Audi Pulls Its 2019 A7 Further Into The Future
by Martin Green
You think the watch world is turbulent? Try the automotive industry!
There wasn’t even a concept Audi A7 a few years ago, and now it is high on everyone’s wish list. This is also unlikely to change, as the release of the 2019 model year pulls the A7 even further into the future. Let’s examine why.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
A car like the A7 needs to “keep up with the Kardashians,” which in this case would be the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo. The newest version of the car is still a four-door hatchback with a coupe-like feel to it, but its design has come more together.
The front is more aggressive but also looks more agile, while the sides more pronounced. And Audi finally addressed what I personally always considered a weak spot in the design: the back. Although the full, wide LED taillights are probably not to everybody’s liking, they do make the design far more harmonious.
Of course, the A7 follows some of the design cues that the new A8 provides, and this is most apparent in the interior. Two large touchscreens dominate the center of the dashboard, while a third one replacing the analog rpm counter and speedometer in front of the driver is an option. It gives the whole interior a very modern look and one that fits well with the exterior design.
The new interior doesn’t only look more high-tech, it also sits better as Audi incorporated new front seats, which are not only (of course) multi-adjustable, but also feature a wide range of heating, ventilation, and massage options.
For the back seat, clients can pick between two seats or a bench, turning the car into either a four-seater or a five-seater. To complicate matters further, there are no less than four different sound systems to choose from, and combined with the ambient lighting and optional Valcona leather upholstery they turn the A7 almost into a destination by itself, rather then a means of transport to one.
While you can still drive your A7, you hardly have to if you don’t want to.
Audi offers three different driver assistance packages, and when you check them all there are 39 features to actively assist you in driving your car, almost taking away the need for even having a driver’s license.
The A7 has adaptive cruise control, turns on automatic steering interventions when you drift out of your lane, and in case things do go wrong it will alert the emergency services that help is needed as well as warn vehicles in the vicinity capable of receiving them.
The Audi A7 can also park itself: and for this you don’t even need to be in the vehicle, similar to the systems BMW and Mercedes already offer.
It even has an automatic start/stop system fitted with a camera so that the engine starts as soon as it registers that the car in front of you is moving.
Where is the fun of driving?
With all of these automated systems you are indeed looking in vain for a manual! But rest easy that its makers haven’t taken all of the fun out of the car.
The initial engine with which the A7 will be launched is a 3.0-liter V6 TFSI, which offers 340 horsepower. It will take you from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds, and with that Audi breaks an important rule: the new model is slower than the current model!
Well, that is true only by 0.1 of a second, but it is still odd. The question is, of course, whether this will also be the case when the car is available for individual testing, especially since the new A7 delivers 43.8 pound-feet of torque more than the outgoing model. For people who like their Audis more potent (and even for those who don’t), larger and more powerful engines will follow later including a new S version.
It is also important to note that the new A7 will be what is called a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV). A small lithium-ion battery pack stores energy recovered during braking, which is mainly used to allow the car to coast on the highway.
While the Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard, there are plenty of options left to choose from regarding the suspension as Audi offers a standard steel spring suspension, one with electronically controlled dampers, a self-leveling air suspension, and a sports suspension that lowers the ride height. And that is not all as dynamic-all-wheel steering is now also an option, allowing you to corner like a coupe while you are driving quite a large four-door hatchback.
The Audi A7 is ready for the future
With a more harmonious exterior and the more high-tech interior, combined with many features to please the modern tech-savvy consumer, the Audi A7 is perhaps now more than ever ready to compete with Mercedes and BMW.
That is of course until one of the others releases a revamped model of their own. Then it starts all over again.
This is perhaps also why these three brands are doing so well: they keep each other sharp. For now, the A7 is one of the sharpest knives in the drawer, and it will cut even more sharply when Audi releases more powerful versions of the now future-ready hatchback.
For more information, please visit www.audi.com/en/models/a7.
Quick Facts 2019 Audi A7
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 TFSI
Power: 340 bhp
Torque: 368 lb ft of torque
Transmission: 7-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically controlled)
Base price: depending on country, around €68,000