Audi’s answer to the Mercedes CLS here in 2010

The new Audi A7 will set new standards for performance, elegance and quality in the fast-emerging luxury four-door coupe market, according to the German manufacturer. The four-door coupe is due in 2010 as part of Audi’s new-model programme, which aims to increase the firm’s sales by an ambitious 50 per cent over seven years by introducing 17 new models. The A7 is Audi’s rival for the Mercedes-Benz CLS, BMW’s forthcoming 8-series and next year’s Jaguar XJ replacement. It will be armed with a formidable array of technology, heralding what design boss Stefan Sielaff describes as a “new direction” in design and interior quality.This is a flagship model for Audi; it is only expected to account for 40,000 sales per year, but is intended to boost the brand’s image. “The segment for four-door coupes is growing, most significantly in North America. It is not something that can be ignored,” said a senior Audi source.A new platform underpins the A7, and it will also form the basis of the next A6. Based around the MLP (Modular Long Platform) matrix unveiled on the A5 last year, it concentrates as much weight as possible within the wheelbase for optimum weight distribution.Unlike the next A6, which will retain coil-sprung suspension, the A7 has been conceived to run air springs so it can match the CLS’s ride quality. Audi is readying three direct-injection petrol engines for the A7: 2.8 FSI and 3.0-litre TFSI V6s and a 4.0-litre TFSI V8. Diesel options will include a 2.7-litre V6 unit, as well as both turbocharged and twin-turbocharged versions of the existing 3.0-litre V6 TDI.A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with the option of a seven-speed twin-clutch unit and a new seven-speed automatic.High-performance S7 and RS7 versions are being lined up. The RS7 will use a tweaked version of the RS6’s twin-turbo, 5.2-litre V10 engine, delivering 600bhp through quattro four-wheel drive and a new torque distribution system, which will make its debut on the S4. A hybrid system is also being developed for the A7, but it will arrive first on the Q5 SUV next year. Audi’s hybrid system uses lithium-ion batteries from Sanyo and uses either a V6 petrol or a diesel engine.Keen to retain its reputation for class-leading cabin quality, Audi says it has ensured that the A7’s interior is, in the words of one insider, “a cut above the four-door coupe competition”. Along with higher-quality materials, the new A7 will use a second generation of the MMI (Multi Media Interface) controller. There will also be a new speech recognition system that development boss Michael Dick calls “a real breakthrough”. Despite the car’s generous dimensions — length is put at 4900mm — Audi plans to offer the A7 exclusively with a four-seat layout. With the A6 or A8 on offer for customers seeking greater practicality, Audi is keen not to cannibalise sales.

Greg Kable

Our Verdict

Audi A7
The Audi A7 Sportback delivers on all fronts, except for an ability implied in its name

The Audi A7 Sportback is a five-door coupé that scores on style, but what about its substance?

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4 June 2008

Top bit of bandwagon-jumping, looks very thick-set and stocky compared to the Merc. Are these images to be trusted - official or 'artists impressions'? There's a million and one photoshops out there if you stick 'Audi A7' into google images, most of them look better than these!

4 June 2008

The unconvincing images concern me less than the bandwagon-jumping. Audi haven't had an original idea since the A2, and I believe its failure has led them to wait for others (Mercedes and BMW of course) to toe the water first. Their single other original idea, quattro, was just a way of diverting attention from front wheel drive (Jaguar's failed tactic with the X-type.) Their strength has always been that (until recently) they looked good.

4 June 2008

If the images are reliable i think it looks as good if not better than the others in this class. Whether the new A7 can compete on ride quality in particular is probably of more importance.

4 June 2008

This isn't really news. The image has been pinched from another source and all the facts in the article are inferences from developments over their existing range. Why is it that autocar feel the need to fill a lack of news with utter b*llocks?

In the meantime if you want some entertainment type: "BTCC 1994" into youtube.

4 June 2008

I think it looks great. Yes they are late to the market but it will probably be better than the CLS.

6 June 2008

[quote Plunkers]

This isn't really news. The image has been pinched from another source and all the facts in the article are inferences from developments over their existing range. Why is it that autocar feel the need to fill a lack of news with utter b*llocks?[/quote]

Couldn't agree more. It's all a bit Auto Express!

4 July 2013

i'll reserve my judgement until I see pics of the S7 variant.

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