The Audi A7, A Transformer In Disguise • TechCrunch

The Audi A7 is totally different. The manager five-door fastback sits practically atop Audi’s lineup, beginning out at $59k with my tester carrying $80k on its window sticker. Excluding restricted run sports activities fashions, a totally decked-out A7 is the third costliest automobile Audi sells, inserting solely decrease than the huge A8 sedan and R8 supercar. Nonetheless, even wanting like a contemporary and sensible station wagon, the A7 is a distinct segment automobile however maybe one with a broad enchantment.

The 310HP 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 screams throughout the engine compartment but the A7’s full-size stature prevents it from attaining true sports activities sedan standing. The two+2 seating configuration doesn’t make for the very best individuals mover. Even the rear fifth door appears to counsel that the A7 has loads of room for cargo, but it surely doesn’t; the trunk’s efficient space for storing is definitely somewhat small. This id disaster is additional supported by the sheer variety of creature comforts and out there know-how packages. The A7’s large brother, the stately A8, is Audi’s flagship and the A7 isn’t going to problem that title. But the A7, regardless of the unusual downsides, may really turn out to be essentially the most memorable Audi from this present technology and outline the model for years to come back.

It’s clear from the second you sit within the driver’s seat that the A7 is all about know-how. Audi threw practically all the pieces within the sedan. It’s loaded with the very best the corporate has to supply by an accessible and practical interface. This technique, centered round a rotating knob, is a staple within the present Audi lineup. An influence user-retractable middle mounted 7-inch display screen handles most duties, with one other display screen embedded within the sprint cluster offering the motive force with further controls and features.

Neither of the screens are touchscreen, but 4 smooth buttons surrounding the rotating knob permit further controls as dictated by the chosen display screen. A small touchpad does present for some enjoyable tips, although. When in radio mode, six numbers glow indicating favourite stations whereas navigation locations may be inputted by writing them out with a finger. It’s intelligent.

Audi’s MMI is among the many high infotainment techniques at the moment available on the market. The system is clear, organized and better of all, missing in drama. For instance, Ford’s MyFord Contact system has an enormous “Wow” issue however nearly an equally big studying curve. That’s not the case with Audi’s MMI. You sit down, put your palms on the controls, and go, “That is good.”

One of the best a part of the A7’s infotainment system is, surprisingly, not the principle display screen however somewhat the LCD in between the speedo and tach. This type of display screen has been a staple all through VW’s manufacturers for years; what makes the display screen discovered within the A6, A7, and A8 totally different is the scale. It’s not a small squarish display screen however somewhat a big LCD that curves round each gauges in a lovely and pure approach.

This display screen is precisely just like the one discovered within the A6 and A8, and may management most media, phone and navigation features. There’s additionally an enhanced journey laptop, gasoline effectivity gauge, and compass. A steering wheel mounted scroll wheel and two-way navigation button makes flipping by the tabs and menus a non-issue. This easy management scheme units it other than opponents.

The A7 boosts a number of different tips not usually related to OEM infotainment techniques. An Nvidia GPU supplies unparalleled smoothness to the UI. Audi makes use of Google Earth for the navigation and it’s not a gimmick. Zooming out and in is a breeze, carried out with only a twist of that central knob, whereas the touchpad interface handles the vacation spot enter. A continuing knowledge connection by an embedded mobile modem supplies the information stream and up to date data. (There’s a SIM card slot proper within the sprint) That very same knowledge connection may be became a hotspot throughout the automobile, completely eradicating highway journeys as a method to escape Fb.

T-Cell is the information supply of selection and Audi sellers provide and set up the SIM card upon automobile supply. It’s as much as the automobile’s proprietor to pay the invoice however they’re not tied right down to T-Cell — any SIM card tied to an information plan will work. This connection permits for extra than simply Google Earth. By way of the portal, homeowners can ship locations to the automobile’s nav system and replace tackle books. The info connection additionally feeds climate, fuel worth data and climate data proper to the automobile.

My tester was fitted with the $5,900 Bang & Olufsen choice. Flip the automobile on and twin tweeters proudly rise out of the sprint. Homeowners can pop in a CD and the system impresses with crisp highs and stable lows all through a full soundstage — simply don’t activate SiriusXM and brag about how a lot the system price. The costly audio system really disappoints when the supply materials is something however the very best. SiriusXM is weak and flat whereas HD Radio has a type of crackle — and overlook about FM. Automotive producers have currently turned to bespoke audio corporations for his or her experience and branding. The B&O system on this Audi is extra in regards to the latter. Take heed to a variety of Eagles CDs? Go for it. Everybody else ought to save their money.

Not all of the know-how is about enjoyable and video games. The A7 has an non-obligatory evening imaginative and prescient mode that turns the secondary show throughout the sprint cluster into an infrared scope. The view is somewhat restricted, and I discovered, at the very least in the course of the heat week in August I had the A7, it didn’t decide up animals and even people. This makes the operate teeters on the sting of being a novelty however might doubtlessly be useful when the air outdoors is cooler.

The A7 additionally packs a normal assortment of next-gen collision detection instruments and security options: multifunction heads-up show, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise management, entrance and rear radar sensors, back-up cam, and a somewhat annoying blinking mild that flashes on the sprint and HUD while you tailgate somebody even at low speeds. The highest of the road Status mannequin, which I had as a tester, even options adaptive headlights that pivot 15 levels when turning. Many of the security options are discovered throughout the A7’s $5,800 Revolutionary Bundle; I can’t think about the automobile with none of those. In truth, I daresay that these features are the second a part of the A7’s draw however not the first.

Audi autos promote as a result of they’re superior driving machines. The A7 wears the Audi badge with honor, and does it credit score. It’s a implausible expertise, however one marred ever-so-slightly due to its aforementioned confusion. The three.0 TFSI supplies greater than sufficient juice for the A7 to dash to 60 MPH in a spirited 5.4 seconds. The 8-speed Triptronic is easy and environment friendly because the A7 is rated at 18 mpg within the metropolis and 28 on the freeway. I bested the EPA’s numbers and noticed 29 mpg throughout a 350 mile journey to Lake Michigan.

The A7 is a blast to drive and will present sufficient thrills for many. It’s a correct sports activities sedan masquerading as a fastback. The Quattro all-wheel drive system helps the A7 hug the highway whereas a self-deploying rear spoiler rises out of the fifth door for some further useful downforce at speeds over 80 mph. The A7 shares a wheelbase size with the A6 and is simply 1.1-inch longer total. In truth the less-expensive A6 measures up nearly higher than the A7 with barely extra rear seat head and leg room. Plus it has a rear middle seat. The A7 is, in a way, an govt lengthy wheelbase sports activities hatchback. (get that?)

You see, upon first inspection, the A7 suits the previous adage of jack of all trades, grasp of none. It looks like its sports activities automobile ambitions are restricted by the fastback sedan design. It appears to be like for much longer than the A7 feels. It’s additionally not a correct sedan because it solely seats 4; the rear center seat is a plastic console. The bags compartment is technically massive because the rear plastic decks connected to the fifth door are detachable. However after they’re attracted permitting to be used of he rear window, the house is a only a deep, however quick compartment.

However none of these traits are potential deal-breakers. They mix to present the A7 a actually distinctive really feel. The A7, particularly when contemplating its high-tech cabin, is a automobile constructed for a brand new kind of purchaser that wishes one thing radically totally different, which the A7 achieves in essentially the most refined, however efficient methods. It’s simple on gasoline, a blast to drive, and loaded with accessible know-how. I used to be, ultimately, happy.


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