Audi A7: The Humpback Of Ingolstadt

Illustration for article titled Audi A7: The Humpback Of Ingolstadt

Audi calls its A7 a "large five-door coupe." We could get all doctrinaire and note that "coupe" comes from a French term for a single-seat carriage with one or two doors. Why is the word "hatchback" so bad?

Audi's counting on the A7 to fill the gap between its car line and the Q-ship SUVs, and in the class that includes the bustle-butt Acura ZDX and BMW models, the A7 marks a step ahead. But luxury hatchbacks haven't done well in America for the past few decades: they're more ungainly than sedans, yet have less space than a true wagon. The A7 will attempt to woo puzzled shoppers with a 290-hp supercharged V6.

Audi also showed off the range of its technological skills, from the Quattro concept to the high-tech TT that drove up Pikes Peak autonomously. We know which one we'd rather see in production.


Photo Credit: Graham Simon

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Rob Emslie

Funny thing, I was sitting in the front of this car, and heard someone attempting to get in back behind me, who quickly ascertained that it wasn't happening. I got out and turned to him asking "won't fit?" It turned out to be Dennis Simanaitis from Road & Track, who lamented that his bad back and healthy girth prevented him from testing the rear confines. I noted that even at 5-11, I felt pretty cramped up front.

We both agreed that the car was beautiful, but much like dating a Kardashian, you'd be paying for that beauty through other, less enjoyable, traits.

I then walked over and informed the Audi reps that Americans don't buy big hatchbacks. I initially mistook their anger at this revelation as being directed at me, but as their invectives were hurled in German, I'm sure they were practicing for when they got back to HQ to share the news.