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Audi Sportback goes live on SA’s Cape coast

  • New Audi A7 Sportback now available in UK
  • First UK deliveries expected in April 2018
  • Digital controls, comprehensive connectivity
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

CAPE TOWN, South Africa –  You might have seen them recently on the roads of the Western Cape… German licence places and the steering-wheel on the wrong side. Check the images!

The cars were the coming Audi A7 Sportback  which is, in right-hand drive format, ready for showrooms in the UK in April 2018 and will no doubt follow up with sales in South Africa soon afterwards.

The third-generation models are new in almost every facet as a five-door in coupe style and in UK currency will start at £54 940 (about R906 000, Feb 2018).

2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

The automaker says the A7 Sportback has been ”carefully but comprehensively” updated visually with reference to the latest Audi design language and brings on board the most contemporary and transformational technology to upgrade across the driving experience.

NEW LIGHT STRIPS

It’s said to follow the Audi prologue concept study which featured on Carman’s Corner back in April 2016 that spearheaded the introduction of the new Audi design language.

In common with the A8 – first to take the new direction into series production – one of its key defining features is a flat light strip which creates a continuous light pattern across the rear – a distinction that will mark out all models in the upper echelons of the Audi range in future.

2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

When the doors are unlocked and again when they are locked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in the headlights, highlighting the Sportback’s imposing dynamics even when stationary.

”The cabin,” Audi says, ”projects the new A7 Sportback even further into the future. It was conceived according to a reduced and clean design emphasising horizontal lines and a sleek instrument panel add to the feeling of airy space in the cabin – the car is 2.1cm longer.

READ MORE Audi features on Carman’s Corner

”The rear seats have more headroom and a three-seat rear bench is standard for UK models (we’ll have to see what is planned for SA – Ed), and when its backrest is fully stowed the luggage compartment capacity expands from 535  to 1390 litres.”

2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

Like the A8, the communications hub employs new MMI touch-response operatin based on 26cm upper and 22cm lower  displays which appear to blend into the facia when switched off. The displays replace the rotary controller and satellite button system of the previous model A7.

They also give vibration and acoustic feedback when a fingertip triggers a function.

2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

As many as seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual  profiles and 400 parameters can be personalised. Online Audi services have, the automaker says, been expanded to include road-sign and hazard information which use the ”swarm” intelligence of the Audi fleet.

Auto  parking and garaging by cellphone will also be available.

200km/h NOT A PROBLEM

UK units will start with two spec levels – Sport and S line – and two engines classified according to the Audi naming convention introduced in the new A8: a petrol V6 TFSI offering 255kW / 500Nm  a V6 TDI diesel that delivers 214kW / 620Nm of torque.

Both will be able to reach way past 200km/h.

Specification will, Audi says, ”be appropriately high”: diode front and rear lights and 19” alloy wheel rims on Sport versions, and  leather-upholstered front powered seats and diode ambient interior lighting.

Technology features for either model will include a ”virtual” instrument panel, satnav, phone connection, and wireless phone-charging. Electronic driving assistants will include auto parking, rear camera, collision warning with auto braking, and lane correction.

S Line specification will add 20” rims, diode headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators and coming/leaving home animations, 10mm lower sport suspension and S line body styling.

The cabin also has leather ”generously bolstered” front sport seats and S line-specific cabin detailing.

Another core component for every A7 Sportback will be a ”new mild hybrid” drivetrain based on a 48V primary electrical system. The drivetrain includes a coasting mode with a belt drive to restart the engine when smoothly. Engine stop/start is also present.

The engines employ a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission (petrol) and  eight-speed tiptronic (diesel) and feed torque to all wheels with split-second individual control.

2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress
2018 AUDI A7: Image: Audi UK / Newspress

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