Audi has started the first public road trials of its next-generation A7. We’re still at the test mule stage, which means the engineers are testing the new mechanicals within the makeshift body of a current model, but even at this early stage we can already gather a few details.
It appears the length of the new A7 won’t be changing but width should be up, as evidenced by the modified wheel arches on this mule. This ties in with claims that the new A7 will sport a wider, more radical look. One element that we know will carry over is the squared-off Kammback rear.
Overseeing the design is new Audi design chief Marc Lichte, who says we can expect greater differentiation between the new A7 and the mechanically-similar, next-generation A6. The new look was previewed on Audi’s forward-looking Prologue concept, which Lichte and his team worked on after completing the designs for the new A6 and A7 as well as the next-generation A8.
Audi Prologue concept, 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The platform underpinning the car is the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo, which made its debut in the 2017 Q7 and has since spread to the 2017 A4. The new platform promises a significant reduction in weight as well as compatibility with more alternative powertrains.
The base engine should be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This unit makes its debut in the 2017 A4. A plug-in hybrid A7 is a certainty, and there should also be a battery-electric option at some point. Audi has also hinted at a fuel cell-equipped A7. The good news is that we’ll also see sporty S7 and RS 7 models once again.
The new A8 will arrive first, with its reveal set to take place next year. The new A6 and A7 will follow in 2017. In the United States, the new A7 is expected to arrive as a 2019 model.