The new Audi A7 Sportback: Progressive in design and technology
The new Audi A7 Sportback is a new style of Gran Turismo, offering systematic digitalization, a dynamic driving experience and a space concept that combines a wide range of customer requirements. The large four-door coupé is the essence of Audi’s new design language.
Progressive sportiness: the exterior design
The exterior design of the new A7 Sportback emphatically embodies Audi’s new, progressive design language focused on large surfaces, sharp edges and alternating light and shadows. The wide, low Singleframe grille and prominent air inlets express the dynamic character of the Gran Turismo at first glance. With the two optional headlight variants, twelve separate horizontal lighting strips create the lighting signature. Topping the line are the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light, which can be recognized by the blue marker in the reflector.
Viewed from the side, pronounced contours emphasize the large wheels –a reference to Audi’s quattro genes. The sharply dropping roof line dominates the silhouette. The large coupé is 4.97 meters (16.3 ft) long and 1.91 meters (6.3 ft) wide, but just 1.42 meters (4.7 ft) high. Its rear is tapered like a yacht. A spoiler integrated into the long luggage compartment lid extends electrically at 120 km/h (74.6 mph). A light strip connects the rear lights, whose outer rear lights comprise 13 segments each. When the doors are unlocked or closed, dynamic lighting animations in the rear lights and headlights showcase the Audi A7.
Reduction as a stylistic device: the interior design
The design language in the interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback is reduced and clean. The horizontal lines and sleek instrument panel convey a feeling of airy spaciousness. The center console is inclined toward the driver and underscores the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. In the interior, the cockpit architecture and the MMI monitor merge to form a homogeneous surface. Most vehicle functions can be controlled via two displays in a black-panel look. The upper display is integrated almost invisibly into the dashboard. The choice of colors, upholstery materials, inlays and interior lighting fit perfectly into the futuristic lounge atmosphere.
Systematically digitalized: MMI touch response and online voice control
The new Audi A7 Sportback continues the digitalization strategy begun with the new A8 and adopts the MMI touch response concept with acoustic-haptic feedback: A tangible and audible click confirms activation of a function via the finger on the display. The upper display is used to control the infotainment, while the lower display provides access to the climate control, comfort and convenience functions and text input. Thanks to the logical, flat menu structure, operation is intuitive like on a smartphone.
Audi has designed the optional voice control as a natural language dialogue system (MMI navigation and above). It uses both onboard information as well as knowledge from the cloud to process all input. The driver can also control many functions on the steering wheel, and there is an optional head-up display. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit.
Fully networked: Infotainment and Audi connect
Its extensive range of infotainment makes the A7 an intelligent endurance athlete. MMI navigation uses the latest generation of the Modular Infotainment Platform. It transmits data at LTE speed and features an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system learns from the routes traveled and can make suggestions of its own. The system computes the route online on the servers of the service provider HERE, which considers real-time data for the entire traffic situation.
Among the online services provided by Audi connect are various Car-to-X services, such as traffic sign information and hazard information. The customer can also personalize the system by adjusting some 400 parameters to set up an individual profile for greater comfort and create six more driving profiles. The new Audi A7 already recognizes the customer when the car is opened and adjusts numerous settings according to the individual profile.
With the new digital Audi connect key, the car can also be opened and started with an Android smartphone via Near Field Communication (NFC). The customer can use this key to enable five smartphones or people to access the vehicle. The Audi connect key card in the vehicle is for those situations where the driver has to temporarily give a key to someone else, such as at Audi Service or valet parking.
Comprehensively updated: the driver assistance systems
Audi offers a choice of 39 driver assistance systems in the new A7 Sportback. They are split up into three packages: the Park assist package (successive introduction beginning 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package.
Like the A8, the new Audi A7 Sportback is equipped with the central driver assistance controller (zFAS), which continually computes an image of the surroundings. It draws on a sensor set that in the full version includes five radar sensors, a laser scanner, a front camera, four 360 degree cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors. The Audi (remote) parking pilot and Audi remote garage pilot, which will follow in the course of the year, automatically steer the Gran Turismo into a parking space or garage and back out again when the driver activates and monitors this function on their smartphone. The driver can also activate the Audi parking pilot via the corresponding button.
More dynamic driving and greater long-distance comfort: the chassis
The new Audi A7 Sportback further optimizes the synthesis of dynamics and comfort. It is dynamically agile on winding country roads and comfortable on the highway. Its optional dynamic all-wheel steering combines direct steering with superior directional stability. At the front axle, it changes the steering ratio depending on the driving situation. At the rear axle, it turns the wheels either in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels depending on the speed. Even with the base steering, a new steering boost concept provides the driver with intensive feedback from the road.
The optional sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing the standard quattro all-wheel drive. It as well as the dynamic all-wheel steering, optional suspension with damper control, optional sport suspension and adaptive air suspension with controlled damping (option) are controlled by the electronic chassis platform (ECP). Thanks to this close networking, all systems work together for increased comfort, sportiness and maximum precision. The driver can choose from several profiles in the Audi drive select system; they offer a wider spread between comfort and dynamics compared to the predecessor.
Broad-based electrification: Mild hybrid system for all engines
The new Audi A7 Sportback’s drive system is now even more efficient thanks to a new mild-hybrid system (MHEV). At market introduction the coupé will be available with either a 3.0 TFSI or a 3.0 TDI engine. With either engine, the MHEV system is based on a 48-volt primary electrical system and a belt alternator starter (BAS) generating up to 12 kilowatts of recuperation power. The A7 Sportback can coast with the engine off over a wide speed range and then restart smoothly via the BAS. The start-stop function now activates at 22 km/h (13.7 mph). The 3.0 TFSI is mated to a seven-speed S tronic; the 3.0 TDI to an eight-speed tiptronic. In combination with the S tronic, the quattro drivetrain uses the efficient ultra technology that activates rear-wheel drive as needed.
The 3.0 TFSI, a turbocharged V6, has an output of 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 Nm (368.8 lb‑ft) of torque. It accelerates the four-door coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC, the base version of the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI consumes 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (34.6 US mpg), corresponding to 154 grams CO2 per kilometer (247.8 g/mi)*. The 3.0 TDI produces 210 (286 hp) and 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. It consumes in the base version just 5.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42.8 US mpg) in the NEDC, corresponding to 142 grams CO2 per kilometer (228.5 g/mi). Additional four and six-cylinder engines will follow after the market introduction in early March 2018.
The body concept: Coupé, Sedan and Avant in one
The design of a coupé, the space of a sedan and the variability of an Avant – the new Audi A7 Sportback combines the best of three worlds. Compared to the predecessor model, its interior has grown in length by 21 millimeters (0.8 in). The luggage compartment has a base size of 535 liters (18.9 cu ft) and can be expanded up to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft) with the backrests folded down. Body attachments are made of lightweight aluminum. The Gran Turismo gets top marks for stiffness, crash safety, aerodynamics and aeroacoustics.
The four-door coupé rolls off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in early March 2018. It costs 67,800 euros as the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8 (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg)*; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154 (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi)*; the A7 Sportback 50 TDI quattro tiptronic (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 US mpg)*; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi)* costs 66,300 euros.