The new Audi A7 might not be a two-door coupe but it’s about as close to a proper grand touring car as a four-door vehicle can get. The point of of a GT car is to be stylish, fast and luxurious, all while being at least practical enough for a road trip with two people. The A7 is all of those things except very practical, even for four people. Now, you can throw fuel-efficient into the mix.
Welcome the all-new Audi A7 55 TFSI e Quattro (I know, Audi’s gotta work on that name). This new A7 TFSI e is the first ever plug-in hybrid variant of the A7 and it’s here to add some fuel efficiency to its stylish lineup.
Powering the new Audi A7 55 TFSI e Quattro is a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s been paired to an electric motor. Just the turbo four-pot makes about 249 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque, while the permanently excited synchronous electric motor (PSM) makes 140 hp and 258 lb-ft. Total system power is 362 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Those aren’t crazy numbers but that’s more power than the Audi S5, in a hybrid.
All of that power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to Audi’s new Quattro Ultra system, which is mostly front-wheel drive until it detects the rear wheels are needed. According to Audi, this new hybrid A7 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 5.7 seconds, which is decently quick for such a heavy car.
Performance isn’t why you buy the hybrid version, though. Efficiency is. And the Audi A7 55 TFSI e Quattro can drive up to 25 miles on electricity alone. During those 24 miles, it can reach a top speed of 83 mph. Those are both decent figures for a plug-in hybrid of its size and weight. They also mean that the hybrid Audi A7 can genuinely be used as an EV in town, on shorter drives.
Powering that electric motor is a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the luggage compartment floor. Audi has also pulled off an impressive trick by implementing the battery into the trunk floor without adding a lip. A lot of hybrids struggle with that, often adding a small lip or shelf in the trunk to accommodate the battery pack. Not so in the case of the Audi A7.
There will be three driving modes; EV Mode, which will be the default mode and keeps the car using purely electric power for as long as possible; Battery Hold mode, which holds the battery level at a certain percentage so as to save it for later; and Hybrid Mode, which lets the car switch back and forth between hybrid gasoline/electric and electric-only driving, to maximize efficiency.
It also has a bit of predictive software, this Audi A7 hybrid. If uses predictive ability, by utilizing the navigation, to determine if/when the battery will be needed. For instance, let’s say you’re low on battery but entering a small town or city, it will keep the gasoline engine on to charge the battery as much as possible and give you some juice for the last bit of the trip.
Charging the Audi A7 hybrid from a 400-volt charging station, a full charge of the battery wakes about 2.5 hours. A traditional European household’s 230-volt outlet can charge the hybrid A7 from zero to full overnight.
All of that is just the nerdy hybrid stuff. But it’s more than just a spec sheet. It’s a stunning machine and one that features a fantastic design as well as a superb interior, just like the standard Audi A7. With all of that power, it’s fast, too. So the Audi A7 55 Quattro TFSI e Quattro actually makes for a great hybrid grand touring car and one that cross continents in style, comfort, speed and, now, efficiency.