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Audi of America’s top man, Johan de Nysschen has confirmed that the upcoming Audi A7 will go on sale in North America. Many had already assumed as much, but until now Audi hadn’t even officially stated that the car existed. And with the A5 Sportback not destined for U.S. shores, the future of the A7 for North America was less than certain.
In an interview with de Nysschen, the folks at Autoblog have ascertained Audi’s plan for the car, which was first shown in concept form (as the Sportback Concept, shown above) at the Detroit Auto Show in 2009. The A7 will be a top-tier premium vehicle from Audi, priced just below the A8 but competing very much in the same space. The idea here is that Audi will now have the A8 for the more traditional buyers in the segment, which it believes will account for roughly 5,000 units sold each year, while the A7 will cater to younger buyers that might not have purchased a top-dollar Audi in the past. Sales of the A7 are expected to be around 7,000 to 8,00 units, says de Nysschen. In terms of pricing, the A8 is expected to retail for a higher dollar amount in 2011, meaning a middle-of-the-road A7 should cost roughly $82,000.
Audi’s plan with the two cars is to more than double the brand’s presence in the top level of the market by doubling the number of vehicles available to consumers.
The Audi boss also said that the Sportback concept will serve as a, “very reliable indicator” of what the A7 will look like.
As for an S8 model, de Nysschen said that while nothing has been confirmed it’s “safe to assume, ” considering Audi always does a high performance version of its cars.
The A7 is on its way
As though the polished look of the Audi Sportback Concept were not enough to convince you that a similar car will make it to production as the A7, Audi even has a design philosophy thought out for the car and it’s oddly numbered siblings.
According to Audi PR boss Christian Bokich Audi’s philosophy for the A3, A5 and (potentially) the A7 is that the odd numbered vehicles are an area where the company can express itself more creatively. The even numbered models making up the conservative backbone of the German company.
This theory gives credence to the Sportback Concept becoming the A7. It is, after all, a luxury hatchback. The reason behind the hatchback idea comes from the massive success of the A3, as well as the continued popularity of the Avant models.
Powered by a 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine that gets 40 mpg and, the Sportback makes 225hp and 406 ft-lbs of torque. Power is put to the ground thanks to Audi’s 7 Speed S-Tronic transmission.
Other highlights of the Sportback include continuously variable shock absorbers and carbon ceramic brakes.
Official release after the jump: Continue Reading…