2019 Audi A7 Shows a New Direction

Following the reveal of the new A8 flagship sedan, Audi has unveiled the 2019 A7. The controversial fastback design makes a return, only with new packaging to update its looks. The Germans have also added plenty of advanced technologies, ensuring the car will be up with the times.

The nose job of the A7 somewhat matches the A5, but still features a unique twist, making it more evolutionary. For example, the Singleframe grille sits low and wide, emphasizing a muscular stance. In the past, Audi has been accused of such a universal design language that people have trouble telling different models apart. Around back, the taillights are completely different. In fact, they span the entire width of the car and run the risk of being called gaudy. An integrated spoiler rises automatically at about 74 miles per hour. Of course, the fastback still incorporates a hatch in the rear. Arguably, it makes the Audi A7 more practical, but don’t expect to haul too many Ikea boxes back there.

The controversial styling might not win any new converts, but you’ll see that Audi has packaged an attractive set of specs and features. Another wise move Audi made was not to recycle the A8’s interior for the A7. Instead, the dashboard and center console both look far different. There’s less of that cobbled-together effect, especially around the infotainment screen. In other words, it’s a huge improvement over the previous design.

Plenty of new onboard tech will make the Audi A7 desirable for anyone who craves the latest and greatest. Thanks to a new MMI touch-response operating system, you don’t need to wrangle with a rotary controller. Instead, you use two touchscreens. Both provide haptic and audio feedback. Audi claims navigating through the menus is as easy as your iPhone or Android. The upper screen is for infotainment, the lower for climate control, comfort features, and typing text. If you upgrade to MMI navigation plus, the Audi virtual cockpit and a 12.3-inch touchscreen come bundled together.

If that’s not enough, buyers will be able to add a head-up display. Voice control is another option, and drivers can use natural speech patterns. The system stores some information about navigation options and other data onboard but uses the cloud to access even more. Like the A8, the new A7 can store up to 400 possible settings for seven different drivers. Through swarm intelligence with other new Audis and a Car-to-X service that connects the vehicle with smart traffic infrastructure, drivers receive hazard info and traffic sign alerts. A cutting-edge Audi AI feature lets you get out while the car parks itself.

Here in the US, only one engine will be available: a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. It will throttle out a decent peak 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Of course, a new S7 and RS 7 will be coming out not too long after the A7. They will both provide insane performance, for those who can afford it.

According to Audi, 2019 A7s will start rolling off production lines in the early part of 2018. The new fastback won’t hit stateside until the latter part of the year.