When the Audi A7 Sportback broke cover in 2010, it created its own segment of delightfully strange five-door luxury vehicles (and no, the Porsche Panamera’s figure didn’t qualify as “delightful”). It’s now been several years since the original design sunk into the market and the latest news from Automobile suggest the German automaker is planning a dramatic shift in styling and substance for the next generation A7.
The report says the A7 will remain a five-door fastback but that its proportions will be radically different from the current car. We can look forward to a lower, wider, and bolder shape aided by a single-frame grille, LED headlights, active aerodynamics, and bigger wheel arches.
Inside, the MMI infotainment functionality will give way to an in-dash video monitor that will be integrated with the steering wheel for a fully adjustable information unit. That setup will be complemented by a full-color driver display screen borrowed from the new TT and Q7, including a heads-up display and night vision.
Under the hood, there’s more power on the way. The entry-level motor will come from the A6, meaning a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower. The same engine will be offered with an electric turbo to bring power up to 326 horses. There will also be a 3.0-liter V6 e-turbodiesel planned with 350 HP.
There will also be at least one plug-in hybrid A7 variant using either a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine or a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 paired with electric motors. At the top of the range will be a 500 HP Audi S7 using a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and a monstrous 575+ HP Audi RS7 that employs a reworked 4.0-liter V8.
When the 2017 Audi A7 goes on sale late next year, it will challenge the redesigned Porsche Panamera and BMW’s 6 Series Gran Coupe.