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Redesigned Audi A7 gains 48V hybrid tech, all-wheel steering

by Justin King
A7 Sportback 2019 - image 1

Extensive electronic upgrades are paired with a modestly revised styling and interior refinements.

Audi has detailed the next-generation A7, introducing a long list of tech upgrades alongside a few styling adjustments.

The four-door Sportback extends the brand's latest design language that debuted in the new A8, focusing on sharper edges and more athletic lines.

A new Singleframe grille is flanked by new headlights available in three flavors, reserving HD Matrix LEDs and laser lights for the flagship trim. Stepping down a rung or two, the headlights integrate a dozen adjacent segments that aim to evoke a binary pattern of zeros and ones.

The distinctive lighting configuration is further enhanced at the tail end, where 13 vertical segments dance with fast-moving patterns when the vehicle is locked or unlocked.

The sleek Grand Tourer showcases Audi's latest digitalization strategy, replacing the previous edition's rotary pushbutton with a pair of modern high-resolution touchscreens. Infotainment functions are organized on the upper display, while an 8.6-inch lower screen provides access to climate controls, comfort functions and text input.

For the ultimate in cockpit tech, buyers can opt for a head-up display and an upgraded Audi virtual cockpit system with a 12.3-inch pane. The company also promises to enable remote parking pilot and remote garage pilot sometime next year, enabling the sizable sedan to park and unpark itself at home or in the city.

Engineers have developed a more advanced chassis control system with optional all-wheel steering and revised air suspension. Three other suspension configurations are available, providing two ride heights on conventional steel springs or electronically controlled dampers.

The company is proud of the new A7's variable-ratio steering, spanning from 9.5:1 to 16.5:1 depending on the speed and input angle.

All powertrains now come standard with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, pairing a belt alternator starter (BAS) with a lithium-ion battery that can generate up to 12 kW of recharge power under braking. At speeds from 34-99 mph, the system can deactivate the engine while coasting and quickly restart combustion when the driver engages teh throttle.

The new A7 will launch with the 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine, producing 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque for a 5.3-second sprint to 62 mph.

The first units will begin shipping to customers in Germany early next year before rolling out to other markets.