Audi just recently revealed its second-generation Audi A7, a replacement for one of the most popular four-ringed cars in the brand’s history. The first-gen Audi A7 was a very good car, one that combined style, performance and luxury in one surprisingly good looking package. That first-gen car competed with the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, which is one its way out, soon making way for the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. What’s interesting is that the Audi A7 moves upmarket in its second-gen, sharing more with the A8 than the A6, as the first car did. So the A7’s move upmarket coincides with BMW’s Gran Coupe move up the food chain.

The new Audi A7’s face is far more aggressive than the car it replaces’. Its Singleframe grille is much larger, following the current Audi trend, and the headlights are angular with Matrix LED lighting and Audi’s very impressive laser spot technology. The hood is aggressively sculpted, making it look muscular and angry, as is the shoulder line that gives the A7 muscular wheel arches and rear haunches. At the back, a massive light bar spans the entire length of the rear, with Matrix OLED taillights flaking either side.

Overall, the new Audi A7 is a very handsome car. It’s both stylish and practical, thanks to its liftback tailgate, while also seeming very premium and expensive. We’re excited to see what BMW has in store for the 8 Series Gran Coupe but we still have a long way to go for that, being that we don’t even have a real-life 8 Series Coupe yet. Until then, though, the A7 will likely compete with the BMW 6 Series GT, a car that’s actually quite similar in style and design to the A7.

The BMW 6 Series GT is a bit longer, taller and packs more interior space, both for passengers and cargo. On the outside, the 6er GT is only slightly bigger but on the inside, it packs quite a bit more space. There’s 11 centimeters more headroom in the rear and quite a bit more cargo space. So its bigger hunchback might look weirder but it provides more practicality.

Where the new A7 continues to shine is inside. Some may not like Audi’s new interior direction but it’s very high-tech looking and very modern. So if that’s your thing, this new A7 will tickle your fancy. The cabin is light and airy, with plenty of horizontal lines to make it feel spacious. The dual touchscreen infotainment/HVAC setup looks quite good and high-tech, though we wonder how well it will work in practice. We still aren’t fans of touchscreens but Audi’s new touchscreen MMI screen seems to have large, easy-to-find tiles with haptic feedback.

The Audi A7 will be built on the same MLB-Evo architecture that underpins the Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera. So it’s lightweight and incredibly rigid, while also being more dynamic. So the new A7 should handle and drive better than the car it replaces, despite being a bit larger and packing far more technology. It also comes with a 48-volt electrical system that can power various ancillary components, such as the power steering, active anti-rolls bars and, more importantly, the A7’s new hybrid systems.

Each and every Audi A7 will be a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), meaning it will have a BAS (Battery Alternator Starter) on all models. In a nutshell, it’s essentially an electric motor that can power the crankshaft, allowing the engine to shut down during coasting and have just the motor apply some power to keep the car going at highway speed. High-tech stuff.

At launch, two different V6 engines will be available. There will be a traditional 3.0 liter V6 turbo-diesel TDI engine and a more exciting 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 petrol engine. The latter of which will be the engine to get, as it’s the same one from the Audi S4. Meaning it makes 340 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. An option rear sports diff is also available. According to Audi, 0-60 mph comes in 5.3 seconds.

We won’t know how the Audi A7 drives until it hits the road later next year. However, it’s shaping up to be an intriguing car. Its good looks, luxurious cabin and impressive technology make it a very interesting grand-touring four-door coupe-thing.

[Source: QuattroDaily]