Audi’s next-generation A7 has been spotted in prototype form for the first time (earlier shots showed a test mule).
Though heavily cloaked, we can make out much of the design which shows a clear resemblance to Audi’s Prologue concept first unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show.
Responsible for the look is new Audi design boss Marc Lichte, who says we can expect greater differentiation between the new A7 and the mechanically-similar, next-generation A6.
A new A8 will be the first model designed under his supervision. It’s due to be revealed soon, as a 2018 model. The new A6 and A7 should be revealed in 2017. They’re expected to arrive on the market as 2019 models.
All the cars will feature an imposing, hexagonal-shaped grille and chiseled surfaces. On the A7, the crease lines remain just as intense as you move towards the rear where a Kammback tail, just like on the current A7, can be found. We can also see a partially extended rear wing that normally will sit flush with the bodywork.
The platform underpinning the car is the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo, which made its debut in the 2017 Q7 and has since spread to the 2017 A4. The new platform promises a significant reduction in weight as well as compatibility with more alternative powertrains.
The base engine should be a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 delivering 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This unit made its debut in the 2017 A4. A plug-in hybrid A7 is a strong possibility, and there could also be a battery-electric option at some point. Audi has also hinted at a fuel cell-equipped A7. The good news is that we’ll also see sporty S7 and RS 7 models once again.
There will also be loads of new technologies to aid the driver. One of these will be an autonomous mode that can handle parking situations as well as driving in traffic at speeds of up to 37 mph. This will be a highly-advanced system enabling an almost hands-free, eyes-free experience.