The Audi A7 Sportback has been officially launched. It is a big four-door coupe type of car with a hatch, like the Porsche Panamera. Audi says its latest car encapsulates the best of three worlds with the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon.

An accurate rendition of the Audi Sportback Concept from the 2009 Detroit show, the A7 is a big car at 4.97m long and 1.91m wide, with a 2.91m wheelbase. It’s sits 4 cm lower than the A8 limo and the overall size is between the current generation A6 and the A8. Weight is reduced via the extensive use of aluminum and “high-tech steels”. A 2WD A7 weighs in at 1,695 kg, which makes it lighter than a Mercedes CLS. The Audi’s 535-litre boot can be upped to 1,390 litres by folding the rear seats.

There will be a choice of four direct-injection V6 engines: the 3.0 TFSI supercharged unit producing 300 hp/440 Nm, a 2.8 FSI engine with 204 hp/280 Nm and two versions of the 3.0 TDI engine; one with 245 hp/500 Nm and another with 204 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The latter boasts amazing fuel consumption of 5.3 L/100 km while only producing 139 g/km of CO2, and is the eco champion of the range.

The engines can be had with Multitronic CVT and FWD or the seven-speed S tronic (dual-clutch) with quattro AWD. The latest quattro system has a crown-gear center differential and torque vectoring. Brake recuperation and start-stop is standard across the range.

A “sporty character” is brought by a five-link front suspension and the track-controlled, trapezoidal link rear suspension. The chassis features aluminum control arms and a newly developed power steering system with an electromechanical drive for high efficiency. The Audi Drive Select system is standard and can be supplemented by optional adaptive air suspension or a sports suspension that sits 10 mm lower. The smallest wheels are 18-inch items, with 20ins being the largest.

Inside you find the usual luxuries from Audi which include fine leathers and Alcantara, aluminium and quality wood inlays, aluminium finish on rotary knobs, four-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, touchpad controlled MMI system with a HDD based sat nav and 6.5-inch monitor, electromechanical parking brake, a new head-up display and optional climate-control/massage functions for the front seats. Like the A8 limo, the Audi A7 is a mobile WLAN hotspot. You can also have the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen featuring 1,300 watts of power and 15 speakers. Sounds like a nice place to be in!

Safety wise, standard kit includes Audi pre sense, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, active lane assist, night vision assistant, speed limit display and park assist. The A7 Sportback is set to go on sale in Europe at the end of this year. A large hi-res gallery awaits you after the jump.

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