Audi has unveiled its new A7 at the Paris motor show.
This is the car that Audi hopes will take sales from Mercedes-Benz’s CLS and continue the Ingolstadt firm’s evolution of its ‘big car’ design: the new A7 Sportback.
See Autocar's exclusive studio pics of the new Audi A7 Sportback - plus pictures from the Paris motor showWatch Autocar's exclusive video of the Audi A7 Sportback in the studioWatch a 360-degree view of the Audi A7 from its Munich launch
The A7 Sportback is designed to fill a niche between the A6 and A8. It offers big-car interior packaging for four people, the practicality of a rear hatch, a sizeable boot and what Audi calls a ‘four-door coupé’ shape.
Packaging and design
The A7 is 4.97m long and 1.91m wide, which is 17cm shorter and 4cm narrower than the A8. But it sits 4cm lower than Audi’s luxury saloon, at 1.42m. At 2.91 metres, the wheelbase is around 8cm shorter than the regular A8’s, but longer than the current A6’s by a similar amount. It’s likely that the next generation of A6 will sit on the same platform.
The A7 was previewed by a concept at the Detroit show last year, and the production car sticks closely to the show model’s appearance. Its looks are dominated by a deep front grille, a low nose, narrow headlights, a sharp crease that runs along its flanks from nose to tail, and a bootline that tails off quickly, minimising the rear overhang. That last element, and a distinctive lip on the third side window, reference Audi’s 100 Coupé from the 1970s.
The concept’s mirrors, which protruded from the side of the door instead of the base of the A-pillar, have been retained — but the deep-set air intakes at the base of the front bumper have been toned down.