Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI quattro

Published On  By for Audi A7 at CarDekho.com

Audi introduced the A7 Sportback in the Indian market in May. The A7 Sportback or the Typ 4G as it is internally known at Audi was first shown to the media at the 2010 Paris Motor Show after it was shown at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show as a Concept vehicle. Audi describes the A7 Sportback as a blend of a sedan, sports coupe and a station wagon all in one. We drive the latest Audi for India, read on to experience the A7 Sportback.

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Exterior Design

The A7 Sportback at first glance appears huge in length and width and has a low stance. Measuring 4.97 meters in length and 1.91 meters in width and has a low stance height of just 1.42meters. The familiar Audi face with the French beard air-dam grill with horizontal glossy black and chrome slats along with a large Audi ring logo makes the face of the A7 Sportback very inviting. The front bumper goes low and houses the Audi Jewel headlamps that add a rich character to the front of the A7 Sportback. These are Adaptive Xenon Plus headlamps that are all weather lights and hence the A7 Sportback does not have fog lamps. The now so famous Headlamp LED strip that comprises of 18 LEDs look ravishing even in the daytime when the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are on. The turn lights are also in orange strip LEDs. These headlamps use latest technology and have internal fans as well as heat sinks so that they don’t heat up and fog.

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The A7 Sportback has a large bonnet with slim fenders that make the sides very sporty. The A7 Sportback runs on 255/45 R18 that are mounted on seven spoke lightweight alloys. The side profile is very sporty and the coupe like roof line flows like an arch right till the tailgate. A thick waistline that starts from the headlamps goes across the fenders and through the doors that ends on the tail lamp, defines the side sporty profile for the A7 Sportback. The wing mirrors with integrated LED turn lights are mounted on the door as in all sports cars. The door glass have frame-less window glass adding to the sporty character. The glass area is sleekly shaped with the quarter glass that converges on the pillar. The A7 Sportback comes with standard Sun/Moon roof. The doors are large and have soft close mechanism on them that auto-close on their own when they are pushed in. The A7 Sportback has a large wheelbase that is most evident when you see it from the sides. The rear windshield is at a sharp angle merging with the coupe roofline. The A7 Sportback as the name suggests has a sporty back, a flat pushed in boot which reminds of many sports cars. The tailgate opens like a station wagon along with the rear windshield that makes loading and unloading stuff a breeze. The rear of the A7 Sportback has long overhangs with the flushed in 3d looking LED tail lamps that point inwards. The A7 Sportback has an integrated LED strip stop lamp that runs across the entire rear glass. A smart looking rear bumper with integrated twin chrome exhaust on either side makes things very interesting at the back. The highlight of the A7 Sportbacks rear is the integrated lip spoiler that normally is in-line with the boot and deploys automatically once the vehicle touches 130Kmph and retracts in once the vehicle comes down to 80Kmph. You also have the S-Line exterior package with its badgeing on the side fenders.

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The A7 Sportback is built at Audi's Neckarsulm plant in Germany, the A7 Sportback has a very exotic exterior that’s sporty stylish and practical. Quality of paintjob and fit finish is brilliant. Needless to say the Audi A7 Sportback is a complete head turner and a total crowd puller.

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Interiors – Cabin.

Step in the Audi A7 Sportback and you realize instantly its large cabin area and wrap round fascia. The footboard has the S-Line badging on it. The dash is made of special soft material in which you can sink in your fingers, we have always liked this material on the dash as it gives a rich touch and also helps in damping out the noise into the cabin. There are glossy wood inserts that run across the dash and the door panels along with aluminum lining garnishing. The instrument cluster is large and clear to see and has a centre display between the speedo and RPM dials that is in LCD display and flashes all the needed tell tale ranging from the overall mileage, temperature, time, DTE, average speed etc. The left corner has the temperature gauge with white LED markings and the left corner has the fuel gauge with white LED markings. The needles on the dials are in red and start from the six o clock position when in zero position. The A7 Sportback has a leather wrapped 4 spoke steering that is electrically adjustable for height and reach. The A7 Sportback steering also has paddle shifters as standard fitment. The steering has all the controls mounted on it to control audio-video or to toggle between the various displays functions on the dash. The attraction for the centre dash is the large 7inche Multi Media Interface (MMI) color display that pops out from inside the dashboard electrically when the A7 Sportback is turned on. A button provided on the right side of the MMI display that when pressed puts back the MMI display inside the dash whenever you wish to.

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The MMI screen displays all the information that’s bundled into the MMI control unit of the A7 Sportback and is controlled by a main control dial and access buttons on the centre console, this is the latest generation of MMI that Audi is using currently and is very similar to the one we had seen on the new Audi A8 that we drove sometime back. The menu is easy to use and runs through the various individual settings for the car that includes suspension setup, steering setup belt tensioner or the engine and gearbox. You can select between Comfort, Dynamic, Auto from the presets or select Individual to setup your own tune from the Audi drive select menu. The centre console as mentioned has the main command dial for the MMI unit along with individual buttons for Radio,Telephone, Media and navigation. Besides the main dial is the touch keypad for direct selection of radio stations and also doubles up as a touch pad when using the Bluetooth phone function. The engine start button is also placed on center console along with the electrical hand brake and auto hand brake buttons. The auto shifter on the A7 Sportsback is leather wrapped and has a nice feel when gripped.

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The A7 Sportback has a 4 zone auto climate control that includes two zones for the rear passengers. The AC vents are on the dash and on the door pillars for the rear passengers. The A7 Sportback we drove came with Bose surround sound system with integrated TV,MP3-CD-Radio and DVD. Sound quality is the best that we have seen so far and we are saying this after hearing to some old songs that were loaded on the 60GB internal hard drive that felt as we were listening to some live performance. Need we say that this BOSE unit is a 600 watts and has a twelve channel amplifier that powers 14 BOSE speakers and has 5.1 channel audio output levels. The Audio system is controlled from the MMI unit and browsing the 60GB HDD is real easy. You can also connect your Ipod or USB drive via the Audi MMI cable that connects in to the MMI port inside the centre armrest. There are two slots provided for SD cards. A head up display unit is also available on the A7 Sportback that projects the Speedo and cruise control floating display on the driver side windshield glass. The A7 Sportback also has night vision assistant that detects pedestrians using thermal imaging camera that’s placed on the grill.

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The benefit from the head up display is that the driver does not need to move his eye to the Speedo to check the speed. A DVD changer is neatly tucked up inside the glove box. The front seats are electrically adjustable for height, reach, incline/decline and lumber support. The upholstery is in high quality leather; the front seats are large in size and offer good support to the driver and front passenger. The headrests are manually adjustable for height and reach. The rear seats are shaped for seating two adults and though the roofline is steeping at the rear there is more than good head room at the back. The rear seats offer a good blend of comfort and support, a foldable centre arm rest is provided at the rear seat. The rear two zone climate controls are on the back of the centre console.

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The A7 Sportback has a very large tail and that make its boots XXL sized. The tail gate can be electrical open and shut making it very convenient. A stainless steel strip is placed on the loading area of the boot to protect it while loading and unloading stuff. With 535 liters of boot space that doubles up to 1390liters with the rear 40:60 split seats folded down making this a car with gigantic luggage area.

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Engine – Suspension – Drive

The Audi A7 Sportback is powered by a 3.0liter V6 TDi engine. This longitudinally mounted 2967cc Six cylinder diesel engine makes 245hp between 4000 to 4500 RPM and hits out 500Nm of torque between 1400 to 3250 RPM. This is super light weight engine that weighs just 194 Kgs. This powerful engine is mated to a 7 speed S Tronic gearbox and fine tuned to the Audi Quattro drive system. Latest high pressure injection system and a new camshaft profile along with a new turbo used on the A7 Sportback engine. The Quattro system intelligently distributes 60% of the power to the rear wheels.

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Driving an Audi is always fun and exciting and the A7 Sportback is full of it. Power the engine and it is difficult to say that this is a V6 diesel, the engine is super refined and very smooth. On the move the A7 Sportback surges ahead in a very linear fashion with the power available across all RPM. The steering is light at low speeds but stiffens as the speed builds up. The steering feedback is good and lively and the A7 Sportback being a large car feels very agile and easy to drive in city traffic. On the highways the A7 Sportback unleashes its true character and can be driven very fast but you feel secure inside the cabin even while running the car on a very high speed. The Quattro system along with the double wishbone and multi link adaptive suspension system with Audi's Air-Suspension work flawlessly in giving a very refined drive feel. There is no body roll at any speeds and you can put the A7 Sportback in hard corners as you would put a sedan. The A7 Sportback handles real well, Audi has used some super light body panels made of strong aluminum on the A7 and that has helped keep the overall weight of this big vehicle down to 1770Kgs. The 7 speed S Tronic double clutch gearbox shifts through the gears and the shifts are unnoticed; if this doesn’t excite you then you have the paddle shifters to pick your gearshifts. The 100kmph mark comes in rather quickly just under 6.7seconds and we touched a top speed of 190kmph, by the way the A7 Sportback can do 240Kmph if you want it to. The A7 Sportback has instant pickup while the 3.0liter TDI engine works in a refined and flawless manner. The air suspension helps the A7 Sportsback to glide over the bad monsoon roads with high degree of ease, you can even raise or lower the body when needed using the MMI control unit. The electromechanical steering is fun to drive with and takes the driver input instantly.

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Here is some more information on the Intelligent Air Suspension of the A7 Sportsback. In the Auto mode the suspension is lowered by 20mm once the A7 is driven for 30seconds at speeds more than 120kmph increasing stability and cutting out on drag. There is no change in the body height in the comfort mode while in the dynamic mode the body is lowered by 10mm. The body height can be lowered or increased manually when in individual mode. We used the individual setting most of the time and it also helped us glide over the uneven speedbreakers that the A7 encountered. The A7 Sportback has an all disc brake setup aided with ESP EBD and ABS as standard. Braking on the A7 Sportback is highly responsive and secure at all speeds. The safety list also includes 6 airbags that includes two front, two side and two head airbags.

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Verdict.

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Audi has priced the A7 Sportback at Rs. 64lakhs Ex showroom Delhi and that makes it bang in middle of the A6 and the A8, with large proportions and dimensions and a powerful and highly refined TDI engine, the A7 Sportback surely is a fun to drive large car. The A7 Sportback has a never ending list of equipments and safety features. Its got the character of a Sportscar as well as drives and handles like one too, the A7 is endowed with the looks of a Coupe and it can store things in the XXL boot like a Station Wagon making it a perfect blend of character and a very viable option in this new segment. The Audi A7 Sportsback has the BMW Grand Tourismo for competition. The A7 Sportback is a perfect choice for someone who wants a very different yet sporty and practical Luxury car.

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