1 Mar 2011
Audi may have arrived to the luxury four-door coupe party late, but it certainly came dressed well. Following on from its smaller A5 sibling, the A6-based A7 had its sights set firmly on Mercedes-Benz’s CLS, Porsche Panamera and the BMW 5 Series GT.
The handsome and imposing German was launched with two V6 engines – one petrol and one diesel – mated to the VW Group’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
The two six-cylinder engines were strong but not stunning. The diesel was a sweet, torquey powerplant ideally suited to the cruising nature of the car. It generated 180kW between 3800rpm and 4400rpm and a healthy 500Nm between 1500rpm and 3250rpm.
Audi said that allowed it to dash from 0-100km/h in just 6.5 seconds. The official average fuel economy figure was just six litres per 100km, while the CO2 emissions were 158g/km.
The more-exciting supercharged petrol was strong all the way through the rev range, slingshotting the big coupe at a rapid rate. It generated 220kW between 5250rpm and 6500rpm and 440Nm between 2900rpm and 4500rpm.
The more potent engine allowed for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.6 seconds. It’s official fuel economy figure was 8.2L/100km and its emissions figure was190g/km.
The only negative was the rather dull burble it emitted, which could be quite a disappointment for some since Audi expects it to eventually fill a void vacated by its orchestral 4.2-litre V8.
The A7’s interior was shared with the upcoming A6 and comprised a waistband that ran around the top of the dashboard. The centre stack faced toward the driver and an eight-inch display popped up out of the dash-top.
Occupants could use the traditional MMI (multi-media interface) control unit, which featured a roller-ball with surrounding buttons and a special pad controlled by finger squiggles. Interestingly, it even recognised characters of many Asian languages.
A standard media system included a 60GB hard-drive with 20GB reserved for music. This came standard with a satellite-navigation system and voice control with Bluetooth. Four-zone climate-control, with rear controls, was standard.
Luggage space was a large 535 litres, although the boot was quite shallow towards the rear. Audi catered for longer items of cargo by allowing for the 60/40-split rear seats to be folded down, opening up a massive 1390 litres of space and enabling very long items to be carried. An electric tailgate system was standard, allowing for the hatch to be opened or closed at the touch of a button.
Like its sedan sibling, the A7’s body was mainly steel but had a 20 per cent aluminium content, including the bonnet, doors and hatch.
It was only slightly shorter than a Holden Caprice, measuring 4969mm nose to tail, but appeared even larger because of its long sloping roofline, the highest point of which was just 1420mm. The wheelbase was 2914mm.