The Audi A7 Sportback has gained a new plug-in hybrid variant. Called the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro (phew), the new addition combines the sleek four-door coupe form of the C8 with an efficient PHEV powertrain good for over 40 km of zero emissions driving.

The drivetrain combines a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine (252 PS, 370 Nm) with an electric motor with 105 kW (140 hp) and 350 Nm. Together with the separating clutch, the latter is integrated into the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, which sends power to both axles. Total system output is 367 PS and 500 Nm of torque available at just 1,250 rpm. That’s good for 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed.

Juicing the motor is a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery made up of 104 pouch cells. Located under the flat boot floor (no step, 1,235 litres of capacity with rear seats folded), the battery has a cooling loop connected to both the coolant loop for the climate control, and the low-temperature cooling loop into which the e-motor and power electronics are also integrated.

Combined fuel consumption is rated from 2.1 to 1.9 litres per 100 km. It is capable of a pure electric range of over 40 km in the WLTP cycle, which means the A7 PHEV gets to enjoy a lower tax rate in Germany as a company car. Top speed for the electric-only mode is 135 km/h.

The A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e is also equipped with quattro all-wheel drive with ultra technology. Thus, Audi is the only one in this segment to offer a plug-in hybrid with AWD. There are three different driving modes. The car starts in EV mode by default, while in Battery Hold mode, the drive management system holds battery capacity at the current level so that a defined distance can later be covered fully electrically, for instance.

The Hybrid mode is activated either automatically together with navigation route guidance or by the driver manually. Here, the A7 PHEV uses the interplay between the electric motor and the ICE to complete as many driving segments as possible electrically so that overall fuel consumption is as low as possible. Depending on the situation, the system chooses between freewheeling with the engine switched off and coasting recuperation. Up to 35 kW of power can be recovered with the latter.

The electric motor is responsible for all light braking up to 0.1 g, which covers the majority of braking in everyday driving. A maximum of 80 kW of electrical energy is generated via braking recuperation at a deceleration of up to 0.2 g.

For maximum efficiency, the A7 uses predictive drive management to control the electric motor, lithium-ion battery and the ICE. If route guidance is active, the predictive strategy controls the drivetrain so that the last urban section of the route can be driven exclusively electrically and the car arrives with the drive battery nearly empty. When the A7 approaches a town, the drive management charges the battery so that the last urban section can be driven electrically with zero local emissions.

As for charging, the system, which includes a Mode 3 cable with Type 2 plug, features an LED status display and safety functions such as temperature and residual current monitoring. A full charge at a three-phase CEE industrial outlet with 400V and 16A per phase takes around 2.5 hours. The vehicle charges with a maximum of 7.4 kW. A 230V household outlet can recharge an empty battery fully in approximately seven hours. On the road, the Audi e-tron Charging Service provides access to more than 100,000 charging points in Europe with a single card.

The myAudi app allows customers to use the services from the Audi connect portfolio on their smartphones, which is even more practical with a PHEV. The app can be used to check the battery and range status, start the charging process, programme the charge timer and view charge and consumption statistics. Also, the route planners in both the app and the MMI navigation show charging stations.

Another function of the myAudi app is pre-entry climate control before setting off. The AC compressor and auxiliary heater in the car are electrically powered, which means that one can determine exactly how the interior should be heated or cooled while the battery is being charged. The same applies to the seat and steering wheel heating, heating of the windshield, rear window and mirrors, and seat cooling, if optioned.

The Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e comes standard with an S line exterior package, black styling package and privacy glazing. HD Matrix LED headlights, sport seats, four-zone automatic air con, convenience key, Audi virtual cockpit, PHEV-specific displays, 19-inch, multi-spoke wheels and red brake calipers at both ends are also standard. Order books are open now in Europe.

Not your kind of A7? Audi has also just revealed the RS7 Sportback, which is powered by a 4.0 litre V8 with 600 hp and 800 Nm. RM610k buys you a 3.0 TFSI version of the A7 in Malaysia, which sounds like decent value for a CBU import.


GALLERY: Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI in Malaysia