Audi previewed its new A7 model with the Sportback concept at last year’s Detroit auto show, but it seems the new fastback is almost ready for the limelight. New reports suggest the large tourer may debut at this year’s Paris motor show in September.
According to Autocar, a source within Audi has indicated the A7’s public debut will occur in Paris. Like the Sportback concept, the A7 will be a large four-door coupe, designed to compete with Mercedes-Benz’s CLS (a new version of which, we hear, will also be unveiled in Paris), although comparisons to the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo are virtually inevitable. The A7 will share its underpinnings with the next-generation A6 midsize sedan, although the A7 will be positioned as an upscale model within Audi’s lineup.
We’re not surprised to hear Audi is planning a number of different powertrain configurations for the A7, but it is a little shocking to hear Autocar suggest Audi’s Quattro GmBH subsidiary is developing high-performance S7 and RS7 variants. Base A7s will likely receive at least one version of Audi’s new supercharged, direct-injection 3.0-liter V-6, producing at least 272 horsepower.
Autocar says the S7 could utilize a normally aspirated V-10 like the current S6, but wouldn’t be surprised if Audi installs its 4.2-liter V-8 instead. A second ten-cylinder may step on the toes of the RS7, which is rumored to use a version of the R8’s 5.2-liter V-10. Reports indicate this engine could produce nearly 580 horsepower, roughly the same power as the RS6’s current twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-10.
We’ll hopefully learn more about Audi’s four-door coupe come September, but one thing’s for certain -- while the A7 itself will work its way stateside, the performance-tuned models -- especially the RS7 -- are likely to remain exclusive to Europe.