The four-door coupe seems to be all the rage these days, given the wide range of models available. Buyers can choose from the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, the Porsche Panamera or even the more affordably priced Volkswagen CC. While there may be no shortage of choices, Audi’s A7 is arguably among the most most stylish options available.
Based on the Audi A6 sedan, the A7 sports a boldly revised exterior design that’s defined by its plunging fastback roofline and coupe-like C-pillar. While the front isn’t dramatically different than the A6, the rear styling of the A7 is unlike anything else in Audi’s current catalog, making the A7 the poster child for individual expression in a luxury four-door coupe.
Audi uses aluminum extensively throughout the A7, which has the benefit of reducing weight while adding stiffness to aid handling. There’s even active aerodynamics in the form of a rear spoiler that deploys at speeds above 80 mph to reduce rear lift (or signal to state troopers that you’re exceeding the speed limit).
Don’t expect the A7 to be as nimble as a sport coupe however, because it’s still a relatively large car. It also leans more to the side of luxury than sport, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since an S7 version is on the way for those demanding maximum schnell. There’s enough thrust from the 310-horsepower, supercharged V-6 to provide entertainment value (and a hearty growl when pushed hard), and Audi’s Drive Select ensures that you can always find the right blend of ride comfort, performance and handling. As you’d expect, quattro all-wheel-drive ensures optimal traction, regardless of road or weather conditions.
The interior borrows heavily from Audi’s A8 flagship, making the A7 a great place to soak up miles. Materials used, as well as fit and finish, are top-notch, and the A7 furthers the argument that few companies design and build interiors quite as well as Audi. Even the MMI Plus infotainment system should prove intuitive enough for drivers to grasp without duress, and we’re especially fond of the MMI Touch feature that allows users to trace letters instead of hunting them down on a virtual keyboard. Add in that the navigation system now uses 3D Google Earth data, and you have the components for one of the best infotainment systems on the market today.
The A7’s cabin is as quiet as you’d expect from a luxury sedan, and wind noise is surprisingly minimal. If there’s a drawback to the A7’s shape, it comes in the form of rear-seat headroom. As you’d expect from a fastback body style, taller passengers will be most comfortable riding in the front passenger seat, though rear legroom should prove to be sufficient for most.
Introduced for the 2012 model year, the 2013 A7 sees only minor changes to features and options. The big news will come later in the year, with the introduction of a twin-turbo V-8, 420-horsepower S7 variant.
For a more detailed look at the 2013 Audi A7, see our full review on The Car Connection