Test Drive: 2012 Audi A7 Sportback videos car test drives reviews makes luxury cars auto articles audi
2012 Audi A7 Sportback . Click image to enlarge

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First Drive: 2012 Audi A7 Sportback

Manufacturer’s web site
Audi Canada

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2012 Audi A7 Sportback

If there’s one thing to be said about Audi, it’s that aesthetics are not lost on this Ingolstadt automaker. There have been a number of lookers leaving the factory gates of late, the most notable being the A5/S5, the second generation TT, and of course the R8.

Joining this supermodel roster is the 2012 A7 Sportback 3.0 TSFI Quattro, giving Audi a player in the luxury “four-door coupe” niche – one that largely trades on appearance. The A7 is a stunningly beautiful car from any angle, tucking in just below the R8 when it comes to heartbeat-skipping sensuality. Low-slung, wide and rakish, the A7 flows cleanly and effortlessly from the bold signature Audi snout to its artfully chopped tail with retractable lip spoiler. Overhangs are short and stares are long.

Test Drive: 2012 Audi A7 Sportback videos car test drives reviews makes luxury cars auto articles audi
Test Drive: 2012 Audi A7 Sportback videos car test drives reviews makes luxury cars auto articles audi
Test Drive: 2012 Audi A7 Sportback videos car test drives reviews makes luxury cars auto articles audi
2012 Audi A7 Sportback . Click image to enlarge

My tester sported the S-line package that adds more aggressive front and rear fascias, side sill extensions, sports suspension and show-car 20-inch alloys. Nice. Swing open the frameless doors and you are presented with a fresh and intimate cabin featuring a wraparound dash and a centre console angled toward the driver. This tester was all black with aluminum accents. A little austere for my tastes (beige leather with real wood is so much warmer), but personal preferences aside, the design, quality of materials and workmanship is peerless. Plunk your butt in the comfy seats and the A7’s sporting intentions are immediate. You’re sitting low and the driving position is more Porsche Panamera than Mercedes-Benz CLS, the A7’s two most obvious competitors. Throw the Jaguar XF, BMW 5 GT and Passat CC 3.6 4Motion in there for good measure.

The distinguishing feature here is an LCD screen for the MMI interface that slides out from the upper dash and flips into position on start-up. Definitely good for a few ooohs and aaahs from the passengers.

This is a four-seater, and riders in the back enjoy well-contoured heated seats, dedicated climate controls and ample legroom. Headroom for the over-six-foot club is limited, however. There’s certainly more space in the back of a Porsche Panamera, but you’re paying for that with a derriere only a lonely hippo could love.

The 2012 A7 Sportback shares its platform and most mechanicals with the upcoming 2012 A6 sedan. Pricing start at $68,600 for the well-equipped Premium trim. This tester was the $74,300 Premium Plus model that gets 19-inch alloys (up from 18s), navigation, four-zone climate control, manual rear sunshades, blind spot warning, backup camera, adaptive xenon headlights with cornering lights, proximity key with pushbutton start, and advanced park assist. On top of this, my silver siren was fitted with such niceties as full LED lighting ($1,700), ventilated front seats ($900), 14-speaker 600-watt Bose sound ($1,000), head-up display and night vision ($4,000), adaptive cruise control with full stop capability ($2,300), and the aforementioned S Line Sport Package ($2,700).




About Peter

Peter Bleakney is a Toronto-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).