The new Audi A7 Sportback is a new style of Gran Turismo, offering systematic digitalization, a dynamic driving experience and a space concept that combines a wide range of customer requirements. The large four-door coupé is the essence of Audi’s new design language.
Progressive sportiness: the exterior design
The exterior design of the new Audi A7 Sportback emphatically embodies Audi’s new, progressive design language focused on large surfaces, sharp edges and alternating light and shadows. The wide, low Singleframe grille and prominent air inlets express the dynamic character of the Gran Turismo at first glance. With the two optional headlight variants, twelve separate horizontal lighting strips create the lighting signature. Topping the line are the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light, which can be recognized by the blue marker in the reflector.
Viewed from the side, pronounced contours emphasize the large wheels -a reference to Audi’s quattro genes. The sharply dropping roof line dominates the silhouette. The large coupé is 4.97 meters (16.3 ft) long and 1.91 meters (6.3 ft) wide, but just 1.42 meters (4.7 ft) high. Its rear is tapered like a yacht. A spoiler integrated into the long luggage compartment lid extends electrically at 120 km/h (74.6 mph). A light strip connects the rear lights, whose outer rear lights comprise 13 segments each. When the doors are unlocked or closed, dynamic lighting animations in the rear lights and headlights showcase the Audi A7.
Reduction as a stylistic device: the interior design
The design language in the interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback is reduced and clean. The horizontal lines and sleek instrument panel convey a feeling of airy spaciousness. The center console is inclined toward the driver and underscores the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. In the interior, the cockpit architecture and the MMI monitor merge to form a homogeneous surface. Most vehicle functions can be controlled via two displays in a black-panel look. The upper display is integrated almost invisibly into the dashboard. The choice of colors, upholstery materials, inlays and interior lighting fit perfectly into the futuristic lounge atmosphere.
Systematically digitalized: MMI touch response and online voice control
The new Audi A7 Sportback continues the digitalization strategy begun with the new A8 and adopts the MMI touch response concept with acoustic-haptic feedback – A tangible and audible click confirms activation of a function via the finger on the display. The upper display is used to control the infotainment, while the lower display provides access to the climate control, comfort and convenience functions and text input. Thanks to the logical, flat menu structure, operation is intuitive like on a smartphone.
Audi has designed the optional voice control as a natural language dialogue system – MMI navigation and above. It uses both onboard information as well as knowledge from the cloud to process all input. The driver can also control many functions on the steering wheel, and there is an optional head-up display. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit.
Fully networked: Infotainment and Audi connect
Its extensive range of infotainment makes the A7 an intelligent endurance athlete. MMI navigation uses the latest generation of the Modular Infotainment Platform. It transmits data at LTE speed and features an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system learns from the routes traveled and can make suggestions of its own. The system computes the route online on the servers of the service provider HERE, which considers real-time data for the entire traffic situation.
Among the online services provided by Audi connect are various Car-to-X services, such as traffic sign information and hazard information. The customer can also personalize the system by adjusting some 400 parameters to set up an individual profile for greater comfort and create six more driving profiles. The new Audi A7 already recognizes the customer when the car is opened and adjusts numerous settings according to the individual profile.
With the new digital Audi connect key, the car can also be opened and started with an Android smartphone via Near Field Communication (NFC). The customer can use this key to enable five smartphones or people to access the vehicle. The Audi connect key card in the vehicle is for those situations where the driver has to temporarily give a key to someone else, such as at Audi Service or valet parking.
Comprehensively updated: the driver assistance systems
Audi offers a choice of 39 driver assistance systems in the new A7 Sportback. They are split up into three packages: the Park assist package (successive introduction beginning 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package.
Like the A8, the new Audi A7 Sportback is equipped with the central driver assistance controller (zFAS), which continually computes an image of the surroundings. It draws on a sensor set that in the full version includes five radar sensors, a laser scanner, a front camera, four 360 degree cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors. The Audi (remote) parking pilot and Audi remote garage pilot, which will follow in the course of the year, automatically steer the Gran Turismo into a parking space or garage and back out again when the driver activates and monitors this function on their smartphone. The driver can also activate the Audi parking pilot via the corresponding button.
More dynamic driving and greater long-distance comfort: the chassis
The new Audi A7 Sportback further optimizes the synthesis of dynamics and comfort. It is dynamically agile on winding country roads and comfortable on the highway. Its optional dynamic all-wheel steering combines direct steering with superior directional stability. At the front axle, it changes the steering ratio depending on the driving situation. At the rear axle, it turns the wheels either in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels depending on the speed. Even with the base steering, a new steering boost concept provides the driver with intensive feedback from the road.
The optional sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing the standard quattro all-wheel drive. It as well as the dynamic all-wheel steering, optional suspension with damper control, optional sport suspension and adaptive air suspension with controlled damping (option) are controlled by the electronic chassis platform (ECP). Thanks to this close networking, all systems work together for increased comfort, sportiness and maximum precision. The driver can choose from several profiles in the Audi drive select system; they offer a wider spread between comfort and dynamics compared to the predecessor.
Broad-based electrification: Mild hybrid system for all engines
The new Audi A7 Sportback’s drive system is now even more efficient thanks to a new mild-hybrid system *MHEV. At market introduction the coupé will be available with either a 3.0 TFSI or a 3.0 TDI engine. With either engine, the MHEV system is based on a 48-volt primary electrical system and a belt alternator starter *BAS generating up to 12 kilowatts of recuperation power. The A7 Sportback can coast with the engine off over a wide speed range and then restart smoothly via the BAS. The start-stop function now activates at 22 km/h / 13.7 mph. The 3.0 TFSI is mated to a seven-speed S tronic; the 3.0 TDI to an eight-speed tiptronic. In combination with the S tronic, the quattro drivetrain uses the efficient ultra technology that activates rear-wheel drive as needed.
The 3.0 TFSI, a turbocharged V6, has an output of 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. It accelerates the four-door coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC, the base version of the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI consumes 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (34.6 US mpg), corresponding to 154 grams CO2 per kilometer (247.8 g/mi). The 3.0 TDI produces 210 (286 hp) and 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. It consumes in the base version just 5.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42.8 US mpg) in the NEDC, corresponding to 142 grams CO2 per kilometer (228.5 g/mi). Additional four and six-cylinder engines will follow after the market introduction in early March 2018.
The body concept: Coupé, Sedan and Avant in one
The design of a coupé, the space of a sedan and the variability of an Avant – the new Audi A7 Sportback combines the best of three worlds. Compared to the predecessor model, its interior has grown in length by 21 millimeters (0.8 in). The luggage compartment has a base size of 535 liters (18.9 cu ft) and can be expanded up to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft) with the backrests folded down. Body attachments are made of lightweight aluminum. The Gran Turismo gets top marks for stiffness, crash safety, aerodynamics and aeroacoustics.
The four-door coupé rolls off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in early March 2018. It costs 67,800 euros as the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8 (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154 (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi); the Audi A7 Sportback 50 TDI quattro tiptronic (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi) costs 66,300 euros.
The proportions of the new Audi A7 Sportback are an optimal basis for the new Audi design language in the luxury class. The interior also takes up the design language of the prologue studies, which relies on reduction as a stylistic device. The design conveys both sportiness and progressiveness.
Four numbers circumscribe the sporty character of the new Audi A7 Sportback. It is 4,969 millimeters (16.3 ft) long, has a wheelbase of 2,926 millimeters (9.6 ft) and is 1,908 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide, but just 1,422 millimeters (4.7 ft) high. In all dimensions, the differences to the previous model are just a few millimeters.
The Singleframe grille of the new Audi A7 Sportback is wide and low-mounted. All adjacent surfaces and lines emanate from it. The side air inlets in the front skirt emphasize the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. Contours reminiscent of the front splitters on a racing touring car form the bottom edges of the two large inlets.
Sharply tensioned lines and tautly curved surfaces characterize the side view of the A7 Sportback. The low-set shoulder line draws the visual focal point downward for more sportiness. The window line, which rises continuously towards the rear, conveys dynamics even when stationary. Powerful contours over the wheel arches further emphasize the sporty appearance. They are a feature of new design language, cite the “blisters” of the Audi Ur-quattro and reference the tradition of technology at Audi. The point of the third side window tapers upwards – a throwback to the Audi 100 Coupé S from 1970.
Similar to the predecessor model, the rear of the new Audi A7 Sportback is tapered like a yacht. The rear end is about three centimeters (1.2 in) higher, further improving the aerodynamics. At a speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph), a spoiler extends from the rear hatch. The sweeping contour of the spoiler lip gives the rear end the look of a three-dimensional sculpture – starting with the Audi rings, the rear lights and the connecting light strip.
The distinctive exterior design of the new Audi A7 Sportback is largely devoid of chrome. The optional S line exterior package further hones the sporty look, with a more pronounced front bumper and titanium black air inlets; also the side sills are more strongly pronounced. At the rear is a strongly sculpted, titanium black diffuser insert. There is a choice of 15 colors, eight of which are new. Some are mixtures of multiple tones that look different depending on the light. They impart a particularly elegant touch to the outer skin. Customized paint finishes are available for the new Audi A7 Sportback upon request.
The A7 Sportback is a testament to Audi’s leading role in lighting technology and lighting design. The Gran Turismo’s headlights are available in three versions: in LED technology, as HD Matrix LED and as HD Matrix LED with Audi laser light. In continuation of the top slat of the Singleframe, the two Matrix variants are divided horizontally to make the headlights appear slim and sporty. The dominant upper area houses the daytime running lights and creates a look with plenty of character. The low beam module is in the “pupil.” With the two HD Matrix variants, the daytime running lights signature is digital in character: Twelve light segments are positioned vertically next to each other here, separated by narrow spaces – conjuring up an association with the 0 and 1 of the digital world.
In the lower zone are the turning light and the two-line Matrix high beam, which is made up of 32 individually controllable LEDs. They illuminate the road dynamically and precisely while hiding other road users from the cone of light. The LEDs also act as cornering lights. With the top-of-the-line headlights, the lower segment also includes the laser spot with is X-shaped metal aperture and the blue light guide. The laser spot is activated at a speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and doubles the range of the high beam.
The tail light of the big coupé also seems to be digital. Each unit comprises 13 vertical segments that alternate with the brake light, which is also segmented. The LED light strip – a typical feature of an Audi top-of-the-line model and at the same time an homage to the Ur-quattro – interconnects them. As on a racing car, the rear fog light is positioned in the center.
The Audi A7 Sportback stands for a new era in Audi lighting design – for aesthetics through movement. The HD Matrix LED headlights and above feature the coming home/leaving home function is used. When the car is locked and unlocked, the headlights and rear lights present dynamic lighting displays.
The interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback boasts a fascinating, futuristic lounge atmosphere – reduction is a key stylistic device. The design language combines lean, taut surfaces with clean contours. All the design motifs are logically connected. The driver and front passenger experience a generous space in which the architecture fuses seamlessly with the user interface. With its orientation toward the driver and three-dimensional structure, the instrument panel has a light, sleek and sporty appearance. The upper MMI touch response display is almost invisibly embedded into the black panel architecture and framed by an aluminum-look frame that extends to the front passenger door.
The asymmetric console in the center tunnel also stands out with its black-panel look; this is home to a second display, below which is a key bar. It and the control panel for the lighting functions are optionally available with touch response technology. On the doors, the armrest and the pull handle transition into a stretched aluminum panel, making the entire zone look like a swing arm.
Audi offers two lighting packages in the new A7 Sportback: the ambient lighting package and the contour ambient lighting package. Both subtly highlight the space, volume and materials, and visualize the interior design in the dark. The ambient light makes the dashboard and center console seem to float, and in the door it enhances the sense of space. The contour light traces the large lines on the center console and in the door panels and can be set to any of 30 colors.
Colors and materials
The new Audi A7 Sportback offers a wide range of colors and materials from which to choose, perfectly blending into the atmosphere of modern sporty elegance. Elegant wood inlays with an open-pored, natural-like finish contrast with the cool, technical accents in the interior. As always with Audi, the workmanship is the epitome of precision. The materials have been selected with the utmost care and used on the handcrafted manufacturing level.
There are three equipment levels: standard, design selection and S line sport package. The standard equipment alone offers a choice of four interior colors: black, okapi brown, pearl beige and metropolis gray. Then there is the two-tiered design selection, which also offers customers the new shades sard brown and juniper gray. The higher tier of the S line sport package also includes the color rotor gray.
The most sophisticated upholsteries are the combination of pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, as well as Valcona leather with its new perforation. The Audi exclusive range provides a wide range of options for anyone looking to add an even more customized look to their car.
Thanks to its full-spectrum connectivity, the A7 is ideally equipped for long-distance driving with respect to comfort, safety and adaptability to the individual. With its fully digital operating system, extensive range of connectivity features and up to 39 driver assistance systems, it offers maximum comfort and personalization.
The new Audi A7 Sportback uses MMI touch response, the fully digital operating concept from the flagship A8 that can be operated as intuitively as a smartphone with touch and swipe gestures. Two touch displays with haptic and acoustic feedback replace the rotary pushbutton and many buttons from the previous model. They transport Audi’s quality standards into the digital age and offer a high degree of operating safety.
The upper display controls the infotainment and measures 10.1 inches when equipped with MMI navigation plus. The lower, 8.6-inch display is on the center console and is used for the climate control, comfort and convenience functions and text input by handwriting or virtual keyboard. The driver can rest their wrist on the wide selection lever when using the controls.
Intelligent, detailed solutions make using the new technology even more attractive. If a finger touches an icon, this is confirmed either by an animation or a change in color. If the finger pushes so hard that it triggers the function, the icon or list entry lights up briefly. Many symbols are also configured with long-touch and long-push functions. Wiping, scrolling and multifinger gestures are also supported. Text entry on the lower supply detects not only entire words, but also letters drawn over top of each other and confirms this with acoustic feedback.
Both displays present the images and graphics on a black background. The graphical user interface has been deliberately reduced so that information can be understood particularly quickly. A few pictographs are subtly animated. The menu structure is lean and intuitively understandable. On the lower display, the start screen can be configured according to your personal preferences. Audi connect content is no longer in a separate area, but in the respective function menus. MMI search is based on free text input. If the driver is looking for a restaurant, for example, the system offers a hit list after just a few letters have been entered.
The optional Audi virtual cockpit (together with MMI navigation plus) sport the same look. The digital instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches in diagonal and offers full HD resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The driver can choose between two interfaces – the classic view and infotainment mode. Operation is via the buttons and rollers on the multifunction steering wheel. A head-up display, which projects important information as symbols and digits onto the windshield, is also available. The image window for this – 22 x 8 centimeters (8.7 x 3.1 in) is in the driver’s direct field of view.
Voice control is another function available with MMI navigation and above. It is designed as natural language voice control. This makes the A7 an intelligent conversationalist and travel companion. The user can speak freely for the most part. The system asks questions, if necessary, allows corrections and additions, and offers selection options. The user can switch between different menu areas within a dialogue. For example, the user can call a contact from the phone book and then use the associated address as a navigation destination. The voice control system responds to commands and questions in two ways: using information stored onboard about destinations and media or from the cloud.
The A7 allows an individual vehicle setup. Up to seven Gran Turismo drivers – six regular users and one guest – can store their preferred settings in individual profiles. This personalization encompasses up to 400 parameters, from the preferred heating or cooling to frequent navigation destinations and preferred media. The car recognizes the respective user when it is unlocked by means of the car key carried and the via the Audi connect key and activates the user’s individual profile automatically.
Infotainment and Audi connect
The comprehensive infotainment and connectivity functions make the A7 an intelligent long-distance athlete. The standard MMI navigation and optional MMI navigation plus use the latest generation of the Modular Infotainment Platform, the MIB 2+. The Audi connect data transmission module is included standard. This brings a Wi-Fi hotspot that also supports the new 5 GHz band and the fast LTE Advanced transmission standard to the car. It allows download rates of up to 300 MBit/s and upload rates of up to 50 MBit/s.
In conjunction with MMI navigation plus, navigation in the Audi A7 Sportback offers attractive new features, both visual and functional. The map uses a new texture and includes detailed 3D models of many large cities. When planning the route, the self-learning navigation system makes suggestions to the driver based on routes driven previously, incorporating experience regarding time of day and traffic density.
The route is calculated online on the servers of the map and navigation service provider HERE, which also considers real-time data concerning the overall traffic situation. If the data connection is lost while underway, the navigation system switches to onboard route guidance, which runs along in the background. The driver can access gas stations and parking garages from the navigation, and receives additional information such as fuel prices, availability of parking spaces or business hours. In the first three years after purchasing the new car, the map can be updated four times per year free of charge – over the air at LTE Advanced speed, if desired.
The services of Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment are also free the first three years and bring the new Audi A7 Sportback into the cloud. This is particularly true for the Car-to-X services traffic sign information and hazard information, which use the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. In the course of 2018, the service on-street parking will be added, which makes it easier to find a parking space. Car-to-X services use HERE’s maps as a basis.
Audi connect also offers many other services, such as Twitter and email access. MMI navigation plus brings navigation with Google Earth, online radio and hybrid radio, which automatically switches between FM, DAB + and web channels, on board. The functions of Audi connect safety & service form their own package. In many markets, the data traffic for all connect services is via the Audi connect SIM, which is permanently installed in the car. The myAudi app allows owners of the new Audi A7 Sportback to join the brand’s digital ecosystem, with numerous services – such as navigation – seamlessly transitioning from the smartphone to the car.
The Audi phone box makes calling even more convenient. It connects the smartphone to the car antenna and charges it inductively. Voice over LTE speeds up call origination and enables the simultaneous use of high-speed data transmission and high definition online voice telephony (HD Voice).
Three optional sound systems are available in the new Audi A7 Sportback: the Audi sound system, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound up front and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound up front and in the rear. Of the 19 speakers in the top system, two each in the A-pillars and in the roof arch provide the spatial dimension of height, transforming the interior into a world of acoustic experiences. Drives for CDs and DVDs, tuners for digital radio and TV (with CI+ module for pay TV), the Audi smartphone interface as well as the Audi tablets for the rear seats, which are available from Audi Genuine Accessories, complete the program.
Driver assistance systems
Audi offers 39 driver assistance systems in the new A7 Sportback, making driving even more comfortable, efficient and safer. The systems are organized into the packages Tour, City and Park (to follow in the course of 2018). The Audi assist package plus integrates all three packages and enhances them with the Audi parking pilot and garage pilot (from 2018).
The most important system in the Tour assist package is the adaptive cruise assist (ACA). It builds on the adaptive cruise control (ACC) of the predecessor model and adds a lane tracking function that also supports traffic jams. At speeds between 0 and 250 km/h (155.3 mph), the system keeps the new A7 Sportback at the desired distance to the vehicle ahead. It also uses slight steering interventions to help the driver to stay in the lane and supports him with longitudinal guidance in construction sites by means of the narrowed road assist.
Those wishing to drive particularly efficiently can supplement the ACA with predictive control and the efficiency assist. This enables an anticipatory driving style. To detect the traffic situation and the course of the route, the ACA analyzes camera images – including images of traffic signs – plus the navigation data. If the adaptive cruise assist is deactivated, the efficiency assist simply indicates to the driver when it would make sense to let off the gas. The Tour package also includes turn assist and swerve assist.
The City assist package includes the newly developed crossing assist. If the mid-range radars, which can look roughly 75 meters (246.1 ft) ahead, detect crossing traffic in front of the car, the system warns the driver and applies the brake, if necessary. The lane change warning alerts the driver of risks when changing lanes. The exit warning indicates vehicles or cyclists approaching from the rear when opening the door and briefly prevents this from happening. Cross traffic assist rear kicks in when the new A7 Sportback is backing out of a tight space.
The safety systems Audi pre sense rear, Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front are standard. They detect collision hazards all around the car and initiate targeted preventive measures – whether maximum braking, adjusting the seats or tightening the belts. Audi pre sense front includes a warning and braking function for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The emergency assist brings the car to a stop if the driver is no longer able to do so.
The park assist, reversing camera, 360 degree cameras with 3D images and rims view and night vision assist are available as separate options. The latter uses an infrared camera to detect pedestrians and larger wild animals at long distances in the dark and warns the driver of their presence.
These will be followed in the course of 2018 by the Park assist package, which includes the Audi (remote) parking pilot and the Audi remote garage pilot. Both systems automatically steer the new Audi A7 Sportback into a parallel or transverse parking space or into a garage and out again, operating the steering, accelerator, brake and automatic transmission. The driver monitors the maneuver and activates the systems with his/her smartphone via the corresponding button in the new myAudi app or via the button in the center console. The respective button must be pressed throughout the entire parking procedure. The Park assist package also includes the 360 degree cameras, the maneuvering assist and the curb warning.
Behind the new assistance systems in the new A7 Sportback are the central driver assistance controller (zFAS), which Audi debuted in the A8, and a portfolio of sensors that complement each other with their respective strengths. The big innovation here is the laser scanner, which covers a field about 80 meters (262.5 ft) in length and a wide angle of aperture of 145 degrees. Within this field, it detects objects with sharp contours, even in the dark. In bad weather, its front window is automatically cleaned and heated.
Fully equipped, there is a set of 24 sensors in the new Audi A7 Sportback:
a laser scanner up front,
a long-range radar up front,
four mid-range radars at the vehicle’s corners
one infrared camera (night vision assist) at the front,
a front camera at the top of the windshield,
four 360 degree cameras at the front, rear and exterior mirrors and
twelve ultrasonic sensors at the front, flanks and rear.
The data from the various sensors flow together in the zFAS. With its high-end processors, the tablet-sized computer continually computes a differentiated image of the vehicle’s surroundings. This centralized environment model enables the assistance systems to further improve their performance compared to the predecessor model, for example, when they detect the end of a traffic jam and initiate braking. Also, navigation is even more precise, because the sensor data fusion locates your own car down to the exact lane.
The Audi A7 Sportback impresses with even more dynamic driving on the one hand and increased comfort on the other. Thanks to numerous chassis innovations, the Gran Turismo from Audi offers a new range between comfort and dynamics. The mild-hybrid technology, which is also new, makes the drive system even more efficient and at the same time more comfortable. Furthermore, the A7 will be hitting the road with updated engines.
New chassis components enable the four-door Gran Turismo to perfect its synthesis of sportiness and long-distance comfort. The new Audi A7 Sportback handles more agilely and spontaneously yet is also safer and more comfortable. This has been achieved using innovative technologies such as dynamic all-wheel steering, damper control and controlled power distribution by the quattro sport differential. The central control of these system via the electronic chassis platform (ECP) make this synthesis of sportiness and comfort possible.
With the standard progressive steering and the optional dynamic all-wheel steering and sport differential, the A7 achieves the handling characteristics of a compact sports car. The dynamic all-wheel steering combines the dynamic steering at the front axle, which works with strain wave gearing, with a separate rear axle steering system with a spindle drive. This makes it possible to independently adjust the steering angles at the front and rear axles. The dynamic all-wheel steering ends the conflict of aims between agile response and stability.
At speeds up to 60 km/h (37.3 mph), the rear wheels are turned as much as five degrees in the opposite direction. This reduces the turning circle by up to 1.1 meters (3.6 ft), and the car becomes more agile in city traffic, when maneuvering and in tight switchbacks. At 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels. Consequently the new A7 Sportback is even more stable and the road and performs abrupt evasive maneuvers with composure. In many cases the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) does not have to intervene. If the turn-in of the rear wheels is also considered, the dynamic all-wheel steering can vary the steering ratio between 9.5 and 16.5:1.
The steering tuning of the standard progressive steering and optional dynamic all-wheel steering provides for intense, responsive feedback from the road and improved steering feel. Already sporty, the steering becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle. With both steering systems, the electromechanical power steering achieves the optimum between comfort and dynamic feedback. It conveys useful information to the driver and filters out unpleasant jolts. The connection between the steering wheel, wheels and the road is direct and tight.
An even wider spread between comfortable and sporty suspension tuning and an expanded range of suspension choices make the A7 the perfect Gran Turismo. Both the front and rear axles of the new Audi A7 Sportback are five-link constructions made largely of aluminum. Two subframes – the front rigid, the rear hydraulically mounted – attach them to the body. The track is 1,651 millimeters (5.42 ft) up front and 1,637 millimeters (5.37 ft) in the rear. Audi offers several alternatives instead of the controlled standard suspension: A sport suspension for a decidedly sporty suspension tuning that lowers the body 10 millimeters (0.4 in) (standard with the S line sport package, plus 20-inch wheels) and a suspension with damper control. Its management is comfort-oriented and has been converted to an energy-efficient concept – higher current only flows when the valves are closed to set the dampers to hard.
The third option is the particularly comfortable adaptive air suspension, also with controlled damping. It can be set to three modes and includes a “lift” position for poor roads and automatic leveling. In “auto” and “comfort” modes, it lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in) at speeds above 120 km/h (74.6 mph), further improving airflow and stability.
The electronic chassis platform (ECP) coordinates the controlled suspensions. As the central chassis controller, it collects comprehensive information about the movement of the car and the data from the chassis control systems involved. From these, it calculates and precisely coordinates the optimal function of these components in an integrated handling controller. The driver of the new Gran Turismo experiences this advancement as precise handling with increased lateral dynamics and greater comfort.
Besides the dampers, the ECP also controls the dynamic all-wheel steering and the updated sport differential, which actively distributes the drive torque as needed between the rear wheels during fast cornering. The driver can adjust the settings for all controlled components in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system – in the modes comfort, auto and dynamic. The dynamic all-wheel steering varies its ratio and the degree of feedback, for example.
The powerful, fully ventilated brakes are another factor in the new Audi A7 Sportback’s high level of driving safety. The front discs on the Audi A7 Sportback 50 TDI have a diameter of 350 millimeters (13.8 in) (rear: 330 millimeters (13.0 in)) and combine gray cast iron friction rings with aluminum pots. The fixed calipers on the front axle – made of aluminum as standard – each accommodate six brake pistons. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) provides even more precise control than in the previous model.
The wheels program for the big coupé starts at 18 inches. With wheels measuring 19 inches and above, torus absorbers – foam pads glued into the tires – reduce unwanted droning frequencies. The standard wheels measure 8.5 J x 21 and are equipped with 255/35 tires. A function integrated into the ESC warns the driver if a wheel is not tight. This warning is unique in the market.
The Audi A7 Sportback is equipped standard with the new mild-hybrid technology (MHEV, mild hybrid electric vehicle) for greater efficiency and comfort. The technology reduces consumption by as much as 0.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers in real driving. With the 3.0 TFSI and 3.0 TDI, it is based on a newly developed 48-volt primary electrical system. It comprises a compact lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that is connected to the crank shaft.
Between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph), the new Gran Turismo can coast with the engine off when the driver lifts off the accelerator – completely emissions-free for up to 40 seconds. As soon as the driver steps on the accelerator again, the BAS quickly and smoothly restarts the engine. The 48-volt system enables a high recuperation power of up to 12 kW and allows start-stop operation from just 22 km/h (13.7 mph). The engine is started as soon as the vehicle ahead starts moving, even if the driver is still pressing the brake pedal.
For the start of sales in Europe, Audi is equipping the new A7 Sportback with powerful six-cylinder engines: a 3.0 TFSI and a 3.0 TDI. The turbocharged gasoline engine in the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8 (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg), Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154 (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi) produces 250 kW (340 hp) and delivers 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque over a broad band from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. It accelerates the big coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.3 seconds, top speed is 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC, the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI consumes just 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (34.6 US mpg), corresponding to 154 grams CO2 per kilometer (247.8 g/mi).
The new three-liter V6 is packed with innovations. Its exhaust end lies inside the 90° vee, the short gas paths and the twin scroll charger, which prevents unwanted interactions between the gas columns, guarantee spontaneous throttle response. The B-cycle combustion process, which is designed specifically for part load, makes the V6 gasoline engine particularly efficient. To support it, the Audi valvelift system *AVS* adjusts the intake valve opening times and stroke in two stages based on load and engine speed. The three-liter gasoline unit produces a subtle and sonorous sound that never becomes intrusive even under load. This is due in part to the new tube guide in the dual-branch exhaust system that largely eliminates hum frequencies.
The V6 TFSI has shed 14 kilograms (30.9 lb) and now weighs 172 kilograms (379.2 lb). Its aluminum crankcase features integrated, thin-walled cylinder liners of gray cast iron. In combination with the newly developed rings for the aluminum pistons, this reduces friction. Another efficiency element is thermal management with separate cooling loops for the crankcase and cylinder head. The exhaust manifold is integrated in the cylinder head and bathed in coolant. This helps the engine to heat up quickly following a cold start. When the engine is warm, this solution lowers the exhaust temperature, reducing fuel consumption, particularly during sporty driving.
Audi is also offering the A7 Sportback 50 TDI quattro tiptronic (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 US mpg), Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi) as a second engine variant at market introduction. It produces 210 kW (286 hp) and delivers 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque between 2,250 and 3,000 rpm. In the NEDC it consumes just 5.5 liters of fuel over 100 kilometers (42.8 US mpg), analogous to 142 grams CO2 per kilometer (228.5 g/mi). The accelerates the Gran Turismo from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph).
Weighing just 190 kilograms (418.9 lb), the 3.0 TDI combines numerous high-tech features. These include particularly complex thermal management, newly developed cylinder heads, greatly reduced friction, a modified chain drive and an electrically adjustable turbocharger that develops up to 2.0 bar of boost pressure. The diesel engine also works together with a 48-volt MHEV electrical system.
Additional four and six-cylinder engines will gradually round out the engine lineup in the course of 2018.
For power transmission, the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI is equipped with a seven-speed S tronic, which has been redesigned in many details in view of the high torque. The double-clutch transmission changes gears quickly and almost imperceptibly; thanks to its electrically driven oil pumps and pressure accumulator, it can do so during coasting with the engine stopped.
The 3.0 TDI is mated to an eight-speed tiptronic. An rpm-adaptive torsion damper with a centrifugal force pendulum largely compensates for undesirable vibrations in the engine. This permits efficient driving from engine speeds as low as 1,000 rpm. When coasting and rolling out, a clutch in the central transmission opens and interrupts the power connection. A new electric oil pump makes it possible to engage the gear that will be needed after the rolling phase. The transmission control unit detects stop-and-go situations and ensures very comfortable starts.
The S tronic transfers the engine power to a quattro drive with ultra technology. The drivetrain is highly efficient – it always activates the rear wheel drive when needed. There are no differences in terms of traction and handling compared to permanent systems.
The A7 body concept combines the best of all worlds – the design of a coupé, the spaciousness of a sedan and the versatility of an Avant. The luggage compartment holds up to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft). The interior is extremely quiet thanks to highly advanced aerodynamics and aeroacoustics.
The new Audi A7 Sportback has a larger interior despite the same exterior dimensions. It transformed 12 millimeters (0.5 in) more wheelbase into an additional 21 millimeters (0.8 in) interior length. The same applies to leg room, knee room and head room on the rear seats.
In the base configuration, the luggage compartment of the large, four-door coupé holds 535 liters (18.9 cu ft), despite a sloping rear hatch. This increases to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft) with the split rear seatbacks folded down. The loading sill is just 669 millimeters (2.2 ft) above the road surface. The extended load-through width now measures 1,050 millimeters (3.4 ft) so that two golf bags fit laterally in the luggage compartment. The long rear hatch – another unique feature – opens and closes electrically as standard or via foot gesture with the optional convenience key.
Due to the increased torsional rigidity and increased space in the interior, the body of the A7 contributes significantly to the increased sportiness and increased comfort level. The body of the new Audi A7 Sportback consists of an intelligent mix of materials. As an ultra-high-strength composite, hot-formed steel components form the backbone of the passenger compartment, accounting for 23.9 percent of the weight of the structure. It is used primarily in the lower section of the front bulkhead, the side sills, the rear cross member, the B-pillars and the front zone of the roof line. Here and in other areas of the body Audi uses sheet metal blanks in many places with variable wall thicknesses between 0.75 and 2.05 millimeters (0.03 and 0.1 in). They combine low weight with high strength. These tailored blanks (custom-made sheets) are created by partial tempering and by complex processes during rolling or welding.
The aluminum components in the body-in-white together weigh 10.9 kilograms (24.0 lb). The strut dome and reinforcements in the roof frame are made of cast aluminum, the strut brace in the engine compartment and the central cross brace under the floor of extruded sections. An aluminum sheet supports the B-pillars, and the upper shell of the rear roof frame is made of a new steel/polymer mix. Doors, hood and trunk lid are made entirely of aluminum. The new Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI weighs 1,815 kg (4,001.4 lb) without a driver.
The body of the new Audi A7 Sportback is also improved in numerous criteria compared with the previous model. The newly designed structural front end and the torsion rings have a positive effect with respect to rigidity. The significantly stiffer connection of the front axle improves handling and the acoustic behavior of the body. Hydraulically switchable engine mounts eliminate vibrations at idle. In a head-on collision, the three stress planes in the front end absorb the forces. The reinforcements of the longitudinal members have variable wall thicknesses, which leads to controlled deformation.
Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics
The new Gran Turismo from Audi has a drag coefficient of 0.27. The Audi Aerodynamics team put in a lot of work in all areas, including on the exterior mirrors and the rear axle trim. Small spoilers, including in front of the wheels and the bow capsule, direct the flow at the underbody. The outer areas of the air inlets feature additional openings – they guide a portion of the air flow into the wheel housings, where it flows past the wheels. When the spoiler extends electrically at a speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph), it provides additional downforce on the rear axle – roughly 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) at top speed.
The new Audi A7 Sportback maintains the top level of the previous model with respect to aeroacoustics. Despite the frameless doors, it spoils its passengers with extraordinary acoustic comfort. The seal concept for the doors and rear hatch is sophisticated. Audi offers optional acoustic glazing 6 millimeters (0.2 in) thick for everything except the rear window. Tinted privacy glass for the rear, a heated windshield and rear blinds are also available.