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First Test: 2012 Audi A7


There's no such thing as a coincidence. So says George Noory, late-night king of the conspiracy theorists. I feel different (i.e. two actions can happen independently of each other), though I feel compelled to share that the same week I got my first iPad, I also happened to take a shine to an Audi. Yes, an Audi. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with Audi (well, besides the FWD nature of most of their supposed luxury cars), but I just never personally connect with 'em. Even the "everyday supercar," the much-heralded AUDI R8 left me cold. And dreaming of Gallardos. The last time an Audi really set my hair on fire was the RS4, a motorized instrument of such precision that I thought it was a Porsche.

 But times change. I've spent the last two weeks pounding around Los Angeles in the new 2012 Audi A7. Wait, pounding? That's not the case. More like gliding. Like the iPad 2, the new A7 exhibits a level of grace that's just not found in other mass-market consumer products. The iPad's contoured shape feels good in your hands. Likewise, the A7's unfinished, open pore wood inserts feel magnificent. Even my wife -- a woman so uninterested in cars she doesn't remember driving a 510-horsepower Jaguar XKR Convertible -- commented on how fabulous the A7's wood trim looks and feels.

 The new A7 drives better than other big Audis. The handling, and specifically the steering feel, is a major improvement over the AUDI A8 we played with last summer and the soon-to-be-launched-here-in-the-States A6. Yes, it's a bit over-boosted in dynamic mode, and downright sloppy in comfort. But dynamic mode's not bad, and the A7's steering feels just slightly better than a contemporary Bmw 5 Series, though not even close to the steering perfection of the E39. Besides, the A7 goes exactly where you point it, and there's only the most subtle hint of torque steer when you get on the gas a little early at the end of a curve. The ride's pretty good and there's always comfort mode if the going gets too rough. One gripe is that the 20-inch wheels and 265-wide tires create an awful lot of noise.

(Source)


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