Audi's line-up will continue to grow soon with the official launch of the 2012 Audi A7, and as the on-sale date nears, Audi has released pricing and option availability for its sleek, new sedan aimed to take on cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. When the all-new Audi A7 goes on sale later this month, it will come with a starting price of $59,250 (not including $875 destination charge) but will also be available with plenty of optional packages and equipment taking it well into the $80,000 range.
The starting price for the A7 is for the Premium package, but don't call it a base model as it offers standard equipment such as 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, leather-wrapped seats, heated front seats with 12-way power and driver memory, power sunroof, push-button start, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and aluminum door sill inserts. Options on the A7 Premium include the $1,500 19'? Sport Package, $500 Audi side assist Package, $450 Cold Weather Package and $350 for rear side airbags.
Stepping up to the A7 Premium Plus which starts at $62,870, the A7 adds Audi's MMI Navigation Plus, 19-inch wheels with all-season tires, Audi parking system with a rearview camera, a six-disc CD changer, HD Radio and the Audi Connect infotainment system that also allows for an optional Wi-Fi mobile hotspot feature. In addition to the options available on the A7 Premium, this model also offers the $2,500 Driver Assistance Package and 20'? Sport Package.
The fully loaded A7 Prestige already stands out thanks to its sportier S line exterior enhancements, but the starting price of $65,580 is backed up with plenty of standard features such as keyless entry with push-button start, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, ventilated front seats, adaptive Xenon headlights, four zone climate control, power tilt and telescoping steering column and an interior ambient lighting package. Optional equipment on the A7 Prestige includes the $5,900 Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, $5,800 Innovation Package and $1,400 for Full LED Headlights.
Positioned in between the A6 and the A8, the new A7 stands out thanks to its four-door coupe profile which puts it up against other luxury nameplates on the market such as the CLS-Class as well the Jaguar XF and even the BMW 5 Series GT. Similar to the A5 Sportback, which is not available in the U.S., the Audi A7's roofline and sleek D-pillars help hide the large rear hatchback opening. One surprising aspect is that the A7 still offers plenty of luggage space with a cargo volume of almost 19 cubic feet. While this is about five cubic feet more than the outgoing 2010 Audi A8, the A7 also has a split rear seat that is able to fold to increase cargo volume up to 49 cubic feet. Inside, the raked roofline results in a smaller passenger compartment, so the A7 is only offered with a four-passenger seating configuration.
In other markets, the A7 will be offered with four engines and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive, but the U.S.-spec models will be limited to the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 paired to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels through Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. This engine produces 310 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque which is enough to give the 4,210-pound A7 impressive acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. The EPA has yet to release its official fuel economy estimates for the 2012 A7.
By adding the A7 into its line-up (as well as the all-new Audi A6), Audi should continue growing as it did last year and so far this year. In 2010, Audi saw its best-ever sales in the U.S. and 2011 has carried over that momentum with the best first quarter in Audi's history. In just the first three months of 2011, Audi has sold 25,383 vehicles which is an increase of 19.1 percent over last year, while last month's sales tally of 9,818 was Audi's best March ever. These impressive figures are lead by the all-new Audi A8 flagship which is selling seven times better than its predecessor did last year.