High tech, inside and out

* Five-door coupe reviewed * Price from 43,775 * Our verdict...

High tech, inside and out

Audis experience in using weight-saving aluminium has paid dividends on the A7. The body mixes aluminium doors, wings, bonnet and boot with a steel shell and roof, while aluminium is also used for the suspension turrets. It all adds up to a weight saving of 15% over a conventional all-steel body, helping the A7 to excellent mpg and CO2 figures.

You can choose LED headlights (theyre more eco-friendly than the standard Xenons), while four-wheel drive is standard on all models except the lower-powered 3.0-litre diesel.

The A7s cabin is packed with as much treasure as a pirate ship. All models get leather, sat-nav, heated electric seats and a powered tailgate, while the audio systems are iPod-ready, have DAB radio and Bluetooth.

Audis excellent MMI (Multi-Media Interface) controls the sat-nav, stereo, phone and car settings and can be upgraded to MMI Touch with a bigger screen and a touch-sensitive pad, a set-up first seen in the A8 luxury car.

You can spend even more to add a GPRS module that downloads news and weather from Google. The Google tie-in extends to yet another option, which will load the navigation with 3D Google Earth images its brilliant and makes other navigation systems seem 10 years out of date.

Oh, and should you feel the need, you can also create your own little wi-fi network within the car.
You want even more tech? How about a system thatll parallel park the car for you it does the steering, while you do the throttle and brake. Or Night Assist which will spot a pedestrian wandering in front of you in the dead of night. Or a head-up display.

Other safety gadgets, in addition to six airbags as standard, include systems to detect if youre straying out of your lane or if someones in your blind spot, and the car can brake for you if it thinks youre about to run into the car in front.

If you want to indulge yourself, how about massaging seats, double glazing or a 15-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo. Phew!