Audi’s new-generation A7 brings Sportback to the future

When a sedan's too starched and a sport's coupe is too squeezy...

The shape-shifting nature of luxury executive sedans has stretched a little further with the introduction of Audi’s new-generation A7 Sportback – an aggressively styled, fastback four-door sedan.

The new A7 Sportback replaces the original model of 2011, which was a striking example of a relatively new category of luxury “four-door coupe”. The sleek sedan silhouette, arguably pioneered by Mercedes-Benz a few years earlier with its CLS in 2004, has spawned a number of contenders including subsequent CLS generations, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (and imminent 8-series replacement) and the Porsche Panamera.

The latest A7 Sportback iteration puts Audi’s best foot forward with more assertive exterior styling and more versatile interior packaging, and an all-new interior that showcases the Ingolstadt brand’s very latest design and technology, as well as bringing improved versatility.

Audi claims the A7 Sportback incorporates the design of a coupe, the seating accommodation of a sedan and, with its liftback tailgate and fold-flat rear seats, some measure of the practicality of a wagon.

Compared with the outgoing A7 Sportback, the new model boasts improved head and legroom for rear occupants and wider cargo loading access – though luggage capacity, at 535/1390 litres (rear seat up/down), appears identical to its predecessor.

The A7 Sportback will initially be available only in the top 55 TFSI Quattro S tronic guise, which translates to a turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6 engine (making 250kW/500Nm), incorporating a mild hybrid system and with a seven-speed transmission and (naturally) quattro all-wheel drive. Pricing before options is £55,140.

By mid-2019 there will follow a diesel 50 TDI Quattro Tiptronic and entry-level, four-cylinder 45 TFSI Quattro S Tronic.

The new executive express is long, wide and low, at 4.97m, 1.91m and 1.47m, respectively. Housed within its handsome and yachting-inspired exterior, the clean and architectural styling of the interior includes a 10.1-inch display which, in addition to the latest-generation MMI touch-screen display (and standard head-up display), supersedes all but a few hard buttons and switches from the cockpit.

An S line sports interior package is standard on the launch 55 TFSI models, though a couple of the A7 Sportback’s most advanced self-parking features – namely, garage pilot and parking pilot – will be introduced next year.

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