What is the Audi A7 Sportback?
The Audi A7 Sportback is a large, five-door coupe that fits into the Audi range just above the more mundane A6 Saloon, with which it shares a number of components.
Now on its second generation, the A7 places a high emphasis on style, with a very distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other Audis and rivals such as the BMW 6 Series Gran Turimso and Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe.
Technology is another major area of importance for the A7, as it’s one of the showcase models for the entire Audi range, featuring many of the same toys and assistance systems as the flagship Audi A8 limousine.
- Top speed: 152-155mph
- 0-62mph: 5.3-8.3 seconds
- Fuel economy: 38.7-57.1mpg
- Emissions: 127-167g/km CO2
- Boot space: 535-1,390 litres
The engine line-up is slightly difficult to decipher now that Audi refers to them by two-digit numbers rather than physical capacity, but there are 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 options for both petrol, and diesel.
Entry-level 2.0-litre diesels – known as 40 TDI models – are available with front-wheel drive only, for the lowest cost and the highest possible fuel economy. But the rest of the A7 range comes with Quattro four-wheel drive as standard.
All A7s feature an automatic transmission with either seven or eight gears.
Power output ranges from 204hp to 340hp – though high-performance S7 and RS 7 variants have been previously offered with far more, and are set to appear again in the future.
Standard trim level choices are Sport, S Line and Vorsprung. Equipment is generous throughout.
Though not presently available in the A7 range, RS is the name given to the most powerful and sporting version of each Audi model, and the previous-generation RS 7 certainly fulfilled the brief with spectacular capability.
Powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol with as much as 600hp in later Performance guise, this is a serious fast car, capable of 0-62mph in well under 4.0 seconds.
An aggressive body kit, loud exhaust and lots of interior tinsel completes the makeover. A slightly less full-on S7 model has also previously been offered.
An all-new RS 7 is on the way in 2019. This will also use a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo but is expected to come in an even more powerful hybrid variant as well, with rumours suggesting the regular version will boast 650hp and the hybrid over 700hp.
The A7’s styling is characterised by hard, angular lines that are deployed in a manner designed to emphasise the car’s width.
There’s a faceted look to the rear that makes a link between this and the previous version, while the new, full-width light bar emphasises the A7’s broad hips.
The clean curve of the roof is a visual treat from the outside, but does mean rear headroom is a little limited on the inside.
You’ll find the cabin is heavily influenced by the look of the latest A8, and deploys much of the same technology – including the dual-touchscreen set-up that controls most interior functions.
The A7 is related to the A8, the A6, the Q7 and the Q8 under the skin – as well as a number of non-Audi models from the Volkswagen Group, including the Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Panamera. How’s that for pedigree?
While there is a choice of driving modes as standard, exactly how the A7 drives will depend on how much you’re prepared to spend on options.
As standard, the ride is a little on the firm side – especially on S Line suspension – but you can upgrade to adaptive dampers or even full air suspension if you prefer. The latter in particular brings greater comfort.
The A7 is a sharp steering machine, and well-controlled in the turns. But you’ll always be aware how big it is, even with the optional rear-wheel steering helping to make it as nimble as possible.
As a large, luxury Audi in a trendy, sporting bodystyle, the A7 Sportback unsurprisingly commands hefty list prices.
However, you’ll still find it compares well to those BMW and Mercedes rivals – especially if you’re planning to buy an A7 using finance, where it typically comes in at usefully less per month.
Discover what Audi A7 drivers think of their cars with our real-world owners’ reviews.
Audi A7 Model History
Current Audi A7 Sportback model history
February 2018 – Audi A7 Sportback available to order in 50 TDI and 55 TFSI forms, in either Sport or S Line specifications. Both engines come automatic gearboxes and Quattro all-wheel drive. First deliveries due in April.
June 2018 – The 45 TDI diesel engine arrives, offering a lower asking price but identical fuel economy to the more powerful 50 TDI, which uses the same engine, but packs more of a punch.
Unusually individual-looking for an Audi – which are so often just carbon copies of each other – the Mk1 Type 4G8 A7 made an immediate impression, as it was easy to spot on the road.
It was also one of the more involving Audis of its generation to drive, giving owners the feeling they really were able to have it all – with five doors including a large hatchback boot opening, it was in many ways more practical than the A6 Saloon it was based on.
While engine choice was limited compared with more mainstream Audi models, buyers could still choose between economy and performance to a certain extent – though no A7 was really what you’d call slow.
Super-fast S7 (2012 on) and RS 7 (2013 on) models topped the range, with an even more powerful RS7 Sportback Performance variant added in 2016. These were considered quick but not especially exciting, with many preferring the similar estate-bodied RS 6 Avant for its added practicality.