ALL-OUT IN THE
AUDI HAS LAUNCHED THE SECOND GENERATION A7 TO QUITE A BIT OF FANFARE. CONOR FORREST DISCOVERS WHETHER IT’S WORTH ALL THE FUSS.
ight years ago the Audi A7 arrived to much fanfare, an ambitious fourdoor fastback that began with a bold face and lost its way by the time you got to the boot. Fast forward to 2018 and the second generation has really upped the stakes. If you’re to judge this thing on looks alone, the A7 is a winner, from the sculpted doors and 20-inch wheels to a floating roofline that draws the eye towards the updated rear end. At first it doesn’t seem drastically different from the previous version, but when you place them side by side it’s easy to spot the contrasts – sharper lines, a sleeker profile and, at the back, the rear lights have morphed into a continuous, striking taillight first seen on the A8. There’s a much more aggressive feel about this. Audi expects the 3.0L TDi in the fancier S Line trim will be the main seller in Ireland, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The 3.0L V6 my test model came with is more than capable in any situation, equipped as it is with 286bhp and a very pleasant gurgle. Paired to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, it’s capable of rocketing from 0-100km/h in just 5.7 seconds, which is incredibly fun to test repeatedly. A wide and low stance, coupled with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system means the A7 is very planted and it’s almost surprisingly fun to drive on windy roads – not exactly sporty but there’s plenty of grip and it doesn’t wallow in the corners. The steering is balanced and precise, although the A7 is a little prone to understeer. Drive settings can be tweaked depending on your mood. For a big beast it’s pretty economical too, weighing in at 6.4L/100km or 44mpg. That’s partly thanks to Audi’s mild hybrid system (MHEV) – the engine is paired with a 48v
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