Exceptional mpg and low CO2 in Audi’s luxury four-seater coupé.
Audi’s A7 Sportback delivers luxury saloon comfort and
refinement together with a more sporty style than its close relation, the Audi
A8. And now you can enjoy everything the A7 Sportback has to offer, together
with the economic and environmental benefits of a plug-in hybrid. The A7
Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro ticks a lot of boxes.
The A7 is a four door, four-seater luxury car with a coupé-like profile and a tailgate giving access to the capacious loadbay. Its design is characterised by sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, with Audi’s distinctive singleframe grille giving it strong on-road presence from the front. To complement the lines of what Audi describes as its ‘four-door gran turismo’, the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e comes with the S line package, including the black styling package and privacy glazing as standard. Also standard are HD Matrix Led headlights, sports seats, 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and red brake callipers front and rear.
The A7 55 TFSI e quattro packs two complementary power sources, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine supplemented by a gearbox-mounted electric motor, giving a combined output of 367 metric horsepower and 500Nm of torque. Zero to 62mph takes just 5.7 seconds and top speed is governed at 155mph. The quattro all-wheel drive system features ‘ultra’ technology, which means that drive to the rear is activated within fractions of a second where needed, but otherwise drive is sent to the front wheels only for maximum fuel efficiency. The front axle is also capable of regenerating 80kW of electrical energy under deceleration. Official fuel economy and emissions figures are 134mpg and 48g/km of CO2 respectively, and the A7 Sportback PHEV is capable of up to 25 miles on electric power alone.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit driver instrumentation panel comes as standard and includes displays that are specific to Audi PHEV models, showing range and energy use data. Infotainment is provided via Audi’s dual-screen MMI infotainment system, with the upper screen measuring 10.1in and dealing with the radio, sat-nav and smartphone mirroring, while the 8.6in screen below is reserved for the climate controls. Other standard S line equipment includes the Audi Phone Box with wireless charging for compatible phones. PHEV-specific technology includes predictive efficiency assist, which uses data from the car’s sat-nav and sensors to guide the driver; for example, when coasting to a junction or roundabout a mild vibration through the accelerator pedal indicates when the driver might lift off the throttle.
A7 Sportback features a total of 39 driver assistance systems to make things safer for the car’s occupants, including automatic emergency braking and lane departure assist. Audi Pre-Sense front monitors the traffic ahead for potential collision hazards, providing first a warning signal then a sharp dab of the brakes. The Tour Pack includes adaptive cruise assist and camera-based traffic sign recognition, while the City Pack include side assist, pre-sense rear and cross-traffic assist front.
Verdict: while the ability to complete 25 miles in EV mode will be welcome to some, the most impressive side of the PHEV technology in Audi’s A7 is the way it integrates electric and petrol power to yield the most efficient result on any journey that’s programmed into the sat nav. Better still, it does so while still delivering the performance, luxury and refinement that owners of an A7 Sportback would rightfully expect.