The result is a high-tech combination of style and practicality
It doesn't take long behind the wheel to discover that the 'sport' in ‘Sportback’ is there for a reason. Yes, it can feel rather remote if you're driving it lazily, but up your game and this A7 responds
Under the bonnet, the engine range is based around 3. 0-litre TDI V6 diesel power, an engine substantially revised for this improved model. For many, it’ll be sufficient in its 218PS state of tune, where there’s a choice of the front-driven ultra version or a quattro 4WD model.
This is certainly a very imposing piece of design. Is it beautiful? Well that’ll depend on your definition – and possibly on the amount of money you have to spend on the finished spec. As before, the front end is long, with the roofline low and athletically taut.
The changes made to this improved first generation version are subtle ones mainly centred around a trademark singleframe front grille that now looks wider, with six crisper corners and eight chromed struts for extra emphasis. There are revised air inlets in the redesigned bumper. And the LED wedge-shaped headlights have also been restyled and can now react to almost every conceivable night time road condition if ordered with optional segment-leading Matrix LED technology that’s recognisable by its brilliant crystal shine.
But, as ever with an expensive Audi, it’s what’s underneath all this tinsel that really ought to command your attention. Over 20% of the bodywork is fashioned from aluminium, which helps to explain why this car is over 250kgs lighter than a rival BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo.
Running costs for the A7 are certainly aided by the sleek Sportback shape with its low 0. 28Cd aerodynamic drag factor but a bigger contributor to the cause are the many lightweight aluminium body parts that make this car significantly less weighty than conventional steel-bodied rivals
Go, as many potential buyers will, for the entry-level 3. 0 TDI Ultra version and you’ll be getting a very efficient car indeed. SCR – or ‘Selective Catalyst Reduction’ – means that the Ultra meets Euro 6 emissions standards and earns so-called ‘clean diesel’ status within the Audi range. More importantly, this model’s figures suggest you’ll be able to achieve 60. 1mpg on the combined cycle while putting out 122g/km of CO2.
Every part of this car has been designed with a thoroughness that’s deeply impressive, if sometimes rather clinical. Of course, the end result is hardly inexpensive - and you’ll need to spend plenty on options to fully sharpen its driving manners. Still, if that’s not an issue, then you’re likely to find this A7 very desirable indeed.
It is perhaps the definitive expression of how Audi wants you to perceive its brand. Not all executive decisions should be difficult. Here’s one you should enjoy making.