V10-powered Sportback model will top the A7's range; Paris motor show launch; on-sale 2011

Audi’s new A7 Sportback is in the final stages of development and insiders now confirm that the four-door coupé will be unveiled at the Paris motor show in September.

UK sales will start in March next year and a V10-powered RS variant will be part of the range.

See the latest Audi A7 spy pictures

The A7, pictured here almost undisguised, is the first model based on Audi’s new mid-size platform, which will underpin next year’s seventh-generation A6. The 4950mm-long A7 has been conceived to provide stiff competition to the new Mercedes-Benz CLS, also set to be revealed at the Paris show, and a production version of BMW’s recently unveiled Gran Coupé concept due in 2012.

Topping the line-up will be an RS7 Sportback performance model running a 580bhp version of Audi’s naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine in combination with the firm’s new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Other models in the line-up will use a range of V6, V8 and V10 petrol and diesel engines. Among the engines expected to account for the majority of UK sales are Audi’s new 330bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 direct injection petrol and 250bhp 3.0-litre V6 common-rail diesel.

Previewed by the Sportback concept shown at last year’s Detroit show, the production version of the A7 Sportback is clothed in a sleek four-door fastback body similar in style to the A5 Sportback.

Some design cues hark back to the Audi 100 S coupé made between 1970 and 1976.

“The overall look is less formal than that of the A8,” says Audi design boss Stefan Sielaff, who suggests that the new car will appeal to an increasing number of luxury car buyers who place good looks ahead of overall functionality.

Inside, the A7 Sportback receives a unique dashboard, previewed by that gracing the earlier concept car, and nominal seating for four. A three-person rear bench will be offered as an option.

Greg Kable

Photos: Carparazzi

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24

6 May 2010

i wonder why audi are having 2 engines at about 330bhp, a 2.5 turbo and a 3.0 super?

i suppose one is for smoothness and the other for more raciness.

also they should consider having and cheap choice for customers instead of an expensive 5.2 na 580bhp engine, a 4.2 v8 turbo could give the same power but for a lot less money, obviously it wouldnt be as nice as the flagship 5.2 but i'm guessing a lower price option would make some extra sales.

6 May 2010

surely it will be twin turbo, like the RS6 its based on

6 May 2010

Is it me or is the headline horsepower race getting silly . Is 580bhp in a road car really worth all that extra dosh over a 330 bhp version?

No doubt another German mnaufacturer will soon come out with a 600bhp something or other that will also be resticted to 155 mph get to sixty in a tenth of a second less and ride even more ridiculously firmly on some sot of supersports suspension. Whats the point ?

Ok so they are "Halo cars "but I wonder how many of em really get sold as a percentage of the model line up. Or are there really so many braggarts out there that can afford one and want us all to know about it yawwwwwnnnnn.

6 May 2010

[quote Old Toad]

Is it me or is the headline horsepower race getting silly . Is 580bhp in a road car really worth all that extra dosh over a 330 bhp version?

No doubt another German mnaufacturer will soon come out with a 600bhp something or other that will also be resticted to 155 mph get to sixty in a tenth of a second less and ride even more ridiculously firmly on some sot of supersports suspension. Whats the point ?

Ok so they are "Halo cars "but I wonder how many of em really get sold as a percentage of the model line up. Or are there really so many braggarts out there that can afford one and want us all to know about it yawwwwwnnnnn.

[/quote]

Odd, I don't remember detractors weighing in when Jag launched the needlessly powerful and sub 5 seconds 0-60 mph rapid 500hp+ XJ Supercharged. Ah, but then that's permitted, as it's a Jag, and Jags are verboten for criticism. Couldn't be that this negative reaction to this news is to do with the ill disguised fear of what this car will do the top-end Jags' sales prospects? 'course not.

6 May 2010

Can I just say: whatever.

So bored of Audi right now - I gave up reading the article halfway though the first paragraph and then skipped to the comments to find something more interesting.

There used to be some excitement looking forward to a new model release from a manufacturer, but with what seems like the current tirade from Audi, it's just not interesting anymore.

6 May 2010

[quote nicksheele]Odd, I don't remember detractors weighing in when Jag launched the needlessly powerful and sub 5 seconds 0-60 mph rapid 500hp+ XJ Supercharged. Ah, but then that's permitted, as it's a Jag, and Jags are verboten for criticism. Couldn't be that this negative reaction to this news is to do with the ill disguised fear of what this car will do the top-end Jags' sales prospects? 'course not[/quote]

You may be right there, and I'm 100% happy to say that I think that giving 500bhp (or whatever) to the Jaguar is pretty pointless too, as the usual habitat of such cars will be cities, where about 400 of those bhp will effectively be redundant. Most of the remaining miles will be on motorways, where around 250 of those bhp will be redundant most of the time, or all of the time if being driven with the boss in the back.

Back to the Audi - well, fine vehicle though I'm sure it is, it is just another car. As far as I can see, it doesn't take car design/technology forward at all. It is just another car. It'll be indistinguishable from less powerful versions to all but the cognoscenti for 99% of the time.

So what the hell is the point of it? Can it really be that it has been imbued with an abundance of power solely to confer bragging rights upon small men?

6 May 2010

Rome's burning, you say? Pass me that fiddle.

6 May 2010

I think that coming to luxury fast saloons there are only 3 options an S-Class if you want space and get driven, A jag XJ if want something a tad smaller that looks the part and does everything brilliantly, or a maserati if style is what you seek and rate very highly visual and aural pleasures. The rest are just off the point for me big audis and Bmw's? a mercedes is a better car. Panamera is a design exercise proving that 911 style just don't work at this size. As for the rapide? go for the dbs does everything better and and the rapide isn't a proper 4 seater so...?

6 May 2010

i am not convinced fast large luxury cars really exist. When they get this powerful the suspension has to be so taught there is nothing luxurious about how they ride. And for the money you could buy a realy luxury car and a sports car. These things are just pointless.

And although we cant see every detail of this car, it looks pretty ugly to me. Good thing i am not their target market!

6 May 2010

nicksheele ,

I agree with you to a point . If I had the means I would not buy a 500bhp plus Jag either. I would sooner have the diesel. I was not having a deliberate pop at the Germans.

However I would argue that the average XJ buyer would not be thinking about an Audi anyway . I certainly would not as I would want my luxo barge to be comfortable and quick without having a silly ride or nugatory power. Yes I would look at a big Merc but not a big Beemer or Audi.

Jag just seems to blend better for me maybe because it doesnt strike me as so in your face as a wanna be Audi. Cant fault the engineering mind.

However I do return to my original point a 300bhp car is probably more than adequate for a luxo barge but to be the Devils advocate a Maserati Quattroporte breaks all those rules and gets away with it . Well it is Italian after all.

Its all academic really as I will never be able to afford any of these anyway.

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