2018 Audi A7 Sportback – price, specs and release date

New version of Audi’s luxury four-door coupΓ© uses enhanced digital technology to fight off the challenge from the BMW 6 Series GT and Mercedes-Benz CLS

Words ByClaire Evans

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2018 Audi A7 Sportback

On sale Spring 2018 Price from Β£56,000 (est)

If you’re looking for a striking alternative to the BMW 6 Series GT or Mercedes-Benz CLS, the new A7 may well be worth considering. Unlike its inconspicuous predecessor, the new A7’s exterior has sharper lines and a long, low-slung profile.

Although the A7 takes many styling cues from the new A8, it has a wider, lower front grille and narrower headlights than its bigger sibling. To emphasise the raft of digital technology it’s laden with, the A7 also has new sliding LED lights front and back.

Inside it gets Audi's Virtual Cockpit dash display, plus touchscreen controls that replace the previous version's rotary dial and buttons. All this combines to give the dash a more cleanly designed, less cluttered look.

Mild-hybrid technology is standard across the engine range, helping to reduce fuel consumption by brake regeneration and by deactivating the engine at certain speeds.

Audi A7 Sportback engines

Initially, the A7 will only be offered with the 3.0 V6 TFSI turbo petrol engine that produces 335bhp. It’s capable of sprinting to 62mph from rest in 5.3sec and then on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

It will be joined by a range of other four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines later in 2018. Of these, the lower-powered V6 diesel is likely to be the biggest seller.

All the engines are fitted with a mild hybrid system that uses a 48V electrical system to recoup energy under braking.

To save on fuel, the stop-start function that alternates between electric motor and the car’s engine has been expanded and now activates at 13mph. There’s also a clever β€˜freewheeling mode’ that enables the A7 to coast at speeds between 34mph and 99mph with the engine deactivated.

Audi A7 Sportback interior

Boasting what Audi describes as a "futuristic lounge atmosphere", the A7’s interior looks clean and minimalistic. All the dashboard controls and information readouts are housed in three digital screens: the Virtual Cockpit that’s in front of the steering wheel, plus two centrally mounted high-resolution touchscreens that replace the rotary dials and conventional buttons of the previous model. This is the same system that's fitted to the A8 saloon.

Optional extras include a voice-control function and a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen.

Audi A7 Sportback prices

It’s too soon to report exact pricing, but we’re told that the range will start at around Β£56,000. We expect to gain more details early spring, when order books will open. At that price, the A7 is around Β£8000 more expensive than a Mercedes CLS and Β£9000 more than a BMW 6 Series GT.

With demand expected to be high for some time, Target Price discounts will be hard to come by.

Audi A7 Sportback – what else do we know?

Audi has revealed that, from some time in 2018, the new A7 will be available with an automatic parking system that will be able to park the car in a space or garage with the driver controlling the system via an app.

There are also 39 driver assistance systems, split into three packages: the artificial intelligence parking package, City assist and Tour assist. This last package includes an efficiency assistant that helps to keep fuel consumption down and uses the car’s adaptive cruise control system to keep the car in its lane.

Another optional feature will be Audi’s dynamic all-wheel steering, which has a variable steering ratio that alters in line with the speed the car is doing. This is said to make the big coupΓ© feel agile at speed and more manoeuvrable at low speeds because the turning circle is reduced.

If you like the idea of the A7 but have a tighter budget, check out our guide to the best used Audis. We've split them up into price brackets to make it easier to find your top choice.

Best used Audis for Β£25,000

3. Audi RS4 (2005-2008)

Widely lauded as the best of its breed, this generation of the muscle-bound RS4 performance saloon is powered by a 4.2-litre V8, giving it enough power to rocket to 62mph in just 4.8sec. It isn’t just fast, though – it’s fun in the corners, too, with a wonderfully responsive chassis that delivers more innate agility than most Audi RS performance models. And its place at the top of the RS tree in enthusiasts’ minds means the 2005 RS4 looks set to hold its value and could even appreciate in a few years’ time.

We found 2006 RS4 Avant, 49,000 miles, Β£23,990

Find a used Audi RS4 in the PistonHeads Classifieds

2. Audi TT (2014-present)

Bagging a nearly new Audi TT gives you all the benefits of one fresh from the factory but with a significant discount on the price. In other words, you still get the same nimble handling, wonderful interior and sporty styling – just for less cash. There are plenty of low-mileage examples around for this budget, too, so you shouldn’t have to look too hard.

We found 2016 2.0 TFSI Sport, 7,000 miles, Β£23,830

Read the full Audi TT review

Find a used Audi TT in the What Car? Classifieds

1. Audi A4 (2015-present)

The Audi A4 won our Car of the Year award back in 2015 and, as a used buy, it makes just as much sense. There’s a choice of excellent, efficient engines and a gorgeous interior; there’s plenty of space both for passengers and in the boot; and as long as you avoid the S line version, the A4 rides comfortably and handles tidily. All in all, it’s a class act.

We found 2017 2.0 TDI Ultra SE, 2,000 miles, Β£24,000

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Next: The best used Audis for Β£10,000 >

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