A few days ago, we saw some spy photos of the then-upcoming Audi A7L, the long-wheelbase version of the A7 Sportback. When we saw the photos, even with camouflage, we could tell that it changed the look of the A7 drastically, giving it more of an A8-vibe. Now, Audi has officially unwrapped the A7L at the Auto Shanghai 2021 auto show.
It only makes sense that the Audi A7L would debut at Auto Shanghai, as China will be its home market. In fact, China is the home market of almost all long-wheelbase models, from all manufacturers. Customers in China prioritize back seat space above most other luxuries, so they prefer most of their cars to be long-wheelbase models, for their additional rear seat legroom. This new Audi A7L certainly has some more legroom than before but it sacrifices style to get it.
Now that it’s finally revealed, we can tell that the A7L completely loses its Sportback roofline and, crucially, its liftback tailgate. Those were the Audi A7’s two defining features and, without them, the new A7L just looks like a facelifted Audi A8. Which is a bit disappointing, to be honest.
For Chinese customers, what’s the point of getting an A7L instead of just getting an A8, as they probably have similar legroom anyway and the A8’s cabin is nicer? Premium Chinese customers sort of get gipped by not being able to buy a stylish Audi A7 with the longer wheelbase that they want. Sure, the A7L is going to be a bit sportier to drive than the A8 but sporty driving isn’t the priority when buying a long-wheelbase car of any kind. If you want sportier driving, you just get the A7 Sportback, or something smaller and sportier than even that.
Admittedly, it’s still a good looking car, this A7L. It has the good looking Audi A7 face, the killer rear light bar and it does look a bit sportier than an A8. We’re just disappointed that it doesn’t get the A7’s two main attributes — its stunning roofline and practical liftback tailgate.