Audi, the German luxury auto major is on a launch spree these days. Post the new A5 and the A8 flagship sedan, Audi is ready with the all-new A7. First revealed to the world in 2012, Audi A7 received one minor refresh in 2014, but it has remained the same car since 2012. Audi has ended the trend now by introducing the new model that comes with a completely redesigned inside and out, a new 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain and has a lot more connection to the A8 flagship.
The exterior of the Audi A7 is undoubtedly lot more related to the A8 sedan with the hexagonal grille and matching headlights identical to its bigger, more prestigious kin. The headlights slant downward more, and has a sporty character combined with the LED DRLs, differentiating it with A8. The lower grilles in the bumper are plain black and provide a sportier look.
The side profile retains the trademark fastback design, but is more athletic now, thanks to the creases on the muscular wheel arches, exaggerating the width of the car. The tail-end offers more dramatic appearance with a full-width bar with 13 individual LED elements on each side, replacing the individual lamps. The taillight sits below an arching crease of the hatch lid and wraps around to the quarter panels.
The inside of the A7 is also massively changed, and resembles much of the Audi A8, just like the exteriors. The dual touchscreens for infotainment - the main upper screen is a 10.1-inch piece used for music, navigation and such, while the 8.6-inch display below it is used for climate control – is instantly recognizable from the A8.
The difference is in the fact that the screens are angled towards the driver and the A7 feels more sporty by the hexagonal motif of the grille on the dashboard, dropping in a greater number of more angled shapes. There is no MMI wheel for controlling the infotainment system. The high-tech interior is matched with many high-tech convenience and mechanical features.
Safety features like lane-centering assist as well as autonomous parking spot and garage parking features will be offered on the new car. Similar to that in the A8, the autonomous parking feature will allow the driver to hop out of the car and let the car park itself or exit from a space. Unlike the BMW 7-series, it is not a straight movement only function.
Underneath the hood is the new turbocharged 3.0-litre 48-volt mild-hybrid V6 engine that has been introduced for the first time. It's the same one as in the A8,and has a combination starter and generator that allows for more frequent, longer, and smoother engine start-stop cycles as the hybrid element. The engine produces 340 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque.
The only engine on offer right now, the V6 unit can do 0-100 kmph in a claimed 5.3 seconds, similar to that of the current model, albeit with hybrid. The gas and diesel V6s and four-cylinders unit will be launched later. However, there can be a high-output V6 and V8 models for hypothetical S7 and RS7 variants.
To send power to all the four wheels via the all-wheel-drive system is the seven-speed transmission. A torque-vectoring rear differential will be available, and four-wheel-steering becomes an option, that can turn the rear wheels up to 5 degrees. At speeds below 37 mph, the wheels turn opposite of the front wheels for improved maneuverability, and they turn with the front wheels above that speed for better straight-line stability.
The A7 starts at €67,800, which converts to $79,700. Since the current A7 starts around $69,700 in the US, expect to see a base MSRP closer to that. The car goes on sale in Germany in February 2018, while it will reach the U.S. in late 2018, possibly early 2019. As for the India, only the RS7 is available in the country now, but Audi can launch the A7 with a similar timeline soon.