New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Audi's five-door coupe unveiled

2010-07-27 07:40

It may be a bigger A5 Sportback to some, yet the A7’s rear styling is an all-new venture for Audi.

Audi has unveiled its largest Sportback yet, the new "five-door coupe" A7.

Traditionalists may be aghast at Ingolstadt categorising the new car as a coupe (despite its five doors) yet the A7 is merely Audi’s attempt to siphon sales momentum from the Mercedes-Benz CLS/Porsche Panamera.

In terms of market positioning (and dimensions) the A7 sits between the current A6 and A8. It's wheelbase is 80mm less than Audi’s flagship A8 and the A7 is slightly more than 4.97m bumper-to-bumper.

In profile it is 40mm lower. 


Although the A7’s styling cues contemporary Audi design details (LED-embedded headlights framing an oversized grille), the rear third of the car sees all-new asymmetrical tail lights and a defined shoulder line. Like its TT and R8 performance coupe siblings, the A7 has a hatchback spoiler that deploys at motorway speeds.

Four V6 engines (two diesel, two petrol) will be available when the car is launched. The entry-level will be a 150kW 3.0 TDI driving the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. AWD diesel power will be courtesy of V6 producing 180kW and 500Nm.

Audi’s veritable supercharged V6 petrol is trimmed down from its S4 application to 220kW and will headline the A7 range, supported by a 2.8l V6.

All 4x4 A7s will drive via Audi’s S tronic seven-speed automatic transmission, with the company’s S4 debuted sport differential available as an option. Both front and AWD A7's will have the option of stop/start fuel-saving functionality.


The A7’s helm is electro-mechanically geared and adaptive air suspension (with variable damping) should shore up ride comfort without sacrificing agility. Sporting aluminium spaceframe construction, the entry-level A7 weights only 1695kg - beating Mercedes's CLS 350 by 100kg.

The A7 cabin is a classic Audi design and texture masterpiece with a new steering wheel (chunkier boss, four spokes) and instrument binnacle the design highlights. Comfort and convenience features include ambient lighting, climate-controlled (and massage powered) front seats, a Bang & Olufsen 1300W audio system and head-up display.

The A7 is expected to go on sale in right-hand drive markets by the fourth quarter of 2010.

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