JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The Audi A7 Sportback, just arrived in South Africa, is said to represent the brand’s new design language and set standards in the luxury sedan class with the styling of a GT, a sporty driving experience, and versatile space.
It’s the first of three models (the other two will arrive during 2020) and comes with large surfaces, sharp edges, and taut, athletic lines, signalling dynamics and progressiveness”.
”The headlights, the boldly contoured air inlets and the flat front end,” Audi says, ”convey the sportiness of the Gran Turismo and the headlights use HD Matrix LED version with dynamic turn signals.”
It’s also a big car: near as dammit five metres long, wheelbase 2,93m, and more than 1.9m wide. Performance cars should, of course, ride low, so the car stands less than 1.5m tall.
A choice of wheel rims rises to a max of 21”, a tail spoiler erects at 120km/h, and there’s a choice of 15 body shades.
An optional S-line exterior package is said to ”hone” the look with modifications to the grille and front air intakes, the sills and the front and rear diffusers. Each is trimmed in gloss black.
All cabin colours, upholstery materials, and inlays underscore ”the new aesthetic in the vehicle”. Standard seats are available in Milano leather; choose Sport or a S Sport seats and you’ll get Valcona upholstery (a pure aniline and natural cow leather, warm and soft with a distinctive grip). Thank you, Google.
LOTS OF SCREENS
A 26cm upper facia display (with satnav) is angled towards the driver which almost disappears into the dashboard. The interior blends into Audi’s new MMI touch operating concept.
It replaces the rotary/push-button and conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution, touch displays.
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An 22cm lower display provides access to the aircon controls, comfort functions, and text input. The driver can rest a wrist on the automatic transmission’s wide selector lever knob – which would, of course, make him a risky driver. (Ed).
Car/driver features can include a head-up display that projects to the windscreen and voice control is an option.
Car emergency controls include self-adapting cruise control with speed limiter, swerve assist, 360-degree camera coverage, lane-departure warning; night vision assistant and park radar.
…and we’re still not done… An optional dynamic-all-wheel steering system, electronic chassis control and updated air suspension will help to avoid unpleasantness from the tar or other traffic. The driver can select from four suspension settings for playing hot driver through to self-levelling.
Power comes from a three-litre turbocharged V6 capable of 250 kW and supplemented by a standard 48V mild-hybrid system which helps to allow 6.8 litres/100km. This new mild hybrid system (MHEV) uses a 48V primary electrical systemand a belt alternator starter (BAS) works with a lithium-ion battery to achieve recuperation performance of up to 12kW when braking.
From 55-160km/h the coupé can coast with the engine deactivated and then restarted comfortably via the BAS. The engine will also restart a stationary vehicle ahead starts to move – and which point the Audi driver might like to try for the possible 0-100 in 5.3sec.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
The new Audi A7 55 TFSI Sportback quattro S tronic will cost R 1 250 000 in South Africa, including a five-year or 100 000km Audi Freeway plan.
Coming early in 2020 will be the S7 Sportback, to be followed in the second half of that year by the high-performance RS7 Sportback. Prices when they arrive…