Audi UK has announced the prices and specification of the new Audi A7 Sportback. Priced from £54,940 OTR, and due to reach the first UK customers in April, the all-new A7 Sportback has been comprehensively updated visually with reference to the latest Audi design language, and brings on board the latest technology to upgrade every apsect of the driving experience.
With its large surfaces, sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, the latest A7 Sportback draws inspiration from the Audi prologue concept study that spearheaded the introduction of the new Audi design language. In common with the A8 which was the first to take the new direction into series production, one of its key defining features is a flat light strip which creates a continuous light pattern across the rear – a distinction that will mark out all models in the upper echelons of the Audi range in future. When the doors are unlocked and locked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in the headlights.
Compared with the previous model, interior length has increased by 21 millimetres, resulting in more rear knee room. Rear passengers also enjoy more head room. A three-seat rear bench is standard for UK models, and when its backrest is fully stowed the luggage compartment capacity expands from 535 litres to a generous 1,390 litres.
In common with the A8 the communications hub of the new A7 Sportback is a new MMI touch response operating concept based around 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower touchscreen displays which appear to blend into the dashboard when switched off. The two large, high resolution touch displays replace the rotary controller and satellite button system used by the previous model. They provide haptic and acoustic feedback as confirmation when a fingertip triggers a function.
With its comprehensive connectivity, the Audi A7 is well equipped for long-distance touring. It offers customers the same broad range of convenience, safety and customisation technologies as the new Audi A8. Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles, and as many as 400 parameters can be personalised. The online services from Audi connect have been expanded to include features such as the traffic sign and hazard information Car-to-X services, which utilise the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
By activating the parking pilot and garage pilot, which will be introduced in stages from 2018, the driver can manoeuvre the A7 Sportback autonomously into and out of a parking space or garage without having to sit in the car. This is performed by launching the function via the myAudi app on their smartphone.
These functions are just two of a total of 39 driver assistance systems the A7 Sportback will offer to make daily use easier for the driver. They are split into three packages: Parking (gradual introduction beginning in 2018), City Assist (with the new Cross Traffic Assist Front feature) and Tour.
In the UK the new A7 Sportback is initially based around two specification levels – Sport and S line – and two engines classified according to the new Audi naming convention first introduced in the new A8 luxury saloon. The 55 TFSI is powered by a petrol V6 TFSI offering 340PS and 500Nm. From rest, 62mph is reached in 5.3 seconds and its top speed is 155mph. In terms of efficiency, up to 40.4mpg combined is possible, with a CO2 low of 158g/km. A 50 TDI variant is also available, utilising a V6 TDI diesel that delivers 286PS and 620Nm of torque. It enables the A7 Sportback to reach 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a 155mph top speed. Combined fuel consumption peaks at 50.4mpg, corresponding to 147g/km of CO2.
Specification includes LED front and rear lights and 19-inch alloy wheels maximising presence externally in Sport versions, and Twin leather-upholstered seats with full electric adjustment upfront and LED ambient interior lighting setting the scene inside.
Technology features common to both levels will include the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, the Audi Smartphone Interface and the Audi Phone Box with wireless charging for QI-enabled compatible phones. The list of electronic driver assistants will also feature the Audi Parking System Plus with rear-view camera, the Audi Pre-sense Front collision warning and automatic braking system and the Lane Departure Warning system.
S line specification features 20-inch alloy wheels, HD Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators and coming/leaving home animations, sport suspension lowering the body by ten millimetres, and S line-specific body styling. It also lends the cabin a more dynamic air through generously bolstered front sport seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara and S line-specific interior detailing.
Another core component of the standard technology package benefiting all A7 Sportback models is the new mild hybrid drivetrain (MHEV) made possible by the newly introduced 48-volt primary electrical system. At speeds of between 34 and 99mph, it enables the V6 engines to be deactivated and the A7 Sportback to coast in freewheeling mode.
The start-stop function has also been significantly expanded and now activates at 13mph. In combination with the standard front camera, the engine is restarted predictively while at a standstill as soon as the vehicle ahead begins to move. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres.
The two engines work with a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission (55 TFSI) and an eight- speed tiptronic (50 TDI). The drivetrain with its equally weighted comfort, efficiency and performance focus is complemented by a platform developed according to the same philosophy. The new electronic chassis program (ECP) – the central controller for the chassis – and the four suspension options including updated adaptive air suspension make the car feel supple and luxurious during cruising without curbing its ability to iron out more challenging roads.
For optimal ability through the switchbacks and increased lower-speed manoeuvrability dynamic all-wheel-steering is available from the options list, as is the quattro sport differential which actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels for maximum cornering adjustability.