BMW 5-series GT and Mercedes-Benz CLS seen at the Nurburgring
29 April 2010

The Audi A7 has been spied testing at the Nurburgring for the first time, ahead of going on sale in 2011.

The A7, which has previously only been seen as the Audi Sportback concept, will compete with the BMW 5-series GT and Mercedes-Benz CLS, and is Audi’s attempt to ‘premiumise’ the concept of a hatchback. Five-doors are traditionally the preserve of mainstream cars in Germany, so Audi is attempting to add value by giving its Sportback cars a coupé-like profile.

Audi A7 Sportback concept pics

Audi’s head of exterior design, Achim Badstubner, is the man responsible for the A7, and he has told Autocar that the A7 will sit above the A6 in Audi’s range, but it won’t be as expensive as the A8. “In Germany there is nearly 20,000 euro (£18k) between the most expensive A6 Avant and the cheapest A8,” he said. “The A7 will fill that gap.”

In the UK a mid-range A6 3.0 TDI SE costs around £35k and an A8 with the same drivetrain £54k. A similarly specified A7 might not reach the £45k mid-point because it lacks the A8’s sophisticated aluminium architecture, but it should cost around £40k.

The A7’s mechanicals are a blend of A6 and A8; the floorpan will be from the next A6, and its wheelbase is identical. The engines are common to both models already and the A7 will use them too. But the interior architecture and material quality will feel more like an A8, said Badstubner.

The A7 continues the theme developed by the A5, where the ‘premium’ versions -anything that isn’t a saloon or estate - are assigned the next number up from the mainstream models. “It makes sense to me,” said Badstubner, “to have the saloon and Avant on the evens and the premium versions to be given a higher number.”

Unlike the A5, however, there will not be a two-door version of the A7. According to Badstubner, Audi reckons two-door coupés of this size and price are “cars for old men”, bought by empty-nesters. The A7 is aimed at those who still have children and are more of an aspirational buyer.

Matt Prior

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Comments
9

29 April 2010

So this will look like a slightly longer, lower A4, I mean A6, no A8... wait, what does this car compete with again?!

The BMW 5 GT may be ungainly but it's at least distinctive; the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz CLS, however, is gorgeous AND distinctive. There's no competition as far as I'm concerned.

29 April 2010

All trying to take the credit that's due to the Rover SD1, launched 33 years ago. Brilliant. Like all Audis, it'll be bland, soulless, seemingly impeccably built yet somehow not as reliable as it ought to be, and it'll have really nose-heavy, understeery FWD-y handling... and nice to see them trying to pretend it's a BMW, with the swirly paint scheme. I still think those schemes should be offered to the public as an option.

29 April 2010

Deja vu... Yawn... (And that from a current A8 owner...)

29 April 2010

From recollection, the concept pics of this were stunning. Alot sleeker, prettier, more covetable than the new A8. Time will tell whether they allow the A7 to be as glamourous/ extrovert & act as an antidote to the new A8 - or whether they'll mute / subdue it to within an inch of its life- which'd render the car pointless- Incidentally -re the new A8, it didn't seem to have the same publicity shots as the previous 2 generations- in its shiny aluminium glory, or did I just miss it? I always remember with interest seeing both introduced to the public that way

29 April 2010

[quote Rover P6 3500S] Like all Audis, it'll be bland, soulless, seemingly impeccably built yet somehow not as reliable as it ought to be, and it'll have really nose-heavy, understeery FWD-y handling[/quote]

Feel free to cast your aspersions, but there are Audi's that demonstrate none of issues you mention.Many have Quattro for a start. From my experience, owning one, living with it- It's a car that requires you to step up to its level, rather than meeting yours. The car I have feels like its been developed/final tested by someone who was concentrating about a 1/3 higher than people normally do. At first I found my car very hard to get.When I finally did, it unwraped itself for me and it felt special,very special and lovable

29 April 2010

[quote fuzzybear]Feel free to cast your aspersions, but there are Audi's that demonstrate none of issues you mention.Many have Quattro for a start. From my experience, owning one, living with it- It's a car that requires you to step up to its level, rather than meeting yours. The car I have feels like its been developed/final tested by someone who was concentrating about a 1/3 higher than people normally do. At first I found my car very hard to get.When I finally did, it unwraped itself for me and it felt special,very special and lovable[/quote] What Audi you got?

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

29 April 2010

W12 A8

29 April 2010

Unless i'm missing something, why does Autocar continually mention the 5-Series GT as a CLS and A7 rival? The Merc and Audi are 4-dr coupe saloons, something the GT certainly is not (and i still can't fathom it out).

29 April 2010

[quote fuzzybear]

W12 A8

[/quote]

I was thinking more of the rather nasty A6 (which looks quite nice from the side - I have a thing for six-light saloons). The A8 is one of the nicer Audis, it has to be said. I'll take mine in 4.2 V8 spec... now, do I want the sonorous and revvy petrol, or the sonorous and torquey diesel? Hmm, decisions, decisions... and, Beachland, if you're reading this, don't bother replying, we've heard it all before. And, as the A8 is based on a spaceframe, I wonder if one could have an estate version... with a manual gearbox...

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