SPIED: Next-Gen Audi A7 caught testing with competition

Audi A7 Sportback ultra

Now that the new Audi A8 has been seen by the public eye, we’re starting to look forward to the cars that will follow it. Cars like the Audi A7. We originally heard rumors that the next-gen Audi A7 would move upmarket and be more of a sporty alternative to the Audi A8, rather than the sporty alternative to the Audi A6 that it is today. However, in these spy photos, we see the A7 testing alongside some of its German competition and they aren’t A8 competitors.

In these new spy photos from Autocar (we don’t own the photos), we can see the next-gen Audi A7 testing with a BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This would indicate that the Audi A7 will be staying right where it is, in terms of segment. And if that’s where it’s staying, it makes sense for Audi to bring along the new 5 Series and E-Class. Both of those two aforementioned competitors are superb cars in their own rights.

The new 5 Series is quite possibly the most balanced car I’ve driven that’s currently on sale. It’s incredibly comfortable, has a great cabin and is fun to drive. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the most opulent cars with a price tag under six-figures. The E-Class’ cabin is one of the nicest on the market, period. So if Audi wants to take these two fantastic cars on, it’s going to have to benchmark the hell out of them.

Current-Gen Audi A7

What do we know about the Audi A7? Well, it’s going to be based on the brand’s new MLB Evo platform, the same one that underpins the new Audi A8 and Q7. So it will be bigger, longer and wider than the old car, but also lighter. So it will be more dynamically impressive, as well as more comfortable, luxurious and high-tech. We should see a lot of the same technology, including the impressive semi-autonomous stuff, from the Audi A8, as well as the latter car’s engines.

Speaking of engines, in Autocar’s spy photos, we can see that at least one of the cars is an Audi S7. The larger wheels and quad exhausts give it away. We’re not sure what sort of engine the Audi S7 will get but it could be the same 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 as seen in the Audi RS5 and Porsche Panamera. That could mean around 450 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

In these spy photos, we can see a lot of the Audi A7/S7’s basic design and it looks good. It looks longer and sleeker than the old car. It also looks quite a bit lower, with the roofline sweeping down far more aggressively. The new massive grille and headlights, similar to the Audi A8’s, look good and give the car a menacing look. Especially so on the Audi S7. We also can see that the car’s active rear wing is still present, which fans will like.

This new Audi A7 won’t debut until next year, so expect it to be a 2018 model at the earliest. Also expect it to have most of the Audi A8’s tech, if not all or more of it, and Porsche Panamera-level performance.