Under the tailgate, the A7 can swallow 535 litres of luggage with the second-row seats in place. The A7 Sportback’s versatility was proven with a weekend trek to the Mornington Peninsula with a boot and back seat full of supplies.
Audi has fitted the A7 with some clever features, including an anti-dooring system that detects a cyclist or another vehicle approaching from behind. A visual cue alerts the driver, and the system holds the door closed until the cyclist or vehicle has passed.
Locating the wireless mobile device charger in the lidded central storage compartment is another smart use of space. It helps keep the driver from being distracted by their phone.
The 50 TDI uses a 210kW/600Nm turbo-diesel unit, while the 55 TFSI tested here is powered by a 250kW/500Nm turbocharged V6 petrol engine with ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The 55 TFSI powertrain has a 48-volt mild hybrid system incorporating a belt alternator starter and lithium-ion battery that acts as the A7’s main electrical system, allowing it to coast between 55 and 160kmh with the engine off which helps save fuel.
Audi’s V6 engine and mild hybrid system combine for brilliant acceleration – 0 to 100kmh in 5.3 seconds according to Audi – but very little engine or road noise enters the cabin, thanks to significant sound insulation measures. The fuel-saving idle-stop system that kicks in at 22kmh is barely perceptible.
Our test car was fitted with Audi’s all-wheel steering system, which does not require the same sort of steering inputs as a standard A7. Combined with the quattro all-wheel-drive system, it makes for spirited handling and exceptional road holding.
The ride is on the firm side for sporty performance even in Drive Select Comfort mode, but it is never harsh or crashy. Dynamic mode turns up the wick and highlights the sporting nature of the A7.
It feels far lighter than its 1815-kilogram kerb weight suggests, although its size was noticeable when navigating an inner-city multi-level car-park. As with other Audis we have driven recently, the autonomous emergency braking system can be a little eager when parking.
Audi’s combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 7.3L/100km, but we recorded 10.2L/100km over a week of mixed driving.
Like the original, the new A7 is about much more than just its looks. Audi has taken the successful formula of the original and improved it in virtually every area. In the process, it has produced a superb grand tourer that is surprisingly versatile.