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Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI S-line: First drive report

Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI S-line

Here’s another first drive report with the new Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI S-line. Great car!

There’s a big risk in launching a new luxury car on the island of Sardinia, off Italy’s coast on the Mediterranean. Among the majestic cliffs, gorgeous blue waters, five-star hotels, and coastlines that serve as fully-booked yacht parking lots, it’d be pretty easy for the whole “look at our beautiful car” message to get lost.

Despite the risk, Audi had to come into the launch of the new A7 with a lot of confidence. Shown at the 2009 Detroit show in concept form with the name “Sportback,” the original design exercise was well received and when the production car debuted at a hip museum in Munich last month, it became clear that nothing was lost in the translation to production form. What the A7 manages to do, in a very basic analysis, is split the competition in the fast-growing quad-door coupe niche. It succeeds in capturing the sweeping grace of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, only with the added utility of a rear hatch in place of a tiny trunklid. Versus the BMW 5GT, it does the opposite, maintaining the utility of a hatch while adding what should prove to be more universally appreciated proportions and design appeal. Hopefully, we think while waiting for a freak thunderstorm to pass over the town of Olbia, it also drives well.