I know of a pretty well off family with five siblings, each a chip off the old block and considered by the entire town to be pretty cool in their own way. All of them made their millions but there was one that thought he could do it on his own and started up his own gaming company. He also went ahead and bought an A7. Anyway, the moral of the story is that there are many ways to make your million – some are cooler than the rest. The moral of the story is also that how much ever the chassis or the grill or even the engines have in common, the Audi range makes a mark for its individual models with a sheer delineation of their personality. The point is that the A7 is not merely an A6 plus one. It does have an air about it that makes it stand out from its siblings even as the 3.0L TFSI is what drives this millionaire’s toy as well.
The 3.0 L TFSI with its 7 quick shifts make acceleration a breeze, and make for very useful sprints between radars on highly camera-populated highways. But watch out, the 440 Nm of torque could get you to the next one a couple of seconds quicker than you anticipated.
While quick and tricky negotiations are well managed by the A7, I liked the sheer balance of the new A6 in this department, with the A7’s length and weight making themselves slightly pronounced while attempting evasive maneuvers and in its occasional understeer.
While the Audi Drive Select gives you enough permutations between Comfort and Dynamic for the engine and steering (none for the suspension) chances are, if you consider the A7 sporty and support your hunch with a Dynamic drive select, you might not ever step back into Comfort mode.
The slender A-pillars look as good as they ease the drive and the B-pillars are wide enough to match the coupe styling but the latter takes away something from the shoulder-check vision – a blind spot indicator could have been helpful. Otherwise, the A7 is designed to keep your focus on the road with a new head up display that helpfully displays navigation cues as well!
If Audi A7 reminds you of any car, it couldn’t be of anything out of its league. The unusual curves with a sporty bent appropriately brought to mind the Mercedes CLS – but I liked the Audi A7 better and also the Porsche Panamera from the rear angle – with its rear extension that rises with the automatic hatch lid.
The wide stance is used to give the car an extra lining of character with a crouching shoulder line, which suggests muscle rather than elegance. The flared up lower lines also serve as good housing for the 19” or 20” wheels that the A7 rides on. The binnacle that measures your time well spent in an Audi A7 looks more like a chronograph while the frameless windows and the active rear spoiler are signatures of sporty freedom.
Cabin and Controls
Just as the drive, individual care and personalization are what marks the A7 interiors. The spirit continues in the four-zone climate control facility besides the front seats that are not only ventilated and memory programmed but also include knee and side supports as well for a snug ride.
The flipside to choices and combinations is the number of buttons that make it possible right from the multimedia interface that monitors the navigation, the music or the drive features – it is a whole training programme that will equip you to manage them. Thankfully, the Audi A7 has a separate knob altogether for its exhilarating Bose surround system, whose speakers compliment ears of good taste.
The thoughtful frills include 2 smart card slots apart from the Bluetooth that is sort of mandatory in our times. The automatic soft-shut doors are yet another feel-good feature.
In the A7 cabin, Audi proves that you can still be minimalistic without showing a trace of austerity. Yet, in a luxurious cabin, the absence of sunscreens were conspicuous and the A7 doesn’t have a panoramic roof as well, thanks to its almost hatchback like curvature at the rear end.
The A7 gracefully affords a little more legroom to the rear passengers than the A6, though the unusual curvature towards the rear deprives the tallest of them of some headroom. Thankfully, the rear view isn’t disrupted at all, through its wide and sloping rear windscreen.
At the centre of the cabin is a wider tunnel console – wider space lost by its 4-seat arrangement just as the sporty roof caves in just behind the rear passengers! The drive train mount makes it impossible for anyone to cuddle into the centre seat – which is why the A7 is for 4 people only.
While you’ll have to dump the 5th passenger, Audi has made sure that the four that stay are pampered with the extremely comfortable leather seats, rightly inclined for its luxurious leanings, and the four-zone climate control that helps avoid family fueds or ‘cold wars’, in a manner of speaking! The ISOFIX seats are easily fixed into the clamps on the seat, which are well hidden when not in use with a removable cover.
The essential A7
The level of refinement and the supportive seats make the A7 an executive decision but the large car spends itself on just four people – which along with the caved-in roof makes it less appealing for families despite the sumptuous rear space for storage. However, the ‘sport meets luxury’ platform vindicates itself in the drivability of the Audi A7 – speed limits rarely felt this close, and the G-force this compelling!
UPSIDE: Imposing design midway between a coupe and shooting brake, Audi refinement in every detail, Torquey drive, practical boot space
FLIPSIDE: Caving in roof takes from rear headroom, Tricky maneuvers feel better in an A6, Seats only four
Drive Courtesy: Audi Middle East
Pictures: Supplied and Sudeep Koshy