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Euromobil has quietly brought in the new Audi A7 Sportback, which we caught up with at Audi Glenmarie. The marketing materials aren’t even ready yet, but it’s confirmed that we’re getting the latest A7 in 3.0 TFSI quattro form, for RM609.900 on-the-road without insurance.
That’s great value when you consider that the previous-generation A7 facelift, also a CBU import, was launched here in 2015 for RM625,900.
This second-generation car first surfaced in late 2017, and carries all of the brand’s current design cues. Audi sought to maintain the original’s proportions, and the sleek Sportback’s footprint is largely the same as before – same 4,969 mm length and 3mm narrower at 1,908 mm wide. The 2,926 mm wheelbase is 12 mm shorter. Malaysian cars will have the S line pack with a sportier appearance.
While the striped LED lights and full-width LED tail lamps are cool (also note the much lower and wider Singleframe grille), it’s inside that the A7 sees the most change. The cockpit is like what you’ll find in the latest A8 limo, and it’s all touch panels and screens – even the traditional Volkswagen Group headlamp control knob is no more.
The centre stack is now home to two touchscreen displays. The upper unit is a 10.1-inch screen (with haptic feedback) that is tilted towards the driver for ease of view and is designed to “disappear” into the dashboard when switched off.
The lower 8.6-inch screen is for the climate control, heated/ventilated seats and settings such as lane-keep assist and engine start/stop. It also doubles as a touchpad for text input. This screen-dominated layout is also seen on the Q8 flagship SUV.
The car you see here is equipped with all that plus a Bang & Olufsen sound system, four-zone climate control, head-up display, a sunroof and leather-lined dashboard. S line brings with it a dark cabin theme and Alcantara on the door cards. Those spiffy 20-inch alloys are wrapped with 255/40 Pirelli P-Zero UHP rubber, which leaves some sidewall to cope with our terrible roads.
The A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI (elsewhere, this is also called the A7 55 TFSI) is powered by a new 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 with 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. Paired to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro AWD, the big four-door does the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 5.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. This engine is also found in the Q8, but the SUV gets an eight-speed Tiptronic auto instead.
The V6 has been electrified with Audi’s new mild hybrid system (MHEV), a 48-volt electrical system which lends a hand in efficiency. With a lithium-ion battery and belt alternator starter, it can recover up to 12 kW of power during braking, feeding it back into the battery.
MHEV allows for engine deactivation while coasting between 55 and 160 km/h, and a start-stop range that begins at 22 km/h – combined, it can help reduce fuel consumption by 0.7 litres per 100 km.
The A7 Sportback, like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, is for those seeking more style than the A6 and E-Class business saloons. In performance terms, the equivalent C257 is the CLS 450 with 362 hp/500 Nm, also from a 3.0 litre six-cylinder (inline-six) with mild hybrid tech. The Merc is faster to 100 km/h (4.8 seconds) but is also a fair bit more expensive (RM698,888).