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This beast wears a tuxedo!


RISHAD SAAM MEHTA | New Delhi, October 2, 2011 21:45
Tags : Audi’s Quattro | Spiderman | Xenon Plus | A7 | Kelvin | Delhi |

Imagine an Android app wherein you can take a photograph on your smartphone and then render the subject to music. Then if you were to snap the new Audi A7 Sportback – from any angle – the melody that your phone would sing out would squeeze your heart with melody.

The A7, as described by Audi, is a car that combines the character of a coupe, a sedan and a station wagon inside a sleek yet muscular exterior. True, because the car sits low at 1.42 mts, sports a long engine hood and short overhangs with a long wheelbase at 2.91mts.

Step into the car and it’s a world of plushness, with the smell of rich leather and the feel of power and a wrap-around effect that dominates. The centre console is driver oriented and if you start looking for where to insert the key you aren’t going to get anywhere. There’s a key sensor rather than a slot, and the key – almost as big as a small mobile phone – can safely stay in your pocket.

The experience starts with pressing the start-stop button, circled by a subtle red backlight, which makes the engine growl to life.
There is a one time job of setting the 10- way adjustable seat to reach the height of the steering wheel to your preference. Once set, this can be put into memory so that it all comes back to the same at the touch of a button. The Audi Multi-Media Interface (MMI) is quite easy to figure out.

The Audi comes with an optional adaptive air suspension that keeps the car smooth and composed over broken roads and it is a boon for pothole-ridden roads.

Besides enabling extra comfort, the system, in auto mode, also lowers the body by 20mm once the A7 has been driven for at least 30 seconds at a speed over 120kph. This increases stability and reduces drag. In dynamic mode the body is lowered 10mm at the onset and then a further 10mm at the 120kph/30sec switchpoint.

On broken or uneven roads the adaptive suspension can be raised by 10mm which provides that extra bit of ground clearance.

In a tight corner that is not exactly grippy the Audi’s Quattro permanent all wheel drive system shows its advantage. In normal situations, 60 percent of the engine torque goes to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front. But should the front axle start to lose grip it diverts a majority of the torque to the rear axle. In fact up to 85 percent of the torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Conversely, if the rear starts to slide then as much as 75 percent of the torque is rushed to the front axle.

When you need cheeky overtaking like on our trafficked two-lane highways, the 3-litre V6 diesel engine shows its muscle. With 245 horsepower and 500Nm of torque (coming in at 1400rpm) overtaking is a no-brainer. The seven speed S-tronic transmission system provides seamless gear changes.

But it is on smooth twisty roads that you will really enjoy the technological prowess of this car.

The A7 grips corners like Spiderman on a ceiling. In addition, its Xenon Plus all-weather headlights with the optional adaptive light system inspires confidence even when it’s dark and misty because it provides accurate lighting by judging the situation. It does this via a small camera on the interior mirror which detects oncoming vehicle lights and the ambient light and then adapts the A7 lights by swivelling individual headlight modules.

The car can also be bought with the optional LED lights which feature a colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin which closely resembles daylight.

On the twisty hill roads I drove, the A7 was like an eager hound after a furtive fox. It attacked tight corners with gusto and came out unruffled. With so much power on tap, acceleration didn’t wane off over sharp inclines. Since the auto-box has a minimal, yet noticeable lag, I used the S-tronic in manual mode, which gave me gear changes right when I wanted them.

The A7 will return about 7km/l less if you drive with your heart, a bit more if you drive with your head.

The car costs Rs. 64 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi.     

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017