It's Audi’s answer to the Mercedes CLS! Auto Express has already driven the diesel A7, but how does the flagship V6 petrol stack up?
Well, as with all A7 models, there’s a clean simplicity to the fastback design that’s really desirable. We love the distinctive tapered rear end, which borrows its retractable spoiler from the TT coupé and adds a sporty edge to the whole shape.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Audi A7 Sportback
On the move, you’re struck by both the supple ride and the cabin’s eerie hush. It’s supremely quiet and composed – although that’s thanks to the optional (£2,000) adaptive air-suspension. Whether cruising on the motorway or charging through corners, this keeps the A7’s long body tightly controlled – which makes the Sportback an ideal grand tourer.
Fit and finish are immaculate, and hi-tech optional kit such as the beautifully integrated £1,175 MMI sat-nav, £300 LED ambient lighting and £2,100 night vision camera make the A7 feel like a slimmed-down A8. The roomy individual rear seats, meanwhile, allow passengers to lounge in space and luxury.
The supercharged 296bhp 3.0-litre V6 is a charismatic unit with 440Nm of torque. It propels the car from 0-62mph in only 5.6 seconds, has a deliciously smooth delivery and emits a pleasingly raucous exhaust note.
This is no frugal diesel, of course, yet with stop-start as standard it manages 34.5mpg combined. On the road, the steering feels too artificial to make the A7 a true driver’s car, but with plenty of grip from the quattro four-wheel-drive system and a seamless seven-speed S tronic auto, the Audi is capable of covering distances in comfort and safety at speed.
At £47,000, the A7 is more costly than, say, BMW’s 535 GT. That’s before adding options – and with 95-plus available, it’s easy to get carried away...