Jack Ingram Audi finally got its hands on the new Audi A7 this week and ever since, we can’t take our eyes or hands off of it. The new A7 is beautiful and tech-savvy, to say the least. It’s an edgy form of luxury that is about to hit the Montgomery, AL car market.
You don’t have to take Jack Ingram Audi or our Audi sales staff’s word for it. Read this review from Forbes of the all-new Audi A7 and see for yourself.
2012 Audi A7 Test Drive and Review – High-Tech Meets High Style
My head gets turned by technology, especially when it is implemented well. The 2012 Audi A7 spun my head around, forcing me to switch off my cynicism and marvel like a wide-eyed innocent. With a base price of $59,250 ($68,630 as tested), Audi’s mid-sized 4-door defies easy description, and challenges assumptions.
Let’s start with the simplest of descriptions. Mercedes-Benz broke open the definition of “coupe” with its arch-topped CLS, a 4-door with the proportions of a coupe. Though they don’t go as far as Mercedes and call their vehicle a “coupe,” Audi follows visual suit with the A7, then ups the ante by equipping the vehicle with a hatchback opening instead of a traditional trunk. The roofline’s gentle slope doesn’t break to accommodate the hatch — in fact, I was kind of surprised when the A7 opened so widely the first time I clicked the button, revealing 24.5 cubic feet of usefully configured storage space behind the second row. Inside, the second row of seating gets the same leg room as an A6, with just an inch less headroom. Tall folks won’t love sitting back there for long rides, but space if fine for short hops. A7 strides the middle ground between A6 and A8, taking the Audi design formula and elongating it a bit, with liberal hints of R8 mixed in. The result is a sportier, “coupe-ier” looking vehicle with all of the Audi design cues — the big, open mouth grille with chrome Audi linked circles, LED daytime running lights underlining the headlights, excellent fit and finish and arresting stance. This is one gorgeous car, whether it’s a coupe, a sedan, a hatchback or something else entirely. Definitions don’t matter when a design is this cool.
Driving the A7 can be almost as arresting as staring at it. My test vehicle was the A7 3.0 TFSI quattro Auto Tiptronic Sedan. This was my first time driving one of Audi’s supercharged engines. Audi, and corporate overlord Volkswagen, have made the turbocharged engine their bread and butter. The difference between turbocharging and supercharging is simple: a turbocharger boosts engine air pressure by using exhaust gas to power a turbine that pushes more air into the combustion chamber. A supercharger uses a mechanical connection to the engine to do the same thing, in essence. The difference in operation is that the turbo has to wait until there’s enough exhaust gas flowing in order to spool up and deliver boost; the supercharger can be working whenever the engine is spinning. The big job for turbo designers is combatting turbo lag — the delay between the demand for power and the delivery. Audi has done a good job of taming their turbos over the years, and seems quite devoted to the technology, for good reason. In theory, turbochargers are almost like free power — they transform some of the engine’s wasted energy into action. Superchargers, on the other hand, deliver their increased boost with a penalty, because they get their motivation from the very engine that they’re trying to help out. The supercharger’s advantage over the turbocharger is a very linear delivery of boost, and lower operating temperatures.
A7′s supercharged engine comes on like a freight train. Push in the throttle and the thing just goes, getting stronger with each passing second. The rush is compelling and addictive, even though the figures from the 3.0-liter V6 aren’t overwhelming (310 hp/325 lb-ft of torque and 0 – 60 in 5.4 seconds). The eight-speed Tiptronic transmission slips through the gears seamlessly, with the center console-mounted gearshift providing sequential manual access to each cog. Audi’s usual great braking, steering, suspension and quattro all-wheel drive deliver a confidence-inspiring ride that is remarkably quiet and serene, with the potential to achieve 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway (according to the EPA).
For my money, the Audi A7 stands out in this heady company. This is a highly sophisticated, capable, elegant luxury car that is fun to drive and rewarding to explore. If you want to be truly cutting edge in terms of design and technology, this is the mid-size sedan for you.
Read the full review here.