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With the first generation Audi A7, Audi built a lower, wider hatchback variant on the same wheelbase as the A6 sedan. Next time around, Autobild Magazine is reporting that the A7 will get longer and also spawn a notchback body style. Here’s what we know.
Like the current generation C/D range of cars, the Audi A7 foregoes the A8’s aluminum Audi space frame (ASF) in favor of a steel chassis with hung aluminum panels. Though the A7 (also A6 and A8) now shifts to the more multi-material oriented MLB evo platform, its position closer to the A6 in material content will remain. That said, Audi is looking to differentiate the A7 more from its A6 sibling and as such it will get a longer wheelbase.
If you’re thinking of the Chinese market Audi A6L right about now, you’re on the right track. No doubt the A7 will have a wider track and completely new body style as compared to any A6 offering, but rumor is that the longer wheelbase of A6L will be applied to the standard A7. That means more of a larger presence for the A7 model and helps justify the more premium pricing over the A6 sedan. It also expands the A7 range to be more of a model in between A6 and A8 and less a body style spawn of the A6. The latter stigma has never really been an issue for the current A7, but it is easy to see how further differentiation will make the A7 more desirable.
Also mentioned is the addition of a notchback body style. The A7’s direct competitors like the BMW 6 series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLS are both notchback designs. While a hatchback configuration has also never really hurt the A7, a natural addition to the four-door coupe configuration is to also cater to the notchback customers buying brand B and brand MB. In as much, it is said that the new A7 will become a range and get a notchback version.
No Coupe for Now?
Of course the new design C/D models such as A8, A7 and A6 have all been hinted with Audi’s range of prologue concept cars. That the first prologue (pictured in these design drawings) was a notchback 2-door coupe is an interesting consideration. Audi hasn’t suggested it will produce a large coupe or cabriolet yet, but the addition of an A7 notchback would mean that components like trunk lid, taillights, etc. would all be designed. One could easily imagine how Audi might go two steps further with the new A7 range by going with a shorter wheelbase from the A6 sedan just like the current A7, while adding a notchback coupe and Roadster models. This last portion is pure conjecture on our part, but it would seem to make sense if the new A7 proves a popular seller.
The new Audi A8 is expected to drop in 2016, with the A7 coming a year later in 2017. Figure at least another model year before the car shows up in America, perhaps as a MY2018.