First Look: 2019 Audi A7 Sportback

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
first look 2019 audi a7 sportback

One of the biggest problems with buying a new car is that it’ll start looking dated in a few year’s time. Audi doesn’t have this problem. By keeping a relatively consistent design language for over a decade, you really have to squint to pin down which models are new and which ones aren’t. That effect is lessened when you actually climb inside one, though.

Such is the story with the new A7 Sportback. First glances leave you mumbling to yourself, “That certainly is an Audi.” But it’s the finer details that point to it being something wholly unique and modern.

This leaves us in a gray area, wondering whether Audi’s styling decisions are incredibly lazy or absolute genius. The company doesn’t wow you with flamboyant newness or dramatic bodywork but the fact remains that it continues to deliver exceptionally handsome cars that are inoffensive enough to remain relevant several years on.

For the A7, that translates to a model that looks quite a bit similar to its predecessor despite being completely redesigned both inside and out. During its unveiling, CEO Rupert Stadler claimed the 2019 Audi A7 represented the company “fulfilling a promise” to provide a new design language.

While we’re not about to claim the new model looks all that different from the previous generation, we will submit to how similar the A7 looks to the new A8. The two share a similar single-piece taillight, grille, and headlights — though the smaller Audi’s is a bit more slanted. This makes sense as both cars are based on the latest evolution of the company’s MLB platform.

The taillight sits beneath a retractable spoiler that springs to life above 75 mph, while the headlights come with distinctive LED graphics in one of three possible designs. Both sources of illumination put on brief shows whenever the car starts up or shuts down.

With shorter overhangs front and rear, the new A7 sees a 0.6-inch reduction from the previous car’s overall length. Audi also saw fit to add some creases to the vehicle’s flanks, giving it a touch more drama when viewed from the side. There’s also an optional S line body kit that provides more aggressive front and rear fascias, sills, and unique trim pieces.

Like the A8 flagship, Audi’s A7 features a new 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain in every incarnation. Upon launch, the first models will use the familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. However the automaker is replacing the eight-speed automatic with a new seven-speed dual-clutch. Audi says it should be good for 340 horsepower and propel the all-wheel-drive “hatchback” with four-door coupe styling to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds. Its top speed will be electronically governed to 155 mph.

Meanwhile, the combination alternator and starter is able to regenerate up to 12.0 kilowatts of energy. That power is routed into the vehicle’s 48-volt system, which helps lessen overall fuel consumption. The 2019 A7 also has an automatic start/stop system linked to predictive autonomous capabilities, allowing the car to creep through slow-moving traffic. A fuel-saving mode shuts down the engine when coasting at speeds between 34 and 100 mph.

The interior takes plenty of suggestions from the A8, providing an uncluttered look that’s heavy on technology. There is a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, with a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen integrated within the center of the dash. Below that is a secondary 8.6-inch unit mounted closer to the base of the center console. Both of the center screens offer standard touch control with haptic and acoustic feedback.

Audi claims interior comfort has been upgraded via 21 millimeters (eight-tenths of an inch) of added legroom and improved seating with gobs of adjustable vectors and massage capabilities. The automaker claims it placed a stronger emphasis on building a quieter cabin with more space for rear occupants. Cargo capacity remains unchanged from the previous generation, however.

Optional extras include a heads-up display unit, voice control, four separate sound systems (including a Bang & Olufsen unit with 3D surround-sound), Matrix LED headlamps with laser projection, remote parking pilot and, remote garage pilot. Unavailable at launch, the remote garage pilot autonomously drives the A7 in and out of parking spaces without a driver present.

The Sportback will have additional autonomous capabilities, including up to five radar sensors, five cameras, a laser scanner, and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Depending on how it’s equipped, Audi says the car will include 39 driver assist systems. But even the more basic trims will include things like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

The all-new Audi A7 goes on sale in Germany before spring and will reach North American showrooms by the end of 2018. Pricing is unannounced as of yet, but expect it to come in above $70,000 even before adding bells and/or whistles.

[Images: Audi]

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4 of 38 comments
  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Oct 20, 2017

    I think it's gorgeous; they seem to have solved the slightly droopy tail lamps on the previous generation. Unfortunately, it is most likely too long for my small garage, so I will have to eventually replace my A5 with another one or an S5 when the time comes - not that there is any problem with that! Regarding consistent styling, people still think that my '08 A5 is new, not a bad problem to have. Of course, I only have 40K miles on it.

  • 7402 7402 on Oct 20, 2017

    "One of the biggest problems with buying a new car is that it’ll start looking dated in a few year’s time." Wow. Just wow. There is an incredible leap from a car "looking dated" to that being a "problem". Of course cars look dated after a few years. This has never stopped me from buying used cars or buying new cars and driving them until the wheels fall off 15+ years later. By no stretch is looking dated a problem.

    • See 1 previous
    • Eyeofthetiger Eyeofthetiger on Oct 21, 2017

      "Looking dated" is a self-fulfilling prophecy that causes manufacturers to "refresh" and usually ruin perfectly good designs.

  • Kcflyer I should have said clowns, plural. I guess the only difference between Trump and Biden going to Michigan is that Trump will know that he is in Michigan.
  • SCE to AUX The surface rust on the sanded areas indicate the owner has had this car for several years, then despaired of the project scale.Too many unknowns - interior soft goods, wiring, bushings, etc - these are the things that slow a project down and drive costs through the roof. Drivetrain and body work are pretty straightforward.Could turn out nice if you invest several years and multiples of the purchase cost into it.
  • Fred Nothing like a nice project to help relieve the stress of life.
  • Drew8MR LOL, how much is the hatch glass for a Barracuda in 2023? I even like the early body style.
  • Wjtinfwb 22% total (5.5% yr. over 4 years) is in line with national annual compensation increase averages. 40 hour M-F work week. No pension, but contributions to a 401k plan could be discussed. Temp (flexible) labor stays as that's the buffer for the company between full production and layoffs when business wanes. Entry level wage tiers remain as well although timing of advancement can be looked at. Obviously a new employees does not produce at the same level as an experienced and tenured employee. Take it or leave it.