Preview: 2011 Audi A7

The Audi A7 isn’t expected until late 2010, but production plans are already ramping up

The Audi A7 isn’t expected until late 2010, but production plans are already ramping up

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As part of its new model blitz to drive its offerings up from the current 23 cars to a total of 40, Audi is augmenting its lineup with new coupes, soft-roaders and sedans. Late last year Audi revealed the new S5 and A5 Cabrios and the Q5 SUV is already priced and safety-tested for North America. One of the next models Audi plans to bring to market is its A7 four-door coupe, which is scheduled to make its debut late next year as a 2011 model.

Production is a certainty now that Audi has decided to put millions of euros into the plant in Neckarsulm in order to make the necessary upgrades and changes to build the A7. Production will start toward the end of next year, reports Auto Motor und Sport, which means the new model is unlikely to make its way into U.S. showrooms until sometime in early 2011.

A very wide range of powertrains will be offered in the A7 and its S7 and RS7 sport-focused variants. Everything from diesel-electric hybrids to 600hp (448kW) V10s will be found under the hood of one variant or another. The hybrid drive is expected to show up first in the company’s Q5 soft-roader. A diesel-electric version is rumored, but the company may end up using a petrol engine instead.

The more ordinary A7 variants will be powered by a pair of V6s. The first, a 204hp (152kW) 2.8L engine is the base model, while the 3.0L supercharged engine making 300hp (225kW) will be the first step up. An upgrade to S7 trim will bring with it another 94hp (70kW) in the form of a 4.0L V8. The RS7’s 600hp (448kW) 5.0L twin-turbo V10 is the range-topper. The S7 and RS7 will be released two years apart, with the S7 arriving first in early 2011 and RS7 after that.

A six-speed manual gearbox and eight-speed automatic will be available in the lower-spec models, while a seven-speed dual-clutch unit is also expected to be offered in the higher-performance variants. North American models are also expected to get Audi’s quattro AWD standard, though it is not known if European market variants will have a RWD option. Audi’s new torque-vectoring system will also be part of the package.

Air suspension will replace the standard spring-based system found in other Audis. The change is designed to help the car compete with the progenitor of the four-door coupe genre, the Mercedes CLS. Sales of the car are only expected to reach the 40,000 mark, but the image boost it will offer with its high-tech features and glamorous look - especially in the soft-top variant - are important for Audi’s development as a brand.

Audi released several official sketches of its future lineup late last year, including one of the A7, and our preview fleshes that sketch out into a three-dimensional look at what could be.
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Comments (24)
  1. Fantastic. Another small window, big price car. And the tools will probably line up to buy it.

  2. But you have to admit, Audi has the understated styling sense that Mercedes and BMW have both lost over the last 10 years. I mean what is the deal with the headlights of the new 1 series? Or the butt of the 7, 6 and 5 series? Or the butt of the C-class or S-class?
    There is not one Audi model that I find the styling offensive on...

  3. Beautiful design. The new creative director @ Audi is doing a wonderful job on the sedans and coupes. The A5/S5 is one of the hottest coupe designs out. An A7/S7 will only compliment the entire lineup. The convertible A7 should not be made however. I am eager to see how the upcoming A8/S8 stacks up against the pending BMW 7 and MB S Class - please Audi recognize your competition and challenge them with aggressive styling with the A8/S8.

  4. I agree with LEX, do not make the convertible, but the coupe looks hot, some good competition for the cls 63.

  5. A brand extension too far for Audi? Do they really need to go the MB route?

  6. is it just me or does this have very very little difference in styling to just about every other audi model? i agree that the new direction that they're taking is an improvement but at least vary the head and tail lights a smidge. other'n the front air intake holes, this looks just like the upcoming A6

  7. I personally do not see a point to the A7, but I know this car will probably sell in decent numbers anyway

  8. NoNameDenton, if you haven't noticed, there's really no point in alot of cars. X6, Ferrari 612, Maybach, Hummer, half of mercedes's line up. But, people stil want them cause its a statement saying, "IM REALLY RICH AND I WIPE CRAP WITH 100DOLLAR BILLS"

  9. i restate what i said on june 12: this model could very well be an A4, A6, or A7, or A8 and i wouldn't know the difference. they look IDENTICAL!

  10. I already knew that justinhk2000, thanks for stating the obvious.

  11. its genious. a four oor convertible. chrysler could have been the first to do that in the modern era. this is a awesome four door convertible, it makes me think of the old lincoln continental.

  12. One would be hard pressed to find a more useless and idiotic car than a 4 door convertible. Who would buy such a monstrosity?! I can already see Puff Daddy and 3 hoes driving around...

    I would literally prefer to drive a Kia Rio than a 4 door convertible.

  13. I agree I just don't see a four-door convertible working out. Structurally it's bad as well, I mean...where's the B-pillar (and no that little black piece of trim doesn't count). It's going to demand a lot of its chassis and that will drive the weight up astronomically! One thing I would say to Audi if they're actually going to do this: Suicide doors!

  14. i dont think the "foor door coupe" works well for audi... i dont know how to put it the way i want but the a4-a8 shape doesnt suit a coupe back, i think it just looks stupid. im a huge audi fan but i just think audi need to create a totally new shape for a more sleek shape.....

  15. Hope it looks better then Porsche's

  16. Is it just me or do all Audi's look just too similar now? They seem, exceptions of the RS Models, just so boring. BMW is nearly boring but Audi just manage to make me not car about any of their cars anymore besides the S3, RS4, S5, RS6, RS6. The rest are so mundane and almost, ironically, passengers to automotive design. Worst than Porsche.

  17. danDAN - yeah, even the S's look pretty boring. I'm liking some of the new BMW's (except for the totally out of proportion tail lights), especially the new 5 series. If Audi had the guts to go radically shaped then they could let that be the feature and let the rest of the car be boring... But that won't happen. I think we'll be seeing what this could look like with the A5 this year...

    And yeah, no 4 door cabrios. Maybe half suicide doors (think Mazda RX8) to make the back seat anything less than useless could (probably would) work...

  18. i think its look amazing!
    i hope audi will keep the a7 concept designing

  19. Oh goodie yet another 4 door coupe to grace our lives

  20. If Audi stays close with this A7 concept to the last design detail, it would surely blow away the competition.
    It's simple but beautifully direct.

  21. another needless model :(

  22. The 4 seat..4dr coupe set up will give it distinction from the next generation A6 which will be based on this. The sportback model makes no sense in the USA market if they still have an A6 Avant. The engines in the USA market should be the 3.0TSFI with 333hp and a hybrid option with the proposed 400HP 4.0TSFI available for the S-Line. The proposed twin turbo 3.0TDI should be the available diesel engine. S7 can have a V10 with 450HP.

  23. already own/ed 2d cnvertibles. looking at this and karma s. just be able to drive around w wife, kid and dog on a 4d cnvertible will be a new experience.

  24. They're making the A7/S7/RS7 for people that are looking for something more aggressive-looking than the A8 but a step above the A6 in terms of engine, class/amenities, and overall appeal. The market exists as evidenced by the CL63/ CL63AMG market. That market is the 30-40 somethings with money, a family, the need for space, and the need for more fun and class than the A6. I like the styling on it. They should be aggressive with the styling and really make the interior phenomenal if they want to tap into that market. I think it would be a hit.
    I also agree about the 4-door convertible. I would have to see it and ride it to even think it makes sense. On the surface, it's hard to fathom.

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