The A7, unvieled today in Munich, will be a four-seater coupe/hatchback/sedan designed to take on the Mercedes-Benz CLS and possibly the BMW 5-Series GT. A four-seater only, the A7 will be powered by a range of 6-cylinder engines, with direct-injection, stop-start technology and brake energy recuperation, which sounds suspiciously like a hybrid car for our tastes. Look for the familiar 3.0L TFSI supercharged V6 to be the sole engine for North America, as it is already certified here and Audi is unlikely to bring the lesser 2.8L V6. Diesels are a slim possibility, but unlikely. With the 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox, the A7 3.0TFSI can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The A7 is some 220 lbs lighter than the CLS350, allowing it to get away with forgoing a V8 gasoline engine. The A7 will also share the new quattro all-wheel-drive system that debuted in the RS5, featuring a decidedly rearward bias. Front-wheel drive and a CVT gearbox will be offered in Europe, but again, don’t expect them to show up in North America.
While the A7 Sportback does not share a platform with the A8, the car is designed to slot in just below it, with its swoopy styling acting as a contrast to the more staid, discreet A8. It’s not hard to imagine the A8 as a car that European government ministers (and low key wealthy folks in the Americas) would be driven in, while the A7 is for people who still have a performance itch that needs to be scratched.
Pricing hasn’t been announced for North America but “more than an A6, less than an A8″ is likely a safe bet. An S7 and RS7 pair of performance variants were also announced, likely taking aim at the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and Maserati Quattroporte.
[Source: Twitter, Audi]
Gallery: Audi A7 Sportback
Emotion-packed design, sporty character and innovative technology: Audi is targeting a new market segment with the A7 Sportback. The large five-door model with the dynamically accentuated rear end brings together the best of three worlds: the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon.
The A7 Sportback is pure high-tech. Its body is very lightweight thanks to numerous aluminum components. The elegant interior shows a craftsman’s level of workmanship. The four V6 engines combine refined power with groundbreaking efficiency. The 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) and multitronic has CO2 emissions of just 139 grams per kilometer (223.70 g/mile). The sporty chassis comes with new solutions, such as electromechanical power steering. When it comes to assistance and infotainment systems, the luxury-class coupe exhibits all of the innovative power expected of Audi.
The five-door coupe from Audi combines supreme, long-distance comfort with a sporty character. The interior noise level is very low even at fast highway speeds, with the V6 engines providing refined acoustic feedback as their power unfolds.
The excellent vibrational comfort likewise contributes to the atmosphere of cultured tranquility on board. This is the result of painstakingly tuning all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings and the extremely stiff body. The body is comprised primarily of aluminum and high-tech steels, making it extremely lightweight and safe. The large rear hatch opens wide to reveal a large, extremely usable luggage compartment that is very easy to load. Its 535-liter (18.89 cu ft) capacity swells to a volume of 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seat backrests folded down.
With the A7 Sportback, which will be rolling into dealerships in the fall at a base price of €51,600, Audi is taking up a new design line representing elegance on a grand scale. The five-door coupe is 4.97 meters (16.31 ft) long and 1.91 meters (6.27 ft) wide, but only 1.42 meters (4.66 ft) high. Its long hood, the short front overhang, the long wheelbase, the sportily flowing C-pillars and the sharply dropping rear create a dynamic overall impression. The five-door coupe is an aesthetic athlete with a wide, powerful road stance.
Optional LED headlights reinforce the unmistakable expression of the A7 Sportback and provide all light functions with light-emitting diodes while minimizing energy consumption. Bi-xenon headlights and LEDtail lights come standard. The innovative all-weather light function has also been integrated into the headlights, replacing the classic fog lights.
The sinewy sportiness of the exterior carries over into the interior of the A7 Sportback, where Audi again demonstrates its leading role inautomotive design. The salient element is the “wrap-around,” a horizontal line that encircles the driver and front-seat passenger in the interior to provide a feeling of safety and security. The wave-shaped application strip with its integrative dynamics is the salient element of the dashboard.
The utmost care has been devoted to every last detail in the interior. Workmanship is at a craftsman’s level. Optional climate-control and massage functions are available for the front seats covered in high-grade Audi leathers. The optional ambient lighting fills the entire interior with atmosphere.
Like Audi’s A8 flagship, the A7 Sportback also combines a new level of technical intelligence with logical, intuitive ergonomics and self-explanatory operation. The advanced MMI operating system with central menu button and reduced number of buttons comes standard, while one of the options is a new head-up display that projects the most important information on the windshield. The MMI touch system combines a hard drive navigation system with the convenience of touchpad input.
The driver can use the touchpad to perform numerous functions, such as using his or her finger to write the letters of the destination or the digits of the telephone number.
The online services work together with Google to connect the five-door Audi coupe to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone. A UMTS module delivers images and information from Google Earth to the monitor and combines them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot is used to connect mobile devices. Further to the Bose sound system, the top-of-the-line option is the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen featuring 1,300 watts of power and 15 speakers.
The top navigation system works closely together with the many optional driver assistance and safety systems in the A7 Sportback. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, enabling these systems to recognize complex scenarios. In many cases, the Audi pre sense safety system can reduce the severity of accidents and their consequences. The new Audi active lane assist helps the driver to keep the A7 Sportback firmly on course, and the new park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.
Audi will initially offer the A7 Sportback with a choice of four powerful and cultivated V6 engines: two gasoline and two TDI units. Their power output ranges from 150 kW (204 hp) to 220 kW (300 hp), and their efficiency sets impressive new standards in the vehicle class. The new 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) and multitronic consumes on average just 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of just 139 g per km (223.70 g/mile). All engines use Audi’s innovative thermal management system, a recuperation system and a start-stop system.
The standard automatic transmissions also play a role in the high efficiency of the Audi A7 Sportback. Audi offers two different transmissions depending on the engines: The continuous multitronic sends the power to the front wheels, while the sporty seven-speed S tronic works together with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The latest evolutionary stage of quattro features a crown-gear center differential and torque vectoring.
The drive system is particularly flexible and dynamic. The optional sport differential actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The chassis also combines sporty precision with luxurious comfort. The Audi A7 Sportback rolls on large wheels measuring from 18 to 20 inches in diameter. The chassis features aluminum control arms and a newly developed power steering system with an electromechanical drive for high efficiency. The Audi drive select dynamics system is standard and can be supplemented by the optional adaptive air suspension with controlled damping.