It been announced that Audi's new Sportback concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show (see this News story at www.eurotuner.com) will carry the A7 nameplate when it goes on sale next year. The luxury car - which features a five-door hatchback body - will be pitched squarely against the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
The A7 is yet another niche model from Audi, which continues its program of expanding the model range from 30 "silhouettes" to 42 by the ed of 2010.
This includes a new small Mini-rival, the A1, which will come with either three- or five-door body styles, plus a similar but smaller 'sportback' based on the Audi A5, with a hatchback body. Further down the line a new A2 is also being considered.
The Audi A7 will be positioned between the A6 and A8. Despite its size, it is actually based on the A4/A5 platform, using the basic architecture and much of the suspension of the mid-sized Audi models.
Meanwhile, the next-generation A8 will maintain the aluminum spaceframe construction of the current model. Among other engines, it will be powered by the 3.0 liter V6 turbo-diesel used in the Q7, which Audi claims already meets Euro 6 standards that are not due until 2014.
Despite the economic downturn, Audi achieved its sales target of one million cars in 2008 for the first time in its history. With 1,003,400 cars sold worldwide, Audi increased its unit sales volume by 4.1% over 2007's 964,151 sales.
Deliveries of the new A4 helped boost this number, as well as the new Q5. Furthermore, the manufacturer is expecting to outperform the market in 2009.