Audi has finally revealed its second-generation A7 Sportback, featuring some of the company’s latest cutting edge driving assistance technologies like that found on the Audi A8. In terms of looks, the A7 retains the familiar Sportback silhouette as its predecessor, but the rest of the grand tourer is new.

The front fascia is flanked by Audi’s signature Singleframe grille that’s wider and lower than the A8’s and a much sleeker pair of headlamps. It’s available in three versions: LED, Matrix LED and Matrix LED with laser light – the latter two featuring 12 individual LED bars with dynamic lighting. Primary illumination (low beam) is provided by twin LED projectors – the top-end laser spot tech is for the high beam only.

The back is entirely new and, according to Audi, is tapered like that of a yacht. Within its tailgate is an electronic spoiler which automatically protracts at 120 km/h (like the TT). The long, new tail lights underscore its chiselled rump, now with a flat LED strip – a feature Audi wants to make common for its top models – spanning the car’s width. Like the front, it gets 13 separate LED bars with varying sets of animations from the minute you unlock the car.

Audi offers up to 15 colour choices – eight of which are new – with wheel sizes up to 21 inches in diameter. The A7’s proportions however, tread really close to its predecessor with a measurement of 4,969 mm long (same as before), 1,908 mm wide (three mm narrower), 1,422 mm tall (two mm shorter) and a wheelbase of 2,926 mm (-12 mm). As usual, an S line pack is optional, with gloss black enhancements done to the front grille and air inlets, side sills as well as the front and rear diffusers.

While the exterior remains familiar to most, it’s the cabin that gets the biggest revamp. Let’s start from the driver’s seat. There’s a new three-spoke leather steering wheel with the usual integrated controls, behind which rests the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit that the company is becoming well known for. Next to it you’ll find the headlamps control, now in the form of a touchpad instead of the good old dial.

The centre dash is now home to two touchscreen displays. The upper unit is a 10.1-inch screen (with haptic feedback!) that is tilted towards the driver for ease of view and is designed to “disappear” into the dashboard when switched off. The lower 8.6-inch touchscreen unit is for the climate control, heated/ventilated seats, lane-keep assist and engine start/stop disabler. It also doubles as a touchpad for text input. Below that you’ll find the electronic gear rocker that’s wide enough for the driver to rest his/her wrist on.

MMI radio comes as standard, but this can be upgraded to MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus for a small fee. There’s also a choice of four sound systems – the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound is the range topper.

At its debut, a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 (A7 55 TFSI; learn Audi’s new nomenclatures here) will take first charge, pushing 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque. It’s paired to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and is good for a century sprint time of 5.3 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. All engines used in the new grand tourer will be electrified with Audi’s new mild hybrid system (MHEV).

MHEV is a 48-volt electrical system which lends a hand in efficiency. Audi says it helps reduce fuel consumption by 0.7 litres per 100 km (it freewheels between 55 and 160 km/h while coasting), bringing the combined rating down to 6.8 litres per 100 km while emitting 154 grammes of CO2. Other four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines – both petrol and diesel – will be offered in due course, as well as a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 for the S and RS variant.

Customers can choose between four suspension setups: conventional hydraulics with steel springs, sports suspension (lowers ride height by 10 mm), electronically-controlled damping or self-levelling adaptive air suspension. The steering wheel also gets a quicker ratio (between 9.1:1 to 16.5:1), but it’s a progressive rack, which means it can be even quicker in Sports mode. Options include all-wheel steering with electronic chassis program (ECP) and sports differential.

Lastly, the A7 Sportback is fitted with Audi AI, now split into three packages: Audi AI parking pack (remote parking with remote garage pilot), City assist pack with crossing assist and Tour assist pack. The last comes with efficiency assistant and adaptive driving assistant, both of which work in tandem with adaptive cruise control. Owners can also auto-park the new A7 through the myAudi smartphone app. Depending on the variant, there can as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.

The A7 Sportback will be built at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant and will go on sale in Germany by February 2018. The starting price in Europe/Germany for the A7 55 TFSI quattro is €67,800 euros (RM340k).