Audi unveiled the brand new Audi A7 Sportback last week. The second-generation five-seat Coupe will be available to order from early 2018 with deliveries set to begin in the second quarter of 2018.
The exterior design channels Audi’s current design language. It features large surfaces, sharp edges and plenty of lines. The single frame grille is wider and lower than the Audi A8. Narrow headlights and large air intakes are also characteristic of modern Audi’s. The rear gets a light strip running the entire width of the rear. The body is constructed from steel and aluminium composite.
It measures 4,969 millimetres long – a mere 5 millimetres shorter than the outdoing model. The wheelbase grows by 11 millimetres to 2,926 millimetres and, by width, the new A7 is 2 millimetres shorter. It stands 2 millimetres higher. 21 inch wheels fill the wheel arches. Interior length has increased by 21 millimetres, with similar increases in rear passenger head room and loading width.
The A7 has an impressive luggage compartment, capable of a base capacity of 535 litres, 1,390 litres with the rear seats folded down. Golf fans will be pleased to hear that two golf bags now fit horizontally in addition to the optional spare tyre. Coupled with the panoramic sunroof, the A7 will feel very spacious indeed.
The rear features an integrated spoiler which extends automatically at 74 mph. Those tail lights are made up of 13 vertical segments. When the doors are unlocked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in the headlights.
The technology is where the new Audi A7 Sportback excels. Inside, Audi fit a 10.1-inch upper display and a new MMI touch response operating concept. The MMI touch response replaces conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution touch displays. The infotainment system is controlled by the upper display, the 8.6-inch lower display provides access to the climate control system, comfort functions and text input. The MMI navigation plus option includes the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with rendered dials and 12.3-inch display.
As you would expect, the new Audi A7 Sportback comes fully loaded with AI features. The AI button allows drivers to activate the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot which won’t be available from launch. They autonomously manoeuvre the A7 Sportback into and out of a parking space or garage. The system uses as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner to control the car through an owners smartphone.
Audi boast that they have managed to cram a total of 39 driver assistance systems into the A7. They split into three packages: the Audi AI parking package (gradual introduction beginning in 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package.
There is a new electronic chassis program (ECP) with updated air suspension. Optional dynamic all-wheel-steering is available together with an optional sport differential. Options will also be provided for the suspension set-up. Four to be precise! There is a conventional steel spring suspension, a sport suspension that lowers ride height by 10 millimetres, electronically controlled damping and the self-levelling adaptive air suspension.
From launch, just one engine will be available, the 3.0 V6 TFSI petrol engine. It produces 340 PS and 500 Nm of torque, enough to propel the A7 to 100 km/h is 5.3 seconds and on to a limited to speed of 155 mph. It returns 41.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of 154 grams. Power is routed through a seven-speed S ironic twin-clutch transmission. Six and four-cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel, will follow shortly after the start of production.
All A7 Sportback models will also come equipped with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV). The V6 engines use a 48-volt primary electrical system with a belt alternator starter (BAS) working with a lithium-ion battery. It achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking. At speeds of between 34 and 99 mph, the A7 can coast in freewheeling mode with the engine deactivated and then restart comfortably via the BAS. The start-stop function now activates at 13mph.
The A7 will be produced at Audi’s the Neckarsulm site in Germany, which currently produces the A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 models as well as all Audi Sport models. It will be available to order from early 2018. Pricing in the UK will start from approximately £56,000.