Audi A7 Sportback arrives sporting Hybrid tech - and it looks NEW too


Available as an extra is the new dynamic all-wheel steering, which aims to improve both low speed agility and high-speed stability. It's mostly in the proportions - 4,969 millimeters (16.3 ft) long, with a wheelbase of 2,926 millimeters (9.6 ft) and 1,908 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide, but coming in at a mere 1,422 millimeters (4.7 ft) in height. The exterior design of the A7 Sportback is an expression of the new design language that Audi introduced with the prologue study and that made its production debut in the new Audi A8. The 10.1-inch upper display (in combination with MMI navigation plus) is tilted towards the driver, and with its black panel optics and graphite grey aluminium clasp, nearly disappears into the dashboard when switched off. What's more, Ingolstadt says interior length went up by 21 mm (0.8 in) from the previous model. Just launched in Ingolstadt, Germany, the latest Audi A7 features almost 40 autonomous driving facilities plus new touch screen displays and optional voice control. This increases to 1390 litres with the rear seats folded down and the electric tailgate is foot-operated, so that you don't get your hands dirty.

Audi builds the new A7 at its Neckarsulm plant. What's more, the rotary control is now replaced by Audi's MMI tactile interface and there's another 8.6-inch central display (positioned lower on the console) that's used for accessing clime control, comfort and text input functions.

Up front, the ergonomics revolve around two contour seats (featuring ventilation and massage functions) while at the back the new A7 offers a three-seat bench arrangement - 2+1 if you wish, offered standard in the United Kingdom but optional on other markets.

There are some 39 driver assistance features on offer including an "efficiency assistant", the "adaptive driving assistant" system that works with the adaptive cruise control (it provides "helpful steering interventions", apparently) and from 2018, an AI parking system.

The 3.0 litre V6 - which will wear the "55 TFSI" moniker thanks to Audi's new, rather odd, nomenclature - offers 355bhp and 369lb/ft of torque and can get you to 62mph in 5.3 seconds. The auto is equipped with a belt alternator starter (BAS) that works with a lithium-ion battery and achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking.

However, at a glance the latest A7 is fairly conservative in its design approach. This comes with a 48-volt hybrid system that allows the saloon "to coast silently in freewheeling mode at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph". The engine is paired to a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission and sends power to quattro drivetrain. Audi claims a 0-to-62 miles per hour time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour, but with 34.6 mpg (albeit on the wildly optimistic European testing cycle). According to Audi, more six- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel mills are on the way.