The phrase ‘subtle executive express’ has been re-defined by Audi’s latest A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI Biturbo.
This understated menace looks sleek and slick on the surface, but packs a really heavy punch under its elongated bonnet…and the fact that it sports the latest in diesel technology makes the performance/silence ratio all the more alarming.
Displacing 3.0-litres, the V6 diesel A7 packs twin turbochargers and is mated to the latest eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ (read: dual-clutch) transmission. Outputs are 230kW from 3900-4500rpm, with a gargantuan torque figure of 650Nm, available from 1450rpm through to 2800rpm. Audi claims 0-100km/h acceleration takes 5.3 seconds, while returning combined-cycle fuel economy of only 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
Immediately the 1925kg A7 appears a big car, its sloping roofline elongating its shape and setting it apart from the A6 sedan. The tested car is fitted with the optional S line sports package, which adds a further touch of subtle menace on its 20-inch alloys and 265/35 Pirelli rubber (up from 255/40/19) as well as specific interior trims.
As you’d expect, the interior is extremely well appointed with electrically-adjustable memory seats for both driver and front passenger, accompanied with the smell of quality leather. The driver interface is wide and well-presented, the MMI screen emerging from the dashboard once ignition is engaged.
This example is also fitted with the optional electric steering column adjustment and adaptive cruise control (which also includes active lane, side and park assist), making the whole interior operation fuss-free. Gear-change paddles sit behind the superbly trimmed steering wheel, and four-zone climate control is standard along with satellite navigation and engine stop-start.
Of course, all the safety acronyms are present and accounted for, with the added security of quattro all-wheel drive.
On the road, A7 Sportback Biturbo can play comfortably at either end of the spectrum. From unobtrusive progress to supercar-humbling acceleration, the engine/gearbox combination is superb. Audi drive select plays with these personalities, offering a full economy mode, then progresses through comfort and dynamic modes to an individual setting that allows driver-programmable functions. Here, one can alter engine/gearbox and steering response and even how much engine noise enters the cabin via its symposer. The sound that emanates from the diesel engine is certainly not diesel-like; it’s grumbly and almost petrol V8-like before taking on a tuned V6 sound at higher revs. Consumption on test ranged in the mid-sevens, up to nine litres when driving on tight country roads.
When wafting, the engine is muted to the point of letting in wind and road noise, but increase throttle pressure and the horizon comes towards you very quickly given the lack of fuss. Pulling like a freight train, the A7 Sportback Biturbo would easily punch into its 250km/h speed limiter.
In corners the weight of the A7 is revealed, though it still does a good job of cornering flat. The nose will push wide but the quattro system quickly diverts drive and balances the car out. Braking is solid and the ride- even on 35-series tyres- is exceptionally well damped.
Climbing into the back reveals that Audi style has trumped substance in this case. Though wonderfully trimmed and wide with ample leg room, the Sportback does impinge on rear headroom, suggesting it’s not cut out for a chauffeur-driven life. That’s okay though, for anyone who chooses the Audi A7 Sportback Biturbo would surely rather drive themselves.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Audi A7 Sportback, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!) we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Mitsubishi dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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