Forget mid-life crisis, face mid-luxury in Audi A7 Sport back

Sporty, edgy and a slight aggressive look is what defines the all-new A7 Sport back 2012.

The A7 Sport back is the first in its class to unite the elegance of a saloon, the functionality of an Avant and the dynamics of a Coupé.

I must admit, I have never been a fan of the Audi as it represented a more grumpy, choke-on-the-neck executive-grip type of look that the younger generation in Namibia has always looked down upon but the A7 Sport back has redefined that outlook for me.

It is cited that the 2012 A7 Audi can be compared to the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and in-between the BMW 5 series and the BMW 7 series since all three are mid-luxury hatchbacks in the four-door executive coupé market.

Exterior experience
My first encounter with the Audi A7 in the showroom left me with two words; ‘sportiness and class’, as anticipated to experience the best of both worlds. Sportiness being one of its features is highlighted by the 20-inch aluminium wheels, which create a distinct individual highlight.

Its profile is dramatically different, however, with a sloped coupe-styled roof while its rear end mimics that of the A5 Audi. The glossy front of the A7 is blessed with LED headlights and rear lights that allow for powerful illumination as well as define the breadth of the car.

With the “popping” of the boot, one can easily conclude that it is more than a boot but actually a personal luggage compartment that can accommodate a wide variety of items for the ready-to-go-on-holiday Namibian family.

Interior experience
The cockpit is laced with Dakota leather on the seats and the dashboard has a wooden finishing that gives it a glossy look. The multi-functional leather steering wheel includes shift paddles for manual change of gears, which is complimented by the innovative technology of the A7.

Forget the glove box, talk about a mini-boot/compartment as it can accommodate more than just your average papers and books usually associated with the glove box.

It screams ‘innovation’ in the sense that it has a MMI-touch system that pops out of the dashboard, which incorporates the Audi music interface and combines a hard drive navigation system with the convenience of a touchpad input.

The driver can use the touchpad to perform numerous functions such as using their finger to spell the letters of a destination name, or to write the digits of a telephone number.

This beauty has an advanced key, which basically means keyless entry and can start the vehicle with just the push of the button. The pop-out interface is also used for park distance control advance with a rear view camera, which is clear and on point like a needle.

Inside performance
“Nothing is more exciting than a moment of silence” and the A7 does not disappoint when it comes to that. On my exit from the showroom, I could barely hear the roar of the engine and that is not even half of what this machine can achieve.

With two options of the the 3.0TFSI V6 petrol engine, the second engine option is the 3.0TDI V6 turbo-diesel.

Respectively, each of the two has a maximum power output of 220kW, coupled with a torque peak of 440Nm and the diesel produces 180kW and 500Nm.

With a torque like that, the A7 has an impressive take-off resulting in it accelerating from a 0-100km in just over 5.6 seconds with a top speed of 250km/hr, which is governed; quite impressive for those adrenalin-performance junkies.

It is incorporated with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, which is standard on both Audi A7 Sportback models, while the latest-generation Quattro all-wheel drive with a crown-gear centre differential and torque vectoring is a standard feature too.

What really differentiates (and fascinated my experience) is the rear spoiler hidden in the back that pops up automatically at speeds of over 120km/hr and retracts back at 80km/h when I hit the highway on a cruise - ensuring balance and stability.

Another impressive feature as well as a safety feature of the A7 is the maiden Audi that is equipped with active counter-steering assistance as standard.

Basically, for safety, the system generates an overriding steering torque in critical handling situations, which serves as a steering guide and helps the driver to stabilise the vehicle more effectively.

The new A7 Sport back can also be ordered with several optional driver assistance and safety systems. These include the Audi pre-sense safety system, which can reduce the severity of accidents and their consequences. Kudos to Audi for putting safety first!

Although the Namibia market is marred by stiff competition by ex-Japanese models and ex-UK models, which are the order of the day, Audi Namibia has incentives to cater for its customers - a complete maintenance and service plan of over five years covering all maintenance unlike other brewing competition.

The A7 Sportback comes in both diesel and petrol.

Price tag
With the Audi 7 Sport back making its footprint on the Namibian market and entering the ever growing Audi family, one is expected to fork out N$717 000 – N$728 000 depending on the model, which could be a headache for your ordinary Namibian. PF