro's '80s Italian coupe. Squint a little, and maybe there's some of Marcello Gandini's Lamborghini Urraco, the '70s super coupe
A new type of wood, a striped light oak veneer, looks particularly Scandinavian, as if Ikea suddenly went upmarket and consulted with Audi on the design.
In person, I think it gives even the Aston Martin Rapide a run for its money in the looks department, and that's really saying something.
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.
Looking way back, the A7 fits in better European oddities from the 1970s and '80s like the Rover SD1 or the Citroën CX. The A7's exterior has already been the subject of heated debate among enthusiasts, but we see it as stunning and beautiful, just different enough to bring a hint of quirkiness. Admittedly, from the tail the A7 can look a bulbous in back, but otherwise the design feels cohesive yet refreshingly different—mating an aggressive front end design that most of the Audi lineup now has in common with nicely sculpted side sheetmetal 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.
Refreshingly different, yet classy and cohesive, the 2013 Audi A7 and S7 are among the most beautiful designs on the market.