The A7 Sportback is perhaps one of the most striking automotive design executions money can buy. Well, let’s add a caveat to that statement and assume we’re talking to buyers who want an executive saloon that’s not a run of the mill sedan.
In the S7 trim you see here, the largest Sportback model on Audi’s books is, naturally, the pick of the x7 lineup. Powered by what will soon become Audi’s ubiquitous 4.0 litre V8 TFSI it has 309kW (420hp) and can knock off 100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Fitted with a 7-speed S tronic we’re sure that power will be delivered to the quattro all-wheel drive system with a minimum of fuss, as well.
We’re not sure if the quilted stitching on the seats is the coolest thing we’ve seen inside a car in 2011, or, well, just a horrible faux pas. One thing is sure, we’d be unlikely to choose the lunar silver colouring shown in the pics below.
World Premiere of Audi S Models at the IAA 2011
- Audi presents the S6, S7 Sportback and S8 high performance models
- Newly-developed 4.0-Liter V8 with up to 520 horsepower
- Ground-breaking efficiency with systems such as â€œcylinder on demandâ€
Audi will present its new S models for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA). These models are characterized by power combined with appropriately low fuel consumption. The engine down-sizing strategy of the brand with the four rings has reduced the fuel consumption of the S6 by as much as 25 percent whilst offering sportier driving performance.
The Audi S7 Sportback
The Audi S7 Sportback uses the same engine as the S6 and S6 Avant, the new 4.0 TFSI with 309 kW (420 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque. The twin-turbo V8 accelerates the five-door coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.9 seconds, and top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The cultivated eight-cylinder, which uses Audiâ€™s â€œcylinder on demandâ€ technology under part load, consumes on average just 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg).
Much of this groundbreaking efficiency can be attributed to the lightweight body. A hybrid aluminum construction, it weighs roughly 15 percent less than a comparable all-steel body. Lightweight components include the long rear hatch that opens and closes electrically as standard. Beneath it is a luggage compartment with a volume of 535 liters (18.89 cu ft), which increases to 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seat backs folded down.
Drivetrain and chassis
Power transmission in the Audi S7 Sportback is provided by the dynamic seven-speed S tronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. The optional sport differential from Audi distributes the power in variable proportions between the rear wheels.
The S7 Sportback comes standard with the adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamics system. Mounted behind the 19-inch wheels are large, internally ventilated disc brakes front and rear. Their matt black calipers sport S7 logos up front. Carbon fiber-ceramic discs are available as an option.
Other chassis options include 19- and 20-inch wheels and dynamic steering, which varies its ratio as a function of speed.
Body and design
The design of the Audi S7 Sportback is seamless. The long engine hood, the long wheelbase and the short overhangs create perfect proportions. The low, dynamically tensioned roof line gives the five-door model the character of a coupe. At highway speeds, a rear spoiler extends from the rear hatch to improve stability.
Subtle yet eye-catching details signal the top position in the model series occupied by the 4,980-millimeter (16.34 ft) S7 Sportback. These can be found at the single-frame grille, the front bumper, the side mirrors, the sills, the rear bumper, the diffuser and the tailpipes. Nine exterior colors are available, including the exclusive shades Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. The body is decorated with S and V8 T badges.
The S7 Sportback shows its sporty character in the interior, too. This can be seen in numerous details â€“ the S badges, the red ring on the start-stop button, the S7 logo in the illuminated door sill trims, the aluminum strip on the S tronic selector lever and the aluminum shift paddles. The footrest and the pedals are made of stainless steel, and the soft keys of the MMI operating system are in an aluminum-look finish.
Customers can choose decorative inlays in standard aluminum, carbon, natural fine grain ash and layered Beaufort oak. Black, lunar silver and goa beige (only for the seat upholstery) comprise the color palette for the headlining, instrument panel, carpet and seats. The standard seat upholstery is a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with the leather grades Milano and Valcona available as options.
Audi equips the S7 Sportback with height-adjustable S sport seats with power lumbar supports as standard. Comfort seats and regular seats are available as options. The backrests of the S sport seats are embossed with S logos.
Delivery of the S7 Sportback is scheduled to begin in spring 2012. Among the standard equipment highlights are the xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, the driver information system with color display and the versatile MMI radio plus audio and operating system. Both information hubs are easy to operate.
The S7 Sportback can be optionally equipped with all of the high-end extras of the model series. Moreover, all driver assistance and infotainment systems are available, including the Bluetooth online car phone that connects the S7 Sportback with the Internet.