This is the new variant of the A7 Sportback with a lesser engine, and as the familiar Singaporean refrain goes, it’s bound to sell in far greater numbers than the debut A7 model, the 3.0.
To find out the differences between the first A7 and the current-gen model, read our international test drive of it, meanwhile we found the 3.0 model to be, in Singapore, tremendously quick, well-behaved and perhaps a bit too good at the ‘unruffled by anything’ GT character – and expensive, at almost S$400k with COE.
That made it a bit of an acquired taste. But this car here is a bit lower on the shelf, though no less lovely.
Instead of the almost-a-performance-car 3.0 V6 model, which has 340hp, the 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four has a still generous 245hp and 370Nm of torque on tap. Like the 3.0 model, and the current A6 and A8 sedans, the car has a mild hybrid system. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLS, whose motor adds extra oomph, the A7’s setup is only to help boost fuel efficiency.
It excels at effortless cruising, especially when the roads are co-operating, as there’s barely any noise. Once bumps come into play, the adaptive suspension does occasionally skitter a little over small, pronounced bumps, but it’s still very comfortable. Impressive, given the car we drove ran on special 20-inch Audi Sport wheels. The standard issue items are 19-inchers, and should deliver even more comfort.
245hp on a car like this is still plenty, especially with all-wheel drive helping on the acceleration front. You may not be beating hot hatched in traffic light drag-outs, but if you want to do that, you’re probably the wrong target audience anyway. Keep in mind the closest rival the A7 has is the Mercedes-Benz CLS, now that the BMW 6 Series is a weird hatchback-tourer-SUV-thingy not a (two/four-door) coupe.
Other than that, it’s pretty much A7 business as usual, which means business class with a healthy dollop of style.
The A7 is big four-door coupe, but it doesn’t feel anywhere like an equivalent big luxury sedan from behind the wheel, to the point that it’s easy to forget what class of car you’re driving til you look behind at the rear space, which there is plenty of, not to mention the wide, deep loading space under the fastback rear, which looks like it can hold a pro-shop worth of golf clubs (535-litres).
The cockpit itself is technology personified thanks to the triple screen layout – one 12.3-inch Active Cockpit instrument panel, the 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and the 8.6-inch lower panel that controls comfort functions. But it even looks futuristic, with large sections appearing almost milled out of solid aluminium (Audi’s favoured lightweight material, and used in the A7’s body).
Logically, there’s plenty to like here: It has pretty much everything the 3.0 model does, such as the useful virtual camera system that allows you to look at the car as if you’re outside , the matrix LED headlights, wireless device charging and wireless Apple CarPlay and a whole lot more. It even has a little the 3.0 doesn’t (active suspension), all for approximately S$60k less.
You can drag the image to see all around the A7, without getting out of the driver’s seat.
Of course, it’s debatable just how much of a factor logic is in this equation, since if you don’t want a four-door coupe one would simply buy a proper sedan – the A6 2.0 is S$242,500 with COE, for instance, and a size down the A5 Sportback starts at S$200k with COE.
That’s perhaps best summed up by the way the A7 looks – it’s a rather lovely, elegant-looking vehicle, especially with the eye-catching full-width light bar, and has a sort of grace that photos can’t entirely catch. If the A7 has caught your eye, but you don’t need power – or the S$380k price tag – then this is the Sportback for you.
Audi A7 Sportback 2.0 Quattro
|Engine||1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||245hp at 5000-6500rpm|
|Torque||370Nm at 1600-4300rpm|
|Top Speed||6.2 seconds|
|VES Band / CO2||C1 / 166g/km|
|Price||S$318,300 with COE|