CLS has met its match: the new Audi A7 Sportback. The second generation of the four-door coupe takes over the technical platform of the future A6 and the admiral ship A8’s technologies: 48-volt micro-hybrid electric architecture, integral steering and autonomous driving functions.
Stylistically inspired by the Prologue concept series, the Audi A7 Sportback has a wider, but flatter single-frame frontal grille compared to the new A8. Compared to its predecessor, lateral shoulders are also wider, delimited by sharp edges. The direct rival of the Mercedes CLS and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe also features unique headlights: 12 LED day running lights are placed vertically, perfectly symmetrical in the headlights, while the full-LED Audi HD Matrix technology and laser light are available as an option.
Although the technical platform is completely new (the modular MLB Evo architecture, shared with the A8 and the forthcoming A6), the body dimensions have not changed: the new A7 has a length of 4.97 meters, a width of 1.91 meters and a height of 1.42 meters. The wheelbase measures 2.93 meters. Available wheels can have a diameter of up to 21 inches. The rear is slightly retracted, the 13-segment LED lights are connected via a light stripe in the style of the new Bugatti Chiron. The retractable rear spoiler rises above 120 km / h. The headlights and rear lights feature a unique choreography when you open and close the car.
Inside, A7 draws inspiration from the A8 operating concept. A 10.1-inch display is integrated into the center console. Essential functions are controlled via the MMI Touch Response interface: two touch screens replace the previous rotary switch, simulating virtual buttons and switches. The infotainment top display is completed by an 8.6 inch display located below and dedicated to climate, convenience and text input. For an extra charge, a 12.3-inch display is offered instead of classical rev-counter and speedometer, plus a full-color head-up display that projects information in the driver’s field of view.
Safety and connectivity systems come from the A8, including the car-to-X functions, with which Audi models can inform each other of hazards and signs. Audi also announces an autonomous parking system for 2018. Audi will offer three assistance packages: parking, city and tour. Those who will order all three packages will receive 39 driver assistance systems that use five-camera and radar sensors, 12 ultrasound sensors and a laser scanner. The information is collected in the driver assistance center (zFAS).
With the shift to the MLB Evo modular platform, the A7 receives the pneumatic suspension (option) and full steering options, which can vary, including the ratio of the electric assist of the steering – in addition, at low speed, the rear wheels can swing by up to 5 degrees. This feature increases agility and reduces the turning radius by 1.1 meters. From 60 km / h, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels and thus improve stability when changing lanes on the motorway, for example. For an extra charge, a sporty differential actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
At the onset, the new Audi A7 will be available with a 3.0 liter V6 turbocharged, direct injection petrol engine with 340 hp and 500 Nm. The all-wheel drive is standard, along with a seven-speed automatic transmission with a double clutch. In 5.3 seconds, the A7 55 TFSI accelerates from zero to 100 km / h, with the maximum speed being electronically limited to 250 km / h. The V6 is combined with a 48-volt electric system that helps the Audi A7 run with the engine turned off between 55 and 160 km / h (“Sailing” function). The start / stop function can stop the engine up to 22 km / h and can restart it in a very short time. Mild-hybrid technology reduces average fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters / 100 km. According to the NEDC cycle, the A7 consumes 6.8 liters / 100 km, which corresponds to a good emission level: 154 g CO2 / km.
Audi’s reign at the top of its class might be short lived. An all-new Mercedes CLS will also be out next year with an advance premiere as early as next month’s LA auto show. READ MORE HERE.