Audi has unveiled its all-new second-generation Audi A7 ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November.
Equipped with sharp-new exterior designs, the luxury liftback comes with a 48V electric system, new engines with mild- hybrid properties that add to fuel savings, and steel and aluminium body structure. The BMW 6 Series GT and Mercedes Benz CLS get a reworked chassis, offering four-wheel steering and a raft of digital interior functions.
The Audi A7 2018, along with latest A8, represents a new start for Audi, after the follow from parent company Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal. Approved for production by the boss Rupert Stadler in 2014, the A7 has been developed under three Research and Development chiefs: Ulrich Hackenberg, Stefan Knirsch, and Peter Mertens.
Audi claims that A7 has been refined to offer outstanding-distance-cruise trails, and also its revamped interiors boost its appeal. Audi is seen taking steps to ensure top-notch quality from the initial build phase itself.
Although the new A7 carries the theme established with the first generation model in 2010, but with tauter surfacing and crisper forms. The five-door layout remains, the cabin door is frameless again, while the longer tailgate hinges from above the rear window to provide unimpeded access to the luggage compartment.
The front end contains the Audi’s latest single-frame grille, as on the recent A8. It is set within a heavily structured front bumper and is bookmarked by angular headlights sporting distinctive LED graphics in one of the three designs, which is taper black within the leading part of front wings.
Furthermore, there are pronounced front wheel arches, a relative shallow six-window glasshouse, heavy swage lines within the lower sections of the doors and a roofline that slopes heavily towards the rear- all in keeping with the original A7.
At the rear, Audi has tried providing with an active spoiler element. Integrated into the trailing edge of the tailgate, it gives a speed of 120mph, increasing downforce on the rear axle for added high-speed stability. The full-width tail-lights, made up of 13 elements, joined by an illuminated light bar, is the most dominant style element.
It also features a high-gloss-black treatment on the grille inserts, front air ducts, sills and rear diffuser.
4969mm long, 1906mm wide, and 1422mm high, the new Audi A7 is 14mm shorter, 3mm wider and 2mm higher than the first generation A7. The wheelbase so adopted is 13mm longer than that of the previous one at 2923mm, based on the latest development of MLB’s platform. The longer wheelbase will provide a larger footprint, same as that of Audi A6-2018.
As far as the interiors are concerned, there is a 12.3 in digital instrument display, along with a 10.1 in Multi-media infotainment display placed at the centre of the dashboard and an 8.6 in display unit mounted lower at the base of centre console- both offering standard touch control, with haptic and acoustic feedback.
The touch-sensitive displays for all major functions provide the dashboard with a clean and uncluttered look, free from manual controls. The stubby gear lever is designed in such a way so as to allow the driver to rest their wrist on the horizontal handle, which would, in turn, ease the touch operation for air conditioning and other functions, as per Audi.
New front seats are claimed to offer added levels of comfort, with the ability to specify multi-adjustable, customised contour seats with both ventilation and massage functions. The rear can be configured either with two individual seats or a two-plus-one layout. Audi claims that improved packaging has liberated an increased length of 21mm within the interior, providing it with increased legroom, despite a reduction in its length.
The boot capacity of the A7 is kept the same, at 535-litre. Audi claims that the luggage compartment has been redesigned for more space optimization. The rear liftback is manually controlled, although buyers can go for a foot-operated sensor.
Other options include Matrix LED headlamps with laser projector units, a head-up display unit, voice control, four sound systems including a Bang & Olufsen unit offering 3D surround-sound, remote parking pilot and, from 2018 onwards, remote garage pilot, which autonomously manoeuvres the A7 into and out of parking spaces or a garage without the need for a driver to be behind the steering wheel.
The new A7 can feature up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner. They are networked by zFas central driver assistance controller. Aggregating, the new car features 39 driver assistant systems, both standard and optional.
The second-generation A7 will be launched just with a single engine as of now. Although both four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units are planned to be added to the line-up as the production of the four-door ramps up at Audi’s plant in Neckarsulm, Germany. The turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit comes as standard with a new belt drive alternator, lithium-ion battery and 48V electric architecture to provide it with mild hybrid properties. At speeds between 55kph and 160kph, the car can coast with the combustion process idled for added fuel savings on extended periods of trailing throttle.
It also comes equipped with start/stop function that shuts down the engine below 14mph as you roll up to traffic lights. In combination with a front camera, the engine is then restarted as soon as the car ahead begins to move or, alternatively, when the driver activates the throttle.
The successor to the earlier supercharged 3.0-litres V6 offered in the first-generation A7 produces 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque. Drive is channelled through a standard seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox and the latest iteration of Audi’s Quattro four-wheel-drive system that activates the rear wheels only when it detects added traction is required.
The new engine provides the initial A7 55 TFSI model with a claimed 0-100 kph time of 5.3 sec along with the electronically limited top speed of 250 kph. Audi is already talking up the dynamic qualities of the new A7, which follows the trend towards the adoption of four-wheel steering – or dynamic-all-wheel-steering, as called.
In other changes, Audi says the suspension has been developed from scratch and claims it offers greater levels of feedback. Buyers can choose between four set-ups: conventional steel springs; a sports suspension that lowers the ride height by 10 mm; electronically controlled damping; and a self-levelling air suspension.
Audi A7 is expected to launch in India sometime next year.