Audi releases full details on upcoming A7

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Audi's five-door "coupe", the A7, will go on sale in the United States later this month for a starting price of $59,250. While the Canadian release date and starting price have not yet been announced, Audi recently revealed a full specification of the new car's performance and technology features.

The Audi A7 will feature a supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI V6 engine, which generates 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy with the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission is 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. That translates to approximately 13 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and just over 8 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. Audi's famous quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard on the A7 and is rear-wheel biased with a 40:60 torque split.

In terms of its technology features the new Audi is laden with content. Notable standard features include SIRIUS satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity for cell phones and media players. Audi Drive Select is also standard and enables drivers to choose how their A7 behaves on the road based on four settings. The Comfort setting is best for a more relaxing driving experience. Audi's Auto setting is for normal driving use while Dynamic works best for spirited driving on twisting roads or racetracks. The fourth setting, Individual, allows drivers to personalize engine, suspension and steering settings for themselves.

Buyers who opt for the Premium Plus package get Audi's MMI navigation with an eight-inch touch-screen and Google Earth mapping technology. Other noteworthy features include front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and a seven-inch Driver Information System. The Prestige package adds to the Premium package with a BOSE surround-sound system and adaptive headlights, among other things.

Adaptive cruise control, a night vision assistant, and even a heads-up display are offered in the Innovation package, while the Sport package offers 19- or 20-inch wheels with performance tires, a sport suspension, and a three-spoke steering wheel with paddle-shifters for transmission operation. There's even an available Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. It includes 15 speakers with 1,300 watts of power and tweeters that rise from their mountings, like the top-line B&O sound system in Audi's A8 flagship.

The exterior design of the A7 is reminiscent of other Audi vehicles, especially its bold front bodywork. Inside, the A7 is thoroughly modern and just as luxurious. Despite the rather large proportions of the car, the Audi A7 offers seating for only four occupants instead of the usual five. More practical, however, the A7 boasts a hatch or liftback design Audi calls Sportback, improving day-to-day livability.

In the niche market of coupe-like sedans, the Audi A7 is a bit late to the party. The segment-innovating Mercedes-Benz CLS is already in its second generation and the Porsche Panamera is now becoming well established. Aston Martin has its Rapide too, albeit somewhat higher up the food chain, yet the A7 will beat BMW's 6 Series-based four-door to market (the production version of the Grand Coupe Concept), and others expected from rival premium brands as the four-door coupe segment continues to grow.

Despite current and future competition, Audi's A7 should be well received by prospective buyers thanks to attractive styling, an impressive powertrain, and innovative technology. Buyers will be able to judge the car themselves once the A7 goes on sale later this year.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Four-Door Coupe, Audi, 2012, A7, $50,000 - $74,999,

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