Game day. After a good breakfast at the Hyatt Grand we head down to a garage that is just jam-packed with premium Audis, most by my estimate setting you back upwards of €100000 if you’d be interested in one. For this mornings drive out the the race track we are given the keys to brand new Audi S7-cars. These feature a 4-liter bi-turbo V8 engines producing 420 hp and 550 Nm of torque. Trust me – they’re fast. The route we are taking to the race track will take a couple of hours, so we’ll definitely get to try these cars out. Can you tell I’m excited?
After leaving the city we hit Autobahn for a while. Turns out these cars are not limited to 250 km/h as the production models are, and the car hits 284 km/h without flinching. It probably would’ve kept going for a bit above that as well, but that would require better traffic conditions. Since driving at these speeds is a bit demanding we don’t have photos or video of us hitting our top speed, but here’s a pic a and video so you can get some feel for the power of this car.
Just to make sure nobody was fooling us with the specs we also completed a few not-so-scientific-0-100-tests. We could actually confirm the 4.9 second claim, even if our clock stopped on 4.7 seconds in this video:
We finally reached the race track which was actually an ex-Soviet airbase. Formerly the largest airbase in Europe, it was now undergoing conversion to becoming a solar energy plant. But today it was a race track. In the pic below you can also see the cool and very useful heads up display (HUD) projecting the speed and speed limit (and whatever else you might prefer) in the wind screen ahead of you. You can also see one of the speakers from the über-premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.
After having lunch we headed out to the race track where they had lined up S7s and S8s for us to try out. The instructors rode ahead of the group in V10 R8s. Not that they needed to have faster cars than we had to stay ahead of us, but they sure were nice to look at.
I didn’t get any film of me driving on the race track but I filmed my driving colleague of the day Fredrik in first the S8 and then the S7. The rain had now hit us with full force which slowed us down considerably on the race track, but such is life somtimes, you can’t control the weather. First the S8:
Then the S7. If you know Swedish by the way, note the instructor on the radio urging us to go faster. Funny as hell.
We then did a bunch of other stuff like trying out the S6, S7 and S8 on a slalom course. They also threw in a BMW 550 X-Drive for comparison. And I understand why. The Audis were all a marvel of agility and balance in comparison to the spongy BMW.
We also got to try out technology for automatic emergency breaking and adaptive cruise control which was nice and all, but I think we will all have stronger memories of precision handling and g-force from this day than anything else.
For the ride home the provided us with the mighty Audi S8. Weighing in not much heavier than the S7, this monster also sports a 4-liter bi-turbo V8 engine, but with a whopping 520 hp and a ridiculous 650 Nm of torque. We reach 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds in this super luxurious limousine, which is a joke really considering that this is faster than the standard R8 and many Porsche 911s. All this while having air-vented super-plush seats with built in massage. This car is a monster. Funny to see how they lined up these €140000-cars like play cars in a toy store.
The Final Verdict: Which Car To Take Home?
So which car did I like most and why? Well – I really have two answers to that question. Without a doubt the mightiest driving experience came from the S8. With all that power sending off this huge car like a bullet from a slingshot, it was one of those experiences that stays with you. Our colleague brought it up to 290 km/h on Autobahn the way home. Crazy. The car is also comfortable beyond your wildest dreams with seats that more resemble business class airliner seats than car seats. Plus the massage and vents of course.
On the downside, the car was not as fast and agile on the race track as the S7. This is not to say that it wasn’t amazingly good compared to most other cars, but the S7 felt quicker and more stable. More surprisingly I also felt that the S7 was more stable in high speeds on Autobahn than the S8. I didn’t manage to reach the same speeds with the S8, but this might just well have been because of winds and rain that hit us on the afternoon.
The car that I would bring with me home is a car that I haven’t talked much about here – the S6 Avant. Call me boring as it’s the exact same car I’m driving back home, only I’m driving a 245 hp diesel V6 instead of this 420 hp gasoline V8, but in my mind the S6 Avant was the fastest and best handling car through the slalom course. It’s comfortable and quick and being a station wagon I can pack it full of sports equipment, strollers or whatever else I might need. It’s just the perfect mix of sports car and practical every day vehicle. If you ask me again in 10 years or so, I might answer the S8. It’s more of an adult persons car and the brutal power makes it a driving experience beyond most that you can find anywhere. The S7 fell in between these two use cases for me. It’s very similar to the S6 in handling but without the practical format so that’s not the car for me. S6 Avant is.
Let’s Do it Again Sometime
All in all this whole event was amazing. Great ordnung, great people and great great great driving. Thanks Audi. Let’s do it again sometime.
This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.