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2013 Audi S7 is fast and data-driven (pictures)

The S7 adds to the amazing connected cabin tech of the A7 a new, powerful engine and fast-shifting dual-clutch gearbox.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 22 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Audi's A7 came out as an outstanding tech car, loaded with innovative cabin and performance features. The S7 is the sport version of that car and takes the tech even higher with impressive performance upgrades.
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2 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Like the A7, the S7 gets Quattro all-wheel drive, but it also comes standard with Audi's Sport Differential, which vectors torque across the rear wheels to improve handing. The only letdown in the handling department is the S7's air suspension, which is not quite as capable as magnetic dampers when it comes to controlling sway.
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3 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The S7 is a four-door hatchback, providing more accessible cargo area than a sedan with a traditional trunk.
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4 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Diamond-pattern leather seat coverings are a nice touch in the S7.
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Real carbon-fiber trim elements are available in the S7's cabin.
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A plastic tray between the rear seats makes the S7 a four-seater.
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7 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The electric power-steering boost can be adjusted between Comfort and Dynamic settings. It delivers very precise control, but the wheel never has much heft.
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8 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
An LCD between the speedometer and tachometer shows useful information, such as turn-by-turn directions and trip data.
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9 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The S7 comes with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, which delivers quick and efficient gear changes.
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10 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Audi has an elliptical-style main menu on the LCD, controllable with a dial on the console.
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DriveSelect lets drivers choose different car settings for different driving conditions.
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12 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation submenu also uses the elliptical paradigm, which can handle multiple menu items.
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13 of 22 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Audi integrates Google Earth imagery with its navigation system, and overlays traffic conditions for freeways and some surface streets.
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Traffic data can also be viewed in a list format.
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Google local search is integrated with the navigation system, and makes it very easy to find businesses.
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Other online services include fuel prices and weather.
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The S7 includes a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, which gives quick access to a paired phone's contact list through this interface.
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18 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The S7 offers a number of digital audio sources, from its own hard drive to a unique Wi-Fi streaming capability.
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With an iOS device connected to the car's music port, the interface shows a standard music library.
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The music play screen shows album art, when available.
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HD Radio comes standard in the S7, and the radio interface makes multicasts available.
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The S7 comes standard with a powerful, 650-watt audio system, but the optional Bang & Olufsen system is much better.

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