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HATCHING A SMARTER PLAN (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Audi's A7 Sportback offers a smarter, more unique option to Executive segment buyers and the Ingolstadt maker has put a lot of effort into updating this second generation version. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 52
The second generation Audi A7 Sportback has been carefully but comprehensively updated, with smarter styling, revised engines, a hi-tech all-digital cockpit and a range of intelligent driver assistance systems. It's still a beautifully constructed thing but now offers just that little bit more polish in the face of some very talented rivals.
Backgroundword count: 184
You might think that a full-sized Executive car - say something like an Audi A6, a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class - was a pretty desirable thing. Buyers in this segment though, don't always agree, which is why in recent times, so many of them have drifted away into up-market SUVs and crossovers. In response over the last few years, the prestige brands have produced more dynamic and individual four and five-door designs to sell alongside their standard executive models. Here's Audi's offering, a much improved second generation A7 Sportback. As before, the underpinnings feature some of Audi's more exclusive technology, the kind of thing you'd find in the brand's luxury segment A8 saloon. This car though can be more efficient than any A8. That'll be important for business segment buyers, but I've a suspicion that it's technology that'll really sell them this car. Much of this is optional of course, but if you tick the right boxes for things like the hi-tech Matrix headlights and the advanced autonomous driving and connectivity technology, this car really can be state of the art.
Driving Experienceword count: 236
A7 Sportback buyers choose between four engines. There's a 204PS four cylinder TDI engine in the '40 TDI' version, offered with either front wheel drive or quattro 4WD. Then there's a 340PS 3.0 TFSI petrol unit in the '55 TFSI' variant, which comes mated to a 7-speed S tronic auto gearbox. Many customers though, will want either the 231PS '45 TDI' or the 286PS '50 TDI' variants, both of which use a 3.0-litre diesel using Audi's MHEV mild hybrid technology, this unit mated to 8-speed tiptronic auto transmission. Both six cylinder derivatives feature quattro 4WD and buyers choose between four suspension options, including updated adaptive air suspension that makes the car feel supple and luxurious during cruising without curbing its ability to iron out more challenging roads. Through the corners, you'll appreciate a new 'Progressive steering' system, which features a ratio that becomes more direct as lock is applied. And for optimal ability through the switchbacks and increased lower-speed manoeuvrability, dynamic all-wheel-steering is also available from the options list, as is the quattro sport differential which actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels for maximum cornering adjustability. As usual with Audi models, there's a 'drive select' driving modes system that activates different drive profiles that tweak steering, throttle response, steering feel and ride characteristics. Audi says that this time round, the differentiation between comfort and dynamic options is more pronounced than in the previous model.
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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates
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