2019 Audi A7 Sportback Preview
- Based on redesigned Audi A6 platform, but with 5-door hatchback body style
- Focus is on efficiency and technology, but without a loss of performance or luxury
- Debuts with electrified “mild hybrid” powertrain combining turbocharged V-6 with Lithium-ion battery, belt-alternator starter, and regenerative braking system
- Standard Quattro Ultra, which powers the rear wheels only when necessary
- Equipped with new dual-screen Audi Multi-Media Interface design, which replaces control knobs and buttons with dual touch-screen displays
- Driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technology is taken to new heights, including self-parking capability while the owner monitors from outside of the vehicle
Currently, the 2018 Audi A6 and A7 sit on one of the company’s oldest platforms, but not for long. Audi has introduced the redesigned 2019 A7 Sportback, which looks familiar but is completely new inside, outside, and underneath.
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Taking its design cues from the Audi Prologue concept car, the new A7 Sportback more successfully evolves the automaker’s design language than did recent revamps of the Q5 and Q7.
Audi says the car will be available in 15 different paint colors, and that it purposely employs a minimal use of chrome in its detailing. As an option, an S-Line package supplies slightly more aggressive styling detail combined with gloss-black trim.
Inside, the new A7 Sportback is roomier than before, especially for rear-seat occupants. Redesigned seating accommodates 4 people; a deeply sculpted rear bench seat is, however, available.
Everyone sits beneath a larger panoramic glass roof, which bathes the cabin in natural light, and option packages install an air ionizing and fragrancing system as well as LED ambient lighting for a Zen-like motoring experience. Audi says the A7 Sportback is quieter inside, too.
Cargo space impresses, and Audi reconfigured the trunk in order for it to easily hold two golf bags placed horizontally. With the rear seats in use, the A7 Sportback holds 18.9 cu. ft. of cargo. Fold the seats to leverage 49.1 cu. ft. of space.
Highlights from the optional equipment list include multi-contour front seats with heating, ventilation, and massage, as well as premium Valcona leather upholstery. A top-shelf Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System is also available, certainly producing nothing short of stunning audio quality.
Under the Hood
Initially, the new A7 Sportback will include a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine making 340 horsepower and nearly 370 lb.-ft. of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard, along with a Quattro Ultra all-wheel-drive system that operates in front-wheel drive until the rear wheels are necessary for traction or desired for performance.
To help improve fuel efficiency, the powertrain benefits from mild hybridization. A Lithium-ion battery, belt-alternator starter, and regenerative braking system make it possible for the A7 Sportback to coast at high speeds with the engine turned off, such as when descending a mountain grade or approaching and exiting a highway off-ramp.
This technology also allows the standard automatic engine start/stop system to engage sooner, activating as the car decelerates beneath 14 mph but standing ready to instantly react should the driver require acceleration before coming to a full stop.
Other mechanical upgrades include standard variable progressive steering to make low-speed maneuvering easier, available Dynamic All-Wheel Steering, and a new Electronic Chassis Program that coordinates optional suspension setups, the available torque-vectoring Sport Differential, and the Dynamic All-Wheel Steering with the car’s Drive Mode Select programming.
Wheel-and-tire packages range as large as 21 ins. in diameter, shod in P255/35 rubber.
According to Audi, there are 39 different driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems at work in the new A7 Sportback. The automaker did not detail them all, aside from mentioning a new Adaptive Driving Assistance system that keeps the car centered in its lane.
Given the work Audi has performed in the area of autonomous driving systems, the company will no doubt showcase its latest innovations on this front.
Traditionally, Audi’s Multi-Media Interface infotainment technology has positioned a tablet-style display at the top of the dashboard, operated using controls on the center console, or the steering wheel, or through voice-recognition technology.
In the new A7 Sportback, Audi rethinks this approach. In fact, the company has banished buttons and knobs from the center control panel, replacing them with dual touch-screen displays. This cleans up the center console, presents a minimalist appearance for the cabin, and, according to the company, provides a control interface that is as intuitive to use as a smartphone.
A larger top screen is included with the available MMI Navigation Plus package, which also installs Audi’s slick virtual cockpit digital instrumentation. A head-up display is also available, and the car’s voice-recognition system is upgraded to understand natural voice commands.
Car-to-X communication technology is also aboard the A7 Sportback, as a part of an expanded Audi Connect services offering. Basically, this allows the car to “talk” to other Audis, sharing information about road hazards and other data in order to improve navigation routing.
New park-assist technology is also available in the new A7 Sportback. The owner can exit the car and, using a MyAudi smartphone app, command the vehicle to park itself in a space or in a garage.