2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Mercedes CLS and Porsche Panamera have shown the way. Between the upper and luxury classes, there is still room for a profitable mini segment. Audi will bring the new A7 in autumn 2010. Here are the first details.
From Stefan Grundhoff
The premium segment is currently being rolled over from Ingolstadt with a veritable armada of products. The Audi A5 Sportback is still young, the A8 will follow in February and after niche models such as R8 Spyder, A8 long and RS5, the new Audi A6 is already being announced. At first, however, he comes in a camouflage garment. Because the platform and technology of the A6 will celebrate a premiere in the new Audi A7 at the Paris Motor Show next autumn. Audi is thus entering a luxury gap that actually isn't one. Because not only the new Audi A8 has grown to a length of 5.14 meters; the new A6, which will replace the current 2011 model, is also pushed a little further up. But exterior designer Achim Badstübner is not at a loss for an answer when asked about the customers of the niche model A7:“The A7 Sportback is exactly the right car for those with whom the children are out of their way and who no longer need the Avant. Practical and elegant - yes - but not a station wagon."
Gigantic panorama roof
A trip with the prototype provides the first information about the A7 production model. Around 4.90 meters long, four doors, four seats, frameless windows and the never-ending rear - no question about it, the A7 will attract attention. Even here in Beverly Hills. In places where Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Porsche 911 and Maserati Quattroporte are the order of the day, many motorists stretch their necks out for the gold-painted exhibition model. The platform of the new Audi A6 is located under the body. Technically, the A7 Sportback will be the first to feature the new longitudinal modular system in Audi's luxury class. The four-door coupé from Ingolstadt is sportier, more dynamic and more polarizing than an A6 and not as classically designed as the new A8 luxury sedan.
The prototype of the A7 Sportback has a gigantic panorama roof. “We wanted to put the interior in the foreground at the Detroit trade fair,” explains Audi Design Achim Badstübner, “which is why the large panoramic roof is not tinted. Of course, you can't do something like that in the series. The air conditioning is switched off and when driving over the first bump in the floor it creaks and cracks violently. Just a prototype that is not made for higher speeds despite the powerful three-liter diesel. That will be different with the production model. The A7 is supposed to be an Audi for those for whom an A6 - either as a sedan or as an Avant - is too boring and for whom an Audi A8 is in a different class. Mercedes has shown with the CLS thatthat there are certainly noteworthy customer volumes here and the image is also right. Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera are in the same line.
Served in the Audi modular system
In order to keep the production and development costs for a division model like the A7 as low as possible, the engineers made extensive use of other models in the Audi modular system. The A7 combines components of the new A8 and the A6 that will follow around a year later. Among other things, parts of the interior such as the dashboard, which has an operating system with touch pad operation, come from the new A8. There are also details such as the electronic drive-select chassis tuning as well as night vision devices, traffic sign recognition and full LED headlights.
In contrast to the A5 Sportback, the A7 is only available with six or eight cylinders. As with the current Audi A6, the volume engine is likely to be the three-liter TDI, which will be offered in the next generation in several output levels between 200 and 300 hp. A 2.7 TDI rounds off the package at the bottom. In contrast to the new Audi A8, the 4.2-liter eight-cylinder TDI with 350 hp will also be left out. In the petrol versions, the three-liter TFSI known from the S4 should be the central unit. For the later S7 version, however, there will be eight-cylinder technology again and all-wheel drive is mandatory for almost all A7s.
Eight-speed automatic instead of double clutch
While the smaller models rely on the S-Tronic double clutch, most versions of the A7 and A8 will be equipped with a new automatic converter from ZF, which from now on has eight gear stages. The front-wheel drive models are likely to continue to receive the not always convincing Multitronic. In the next expansion stage, this also has eight gears and a start-stop function.
But start-stop alone will not be enough. Decoupling auxiliary units, more efficient consumers and a regenerative braking system are one thing. Thanks to the hatchback design, the aerodynamics in particular could be refined. In addition, parts of the A7 body are made of aluminum. This brings a weight saving of around 100 kilograms compared to the A6 and a further tenths of a consumption advantage.
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