As reaction settles down to news that Audi has scooped up Italian bikemaker Ducati right from under the nose of Mercedes-Benz for a cool billion, we can now get back to the four-wheeled performance Audi does best. And there are few better ways I can think of doing that than throwing body and mind into a fully optioned new Audi S7 and hitting the sunny German countryside.
At least for this scribe-driver, Audi does a much finer job on its S models than it attempts to do on the RS versions. Not that the RS lineup is a bad thing, but its various members often strike me as just souped-up S models – not the true RennSport icons they ought to be. I want mayhem and magic in an RS and never really get it. What I probably really want is rear-wheel drive and about 400 fewer pounds to lug around, but knowing Audi’s modern day raison d’être, that’ll never be allowed to happen.
But the S cars are genuinely satisfying Sport-driving professionals that happily double as very stylish everyday drivers. The current civilian Audi that expresses best the stylish part of the equation is the sleek A7. It’s a funny car in that the initial reaction to the swoopy A7 was a bit hesitant from some quarters. But the enthusiasm has grown over time and now the sportback-style car is a certifiable hit in the United States and elsewhere.