By May 16, 2011 Read More →

Road Test: 2011 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 V6 TDI

Audi A7 Sportback 2011_01If you thought that there were already enough four-door variants in the Audi range, you were wrong. Now there is yet another one. The newest model is the A7 Sportback. It looks a bit like a coupe, but has four doors and a decent backseat. The new A7 is a big car. With measures of 4969mm long and 1911mm wide, it is bigger than A5 and even A6. If measured with side mirrors, it is even wider than the Audi A8. The height is only 1420mm and with the coupe-styled roofline, the A7 looks kind of sportier version of a big four-door Audi. In the backseat there is enough legroom, but because of the roofline, headroom is the problem. An adult can travel in the back, but as the ceiling starts to get close, it is not that comfortable. The tailgate is huge, as the whole rear window opens up. Luggage compartment offers 535 litres of luggage space.

A7 Sportback comes with Xenon plus headlights, LED daytime-running lights and kerb lights. LED daytime-running lights provide lighting during daytime and create a distinctive styling feature for the A7. When driving in poor weather or at night, the system turns on the Xenon headlights to provide more powerful lighting for the road. LED technology is used also for the rear lights, because LED provides a brighter light during daytime. LED lights also consume less energy and have a considerably longer working life than standard bulbs. The new A7 Sportback benefits from lightweight construction technology. The A7 Sportback’s body parts, where possible, are made from lightweight aluminium including elements of the doors, the bonnet, the tailgate and the wings. Throughout the A7 Sportback’s body, specific zones requiring reinforcement have panels of varying thickness ensuring strength in the event of a collision. The lightweight construction is also applied to the suspension with diecast aluminium being used at the front suspension-strut mounts. The control arms, pivot bearings and wheel carriers also have aluminium components to reduce weight.

On the road Audi A7 feels like a big car that it is. It is not as agile as the A5, but rides more like a big sedan. With Audi drive select, you can change handling and engine settings at the touch of a button. For long-distances, Comfort mode provides a more relaxing ride, while the Dynamic mode sharpens the steering and throttle response. A7 Sportback is available with petrol and diesel engines. The sportiest version at the moment is the 3.0 TFSI petrol engine with 300 horsepower. We drive the the 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 245 horsepower and 500 Newton metres of torque. The best torque is available between 1400-3250rpm and it really feels. When driving steady speed, just a little more pressure on the throttle gives that instant feeling of torque pushing the car forward. When the performance feels this good at lower revs, you really expect something spectacular when you put the throttle on the floor. The speed start to gather faster, but there just isn’t really a that same kind of power peak that you usually get with the petrol engine from higher revs. However, the performance figures look quite satisfying with this diesel engine also. Acceleration from zero to hundred takes 6,3 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

Audi’s dual-clutch technology, S tronic works quite nicely with the diesel engine also. At its best, S tronic can make a gear change in just 0.2 of a second with no interruption to the power flow. At first this fast changing gearbox was available with petrol engines, where it was really impressive. With diesel engine you get to enjoy from the same benefits of fast changes and constant power delivery, but as the driving style with diesel engine is bit different, it doesn’t actually feel that special. However it works great with diesel engine also and even reduces fuel consumption compared to the traditional automatic gearbox. S tronic also gives you the possibility to change gears yourself on the manual mode. The power is delivered to all four wheels thanks to the quattro technology. In the A7 Sportback, asymmetric dynamic torque distribution continuously distributes drive power between the front and rear axles, depending on weather conditions, road surface and gradient. It typically sends 60 percent of its power to the rear axle and 40 to the front. When the road conditions demand, a maximum of 80 percent can be sent to the rear axel and 60 percent to the front.

Specification

Engine

  • Diesel
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2967cc
  • Turbo

Power

  • 180 kW (245 hp) / 4000-4500rpm

Torque

  • 500 Nm / 1400-3250rpm

Transmission

  • 7-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 6.3 seconds

Top speed

  • 250 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 6.0 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 158 g/km

Audi A7 Sportback 2011_03