Heads-up display and night-vision available Aluminum body construction
Cashing in on the premium four-door coupe market segment championed by Mercedes with its CLS, Audi has announced its new A7 Sportback. In a similar vein to the company's existing A5 model, it integrates sedan versatility with hatchback practicality into an elegant premium coupe silhouette.
As befits its positioning as a luxurious yet also distinctly driver-oriented five-door performance coupe, the new A7 Sportback will initially offer a choice of four FSI petrol and TDI engines in Europe. The naturally aspirated 204hp 2.8-liter FSI and supercharged 300hp 3.0-liter TFSI gasoline units will be complemented by two versions of the acclaimed 3.0-liter TDI in 204hp and 245hp forms. For the first time in an Audi model at this level, these will be combined with the rapid-shifting seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch sports transmission wherever quattro four-wheel-drive is installed. The quattro all-wheel-drive system appears in latest generation form with 40:60% rear bias and featuring the crown-gear differential first seen in the RS5, which can vary torque distribution between the front and rear axles even more widely for greater agility.
The Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system will be fitted as standard to all models, enabling the driver to fine tune steering weighting, throttle response and transmission shift points at the touch of a button. The keenest performance enthusiasts will also be able to specify the optional quattro sport differential enabling torque transfer between the rear wheels, which has been much praised in the S4 and RS5 for the even greater handling adjustability it brings.
European drivers with a bias towards economy and long distance comfort will be well catered for by the A7 Sportback. The latest direct-injection technology puts its engine range at the forefront of efficiency, and all four units combine innovative Audi thermal management, energy recuperation during coasting and braking and the now familiar engine start-stop function. With the added benefit of new engine load-reducing electro-mechanical power steering, and the fuel-sparing, torque converter-free Audi multitronic continuously-variable automatic transmission fitted as standard to front-wheel drive versions, fuel economy of up to 44.4mpg US is possible.
Economy can also be further optimized when the standard satellite navigation system is upgraded to MMI navigation plus, the detailed route data from which can be used to factor corners into the automatic transmission's shift strategy and avoid unnecessary, fuel-sapping gear changes. The optional adaptive cruise control and adaptive light swivelling cornering light systems are also influenced by feedback from the navigation unit.
To further reduce power usage, customers can specify extremely energy efficient all-LED headlights at extra cost. These units incorporate special cornering, all-weather and freeway light configurations.
A completely new and exclusive-to-Audi platform employing advanced five-link front and trapezoidal-link rear suspension system will bring comfort and control to the new A7 Sportback, and can be specified with a firmer, 10mm lower sport setting or an even more handling-oriented S line configuration.
For drivers craving maximum continent-crossing refinement an extensively revised version of the Audi adaptive air suspension system with three ride settings will be offered as an option. In terms of size, the new A7 Sportback stands almost toe-to-toe with the current A6 Sedan, although its tapered roofline ensures it sits even more purposefully. The dimensions are reflected in interior space for up to four adults, and when luggage takes precedence up to 1,390 liters of capacity can be made available via the long tailgate with its standard motorized operation, which also enables the precise opening angle to be set via buttons on the hatch.
The flowing lines permit an impressive drag coefficient of 0.28 have been sculpted using a high proportion of aluminum to ensure the rigid bodyshell weighs around 15 per cent less than an equivalent all-steel shell.
For the first time in a production Audi, a 'head-up' display will be available at extra cost in the A7 Sportback. The sophisticated system will project key information, including economy and speed data and navigation routing onto the windshield.
Another new option is the park assist system. Using ultrasonic sensors that detect parallel and horizontal parking spaces, the system can completely take over the steering function when parking at the touch of a button, leaving the driver responsible only for throttle and brake application as required.
Among the more indulgent options available are comfort seats with heating, cooling and massaging functions, acoustic glazing, supple leather trim for the center console, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with 1300 watts of power, TV reception and various connectivity upgrades for the MMI system.