This Is the New Audi A7… 's Silhouette

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
this is the new audi a7 s silhouette

At 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 19, 2017, the second-generation Audi A7 will be unveiled. Based on the silhouette Audi has already revealed, and based on Audi’s historic design habits, the second-generation A7 will appear remarkably similar to the first-generation Audi A7.

At some point in November, Audi USA will sell its 50,000th A7, making the hatchbacked A6 a low-volume car even by the standards of America’s third-ranked German luxury brand. Yet as a style and status symbol, the A7 remains a model of great importance to the overall Audi lineup.

Tasked with challenging the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, the first-generation Audi A7 arrived in the United States in 2011. U.S. A7 sales peaked at 8,598 units in its first full year of 2012, though the A7 didn’t fall too far from that total even in old age, sliding in 2016 by a couple of thousand units from that peak. With decreased availability, A7 sales are down 25 percent, year-over-year, through the first nine months of 2017.

Most buyers continued to choose the less costly trunked A6 rather than the A7. During the five-year span from 2012 to 2016, Audi USA sold 2.7 A6s for every one A7. (The Canadian ratio was a much tighter 1.2 A6s per A7, by the by.) But the A7, which currently stickers from $70,650 — or 7-percent less than the basic Mercedes-Benz CLS — showed how successful Audi could be in a one-on-one battle between Ingolstadt and Stuttgart.

While the Audi A7 never rose to the level reached by the CLS early in its tenure, the A7 outsold the CLS by a 12-percent margin through the first half-decade of its lifespan, never once ceding the annual sales crown to the Benz. Through the first nine months of 2017, U.S. A7 sales totalled 3,439 units. CLS-Class sales are down 61 percent to only 1,424 units as Mercedes-Benz also prepares to launch a new model.

But again, volume was never the mark of success with the A7. Audi has the Q5, A4, Q7, and A3 for volume. (Those four models account for 70 percent of the brand’s U.S. sales.) The A7 was intended to elevate Audi’s image by marrying a unique style (and bodystyle) to a genuinely premium price tag. A7s require a $20,000 premium over and above the A6 on which it’s based; a premium of more than $10,000 compared with similarly configured A6s. In the U.S., there have been no 2.0Ts in the A7 lineup. And during an age in which Audi forbade RS6s from entering U.S. ports, the RS7 drummed up only positive attention for the Audi brand.

The A7 has, in other words, done its job. It has fulfilled its mission. And what does Audi do when a member of its lineup performs at or above expectations?

Audi leaves well enough alone.

[Images: Audi]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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4 of 5 comments
  • Jmo Jmo on Oct 17, 2017

    There is something about the A7 and the E-Class wagon that just oozes elegance and affluence.

  • Legacygt Legacygt on Oct 17, 2017

    Overdue. This car was striking when it debuted but it hasn't aged all that well. Not bad looking but certainly not as spectacular as when it first arrived.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Oct 17, 2017

      Disagree - think the A7 has aged pretty well; much better than the CLS or its stablemate, the A6.

  • MrIcky I would like to compare the answers here against the answers in the recent civil forfeiture article- but I won't because research is hard. It's true though that currently a ticket has no punitive value on those with means and maybe an outsized punitive value on those without. That's not communism, that's just the way it is. Speeding tickets are too arbitrary anyway though: officer discretion, speed trap towns, excessively low speed zones in areas to increase ticket revenue instead of safety, etc. I could clearly see a case where expensive cars are selectively enforced over cheap cars because you only have so much time in a day to up the revenue. It's a gray rainy crap morning and I'm sure the government will do it wrong.
  • 28-Cars-Later Feels a bit high but then again... forget it Jake, its Clown World.In 2021 someone in Sewickley had an MY01 soft top in a manual with 54K otc which I am fairly certain was a 996 and not a Boxster - $20K. I already had my C70 at the shop being reborn and could have done the $20K but it would have been tight and just didn't make sense. Still...
  • SCE to AUX Q: Should Speeding Fines Be Based on Income?A: Yes. Rich people (the guy with $1 more than you) should pay less, because giving his income to the government means he has to lay off a worker at his business.Laws are for poor people./s
  • SCE to AUX "Volvo has suggested it’s capable of yielding 275 miles of range"Every non-US car's range estimate is based on WLTP - worth mentioning.EPA range never 'backs up' WLTP; it's always about 15% lower - so figure maybe 234 miles. Not great, except as a commuter.As for the interior - it's obviously a Model 3 clone, but the screen is substantially smaller. Incidentally, I suspect Tesla made the Model 3/Y interior so minimalist to save money - not just to be different. When you're trying to become profitable on EVs, every dollar counts.
  • SCE to AUX "there haven’t been a lot of good examples hitting the market recently. Most models are aimed at the affluent, resulting in 9,000-pound behemoths with six-figure price tags"I hope you were joking, because that is blatantly false.