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Audi’s next A7 will get a more emotional look and it could spawn a four-door sedan

Audi is in the early stages of developing the second-gen A7, and a report coming out of Germany finds the Volkswagen-owned company has big changes in store for its next four-door coupe.

Audi insiders openly admit that one of the main issues with the current A7 (pictured) is that it’s positioned too close to the A6. The A6 and the A7 stretch 194.9 and 195.7 inches long, respectively, and the two undeniably look a lot alike when they’re viewed from the front.

To differentiate the two models, the next A7 will ride on an evolution of the platform that underpins the long-wheelbase A6 L that’s exclusively offered in China. The switch will position it closer to the 202-inch long A8 in terms of length and, most likely, in terms of price.

The next A7 will retain the current model’s sleek, fastback-like silhouette and its practical hatchback, but the roof line will be a little less rakish. Audi is making that concession in order to give the occupants riding in the back noticeably more head room, and to make it easier for them to get in and out of the car. The new platform will give them more leg room, too.

Surprisingly, German magazine Auto Bild reports the next A7 could spawn a four-door sedan that will presumably occupy the thin middle ground between the A6 and the A8. A shooting brake model has been categorically ruled out because wagons are unpopular in the United States and in China, two of Audi’s biggest global markets.

According to the magazine, the A7 will stand out from the current model — and from the rest of the Audi lineup — thanks to a striking new front end design that will be “more extroverted.” The cockpit will be a technological tour de force, and the A7 will come with a long list of high-tech features including a gesture-controlled infotainment system and the self-driving technology that will be inaugurated by the new A8.

Related: 605-horsepower Audi S8 plus revealed

Audi hasn’t officially hinted at what we can expect from the next A7, so we’ll have to wait until the four-door coupe makes its official debut to see how accurate the rumors are. The A7 is expected to go on sale in late 2017, meaning its introduction is at least a year and a half away.