The model belongs to the emerging five-door coupé premium segment and is based on a modular platform that will be adopted for the future A6.
The design is strongly based on the Sportback Concept presented at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show.
The front end is characterized by the hexagonal single frame grille and the aggressively-shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights.
The profile has a distinctive coupé-like silhouette that helps in disguising the generous length of 4,97 meters.
The arc-shaped roofline and “tornado” line are visually matched by the ascending bottom line that rises up in the rear and transofrrms into a spoiler lip.
|Wolfgang Josef Egger, Head of Audi Group Design and Stefan Sielaff, Head of Audi Design at the World Premier of the new Audi A7 Sportback in Munich|
The C-pillar integrates a third side window with an upward pointing tip – a homage to the 1969 Audi 100 Coupé S.
The interior features four individual seats, a driver oriented dashboard and the extensive use of wood, aluminum and leather.
The range of engines will include two gasoline units (a 206 hp 2.8 liter V6 and a 300 hp 2.8 liter turbocharged V6) and one diesel (a 3.0 V& TDI with 204 and 245 hp). The units are combined with rear and all-wheel drive transmissions.
The A7 Sportback wil go on sale this fall, with prices starting at about €50k / $67k.
The gallery includes an extensive set of exterior and interior design sketches. Below we report the official information on the design.
From the official Press Release:
The Audi A7 Sportback is at once an elegant and an innovative Audi – a car with elegant, sporty proportions, a long hood and wheelbase, short overhangs and athletically curved outer contours. It marks the next step in the evolution of the design language of Audi, the leading brand for automotive design.
The Audi A7 Sportback exudes a powerful presence and attraction; it is a car whose design cries out to be touched and enjoyed. With its low, dynamically accentuated roof line and its balanced proportions, it looks like a coupe. The rear doors are perfectly integrated into the silhouette. The design is consistent and expresses the aesthetics of modern technology in every detail – in the precisely drawn lines, in the athletic curvature of the surfaces, in the engine compartment and even the wheels.
The large single-frame grille up front has six corners like that of Audi’s A8 flagship, making it appear even more dynamic. The slats of the grille are painted high-gloss black and adorned with chrome applications as an expression of quality. Its horizontal posture and the design of the wide and low air inlets emphasize the width of the Audi A7 Sportback.
As always with Audi, the headlights are small, technical works of art that illustrate the advantage that the brand has gained in lighting technology. Their flat contour that widens laterally shifts the optical focus outward. The lower edge is in the form of a wave, with the wing – a classic Audi feature – structuring the interior.
The Audi A7 Sportback comes standard with xenon headlights with integrated all-weather lights. Optionally available here is the Audi adaptive light system, which always offers the appropriate lighting, whether driving in the city, when turning, on inter-urban roads or on the highway. It includes continuous headlight range control, which detects other vehicles and adjusts the car’s own light with smooth transitions.
Audi offers optional all-LED headlights, a major Audi innovation that premiered in the R8 and the A8. Their white light resembles daylight and is extremely energy-efficient. The zero-maintenance LED headlights generate unmistakable graphics, day or night.
Three modules comprising high-performance light-emitting diodes, mounted in separate chambers, generate the low beams. Other light functions include the high beams, the cornering light, the all-weather light and the highway light. The daytime running lights comprising 18 LEDs appears to be a continuous band at the lower edge of the headlights, below which are the turn signals comprising eleven LEDs. The high-beam assistant, which switches between the high and low beams, is a complementary technology.
Dynamic wave: the side view
The side view of the Audi A7 Sportback is a powerfully drawn line. The roof arch is a flat dome; the C-pillar stretches endlessly to the rear and flows into the shoulder of the body. Integrated into the pillar is a third side window with an upward pointing tip – a small homage to the Audi 100 Coupé S from 1969. The ratio of painted body surfaces to the frameless windows is two-thirds to one-third in the side view, which is also typical for Audi.
The sharp tornado line, the most important design element of the Audi A7 Sportback, extends over the entire side. It gives the body strong shoulders, like those of an athletic swimmer. The tornado line starts at the headlights and extends along the fenders, the doors and the rear side walls to the tail lights. Located above the side sills is the dynamic line.
The large wheel wells housing wheels between 18 and 20 inches in diameter are also typical for Audi. They underscore the powerful character of the vehicle and offer opportunities for customizing the car’s outward appearance. Like with a sports car, the dynamically styled exterior mirrors are mounted on the doors – another sporty detail. The agile and sinewy impression of the Audi A7 Sportback is the result of many subtle solutions. The third side window, for example, lightens the rear section of the flanks visually.
The line of dynamic elegance encircles a rear end that uses a slight negative indentation to form a distinctive spoiler lip. The luggage compartment hatch is equipped with a spoiler that automatically extends at 130 km/h (80.78 mph) and retracts again at 80 km/h (49.71 mph). The diffuser insert is painted in the body color and frames the two large, chromed tailpipes of the exhaust system, thus also emphasizing the car’s width.
All surfaces at the rear of the car are vividly modeled; the tips of the divided tail lights point inwards. With the exception of the reversing light, the tail lights are realized entirely with LED technology standard. They have been machined in three dimensions and accentuate the sculptural character of the Audi A7. The tail lights appear to be a homogenous band that forms a broad, U-shaped arc. The brake lights, which are in the form of a helix, are located inside the arch, above which the turn signal extends as a straight line.
Audi offers eleven elegant paint finishes for the Audi A7 Sportback. The two solid colors are called Ibis White and Brilliant Black. The six metallic colors are Ice Silver, Quartz Gray, Oolong Gray, Moonlight Blue, Havanna Black and Dakota Gray. Rounding out the palette are the three pearl-effect finishes Phantom Black, Garnet Red and Impala Beige.
Fast track: from concept car to production
Audi announced the Audi A7 Sportback at the 2009 North American International Automobile Show in Detroit with the Audi Sportback concept show car. The differences between it and the production model were slight, lying primarily in the area of the headlights, the single-frame grille, the air inlets, the exterior mirrors and the rear end. Almost all of the new ideas in the interior also made it into the production model.
Audi frequently has show cars go into production nearly unchanged. This process expresses one of the brand’s particular strengths, demonstrating how deeply the Board of Management and all areas of the company support the visions of the designers. Design is much more than styling at Audi; it is a reflection of the highly developed technology.
Back in 1993, a luxury sedan in shining silver called the ASF enthralled the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The show car with its unpainted body of polished aluminum was the precursor to the A8. Two years later Audi provided the first glimpse of the TT, likewise at the Frankfurt Motor Show. And in 1997, the Al2 show car stood at the same location as a preview of the A2.
In 2003, two spectacular show cars heralded the move into new vehicle classes. In January Audi presented the Pikes Peak quattro in Detroit. The big, sporty SUV was the precursor to the Q7. In September, the Audi Le Mans quattro became the star of the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was the spitting image of the R8 which came later.
At the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2007, the brand presented the Audi Cross Coupé quattro, which went into production as the Q5 a short time later. There was even a forerunner of the compact Audi A1, which is just now coming to market: The Audi A1 project quattro, a hybrid-drive city car, debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.
The Audi A7 Sportback is 4.97 meters (16.31 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.55 ft). 1.91 meters (6.27 ft) wide, it is only 1.42 meters (4.66 ft) tall – these proportions allude to the dynamic lines. The cD value is 0.28; the front surface area measures 2.29 m² (24.65 sq ft). The clean flow of the slipstream – including along the underbody and as it flows through the engine compartment – was an important objective in the requirement specification.
The noise level on board the five-door coupe is extremely low thanks to the painstaking fine-tuning of the aeroacoustics, which also includes the glazings. Even the standard version does a very good job of attenuating outside noise. Audi offers optional glazings that integrate a special film with acoustic properties for an added degree of comfort, particularly on long highway journeys.
Long-distance comfort and a sporty character are not contradictory at Audi, and this also applies to the acoustics of the Audi A7 Sportback. Longer drives really let the five-door coupe show off its luxury-class ride: low noise, low vibrations and perfect vibrational comfort. The powerful engines round out the experience with a cultivated sound.
The excellent acoustics are the combined result of high-end materials and new construction methods. Modern microfiber non-wovens, an underbody liner and wheel well linings all play a part here.
The high level of vibrational comfort is another strength of the Audi A7 Sportback. Hydraulic damping elements are used consistently for the axles and the subframes, and hydraulically damped bearings are used for the engines. The engineers tuned these elements using advanced simulation methods and Audi’s comfort test bench – a development tool not found anywhere else in the world.
The body of the Audi A7 Sportback also sets standards with its low weight. The steel/aluminum mixed-construction body is roughly 15 percent lighter than a comparable all-steel body, placing it at the head of its class. Take for example the 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) and the multitronic transmission. Minus the driver, the entire car in the base version weighs just 1,695 kilograms (3,737 lb). The low weight is the result of the brand’s pioneering lightweight construction technology that intelligently combines a variety of materials.
More than 20 percent of the body is made of lightweight aluminum, a material with which Audi has experience that no other manufacturer can match. The strut mounts in the front of the car are aluminum castings; the strut brace and cross-members behind the front and rear bumpers are aluminum sections. All add-on parts, such as the front side walls, the hood, the rear hatch and the doors, but also the bulkhead and the cross-member in the luggage compartment, are made of aluminum panels.
High-end steels of various strength classes make up a large portion of the body. Most commonly used are the hot-shaped steels, which are used in some zones of the passenger cell and at its transition to the front end of the car. They are heated in a pass-through furnace to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit) and shaped immediately thereafter in water-cooled pressing dies. Audi also uses tailored blanks in many areas. These are panels of various thicknesses that are thicker and stronger in areas subjected to higher loads.
The body of the Audi A7 Sportback combines low weight with high rigidity and supreme strength. It thus provides the basis for the sportily precise handling, the high crash safety and the supreme vibrational comfort on board – for the typical Audi ride, in other words.
Air and light, sleek shapes and bright colors: The interior of the Audi A7 Sportback is an emotional space full of lightness and expanse. Its lines take up the powerful, sinewy sportiness of the exterior to demonstrate Audi’s status as the leading brand for vehicle design.
The salient element is the “wrap-around” – a horizontal line encircling the entire cabin. It extends in a curve from the driver-side door sill across the instrument panel to the passenger-side door sill. The wrap-around embeds the driver and front-seat passenger into the interior. The exterior and interior form a harmonious design element. The frame of the door opener invokes the shape of the rear side window from the exterior.
The large arch integrates a low and slender instrument panel that slopes slightly downward toward the passengers. The application strip with its integrative dynamics is the salient element of the dashboard. Its face forms a wave oriented toward the driver, and even the dividing line between the upper and the lower segments is in the shape of an S. The center air vents follow this line and are shaped like a wing.
Audi’s legendary attention to detail characterizes the entire interior of the Audi A7 Sportback, just as it does in the A8 luxury sedan. Materials are chosen with the utmost care; the uncompromising workmanship is on a craftsman’s level.
The strongly driver-oriented cockpit comprises the instrument cluster, the air vents and the control elements. The aluminum finish highlights the rotary knobs. Both the shift gate and the start-stop button feature subtle red backlighting.
Audi will immediately be offering a wide range of upholsteries and decorative elements, including Milano and Valcona fine leathers, a leather/Alcantara combination and a leather package for the center console, the armrests in the doors and the door pull handles.
Audi offers inlays in a choice of two aluminum applications and two types of wood: natural brown fine grain ash and dark brown walnut. A veneer of layered oak will be available later. Audi has made significant advances in the technique of cutting veneers from a single block and uses painstakingly prepared and treated oak.
Controls and interior
The Audi A7 Sportback offers a full range of functions, yet its controls are simple and intuitive. The large, clearly marked dial instruments with their red needles and the display of the driver information system (DIS) are located under a flat cowl. They appear three-dimensional and extremely precise.
The optional driver information display – either 5 or 7 inches and white or in color depending on the version – bundles a lot of important information and settings in a logical menu structure and is controlled using the leather multifunction steering wheel. Another standard feature is the on-board computer with efficiency program. It provides tips for efficient shifting, includes a gear-change indicator and shows how individual systems affect fuel consumption.
The central on-board monitor, the standard version of which measures 6.5 inches and has a high-gloss black frame, is recessed into the center of the dashboard. It extends electrically upward in an elegant motion when the ignition is switched on. The instrument panel, which is inclined toward the driver, contains the control unit for the highly efficient deluxe air conditioning system and secondary switches for direct access to the most important functions. All other functions are offloaded to the MMI (Multimedia Interface) operating system located on the wide, asymmetrical tunnel, which forms a separate component with no connection to the center console.
The operating logic of the MMI is exemplary. The hard keys are used to jump directly to the main menus; the soft keys and the central rotary pushbutton are used to navigate within them.
The driver can jump to the menu overview at any time using a central menu button. The central rotary pushbutton is used to select the desired menus and functions. The main functions of the audio system make up one logical unit and are consolidated in the main control element. The electromechanical parking brake leaves a lot of room on the center tunnel for a comfortable, steplessly height-adjustable center armrest, a telephone and a large storage compartment.
New: the head-up display
Audi offers a new high-end feature as an option in the Audi A7 Sportback – a head-up display. It projects the most important data onto the windshield as symbols and digits that appear to float at a distance of roughly 2.5 meters (8.2 ft). The driver assimilates this information extremely quickly because his or her eyes, accustomed to distance vision while driving, do not have to adjust. The driver can use the MMI to determine which information the head-up display should show, such as speed, the navigation arrows or the indications from the assistance systems.
The Audi A7 Sportback is designed as a four-seater. Its front seats are mounted sportily low. Ten-way seats are standard. Options include power adjustment, a memory function and seat heating.
The deluxe seats offer 20-way power and pneumatic adjustments. These are available with ventilation using a novel and particular effective suction technology and a function in which ten air chambers massage the back according to one of five programs. Customers with sporty tastes can choose the sport seats with their prominent side bolsters and 14-way adjustment.
In the back of the Audi A7 Sportback are two comfortable individual seats. The long wheelbase provides for generous amounts of space. Even large persons enjoy ample headroom and easy entry. Spacious and practical storage is available at all of the seats.
The Audi A7 Sportback is a versatile car for active people. Its long rear hatch that extends far up into the roof covers a large luggage compartment lined with fine carpeting. Its low loading lip helps make it convenient to use. Standard capacity is 535 liters (18.89 cubic ft), which increases to 1,390 liters (49.09 cubic ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs, which is a matter of a few easy steps.
The rear hatch comes standard with an electric drive unit. It opens high, and the opening angle can be programmed using the buttons on the inside of the hatch. The split cover is never in the way while loading the luggage compartment. Its short segment is connected to the body, the long segment to the hatch. Audi offers an optional load-through hatch with a ski sack and a reversible mat. With the trailer hitch, the Audi A7 Sportback can tow up to 2,100 kilograms (4,630 lb).