At 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 19, 2017, the second-generation Audi A7 shall be unveiled. Primarily based on the silhouette Audi has already revealed, and based mostly on Audi’s historic design habits, the second-generation A7 will seem remarkably just like the first-generation Audi A7.
Sooner or later in November, Audi USA will promote its 50,000th A7, making the hatchbacked A6 a low-volume automotive even by the requirements of America’s third-ranked German luxurious model. But as a method and standing image, the A7 stays a mannequin of nice significance to the general Audi lineup.
Tasked with difficult the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, the first-generation Audi A7 arrived in the US in 2011. U.S. A7 gross sales peaked at eight,598 models in its first full 12 months of 2012, although the A7 didn’t fall too removed from that complete even in outdated age, sliding in 2016 by a few thousand models from that peak. With decreased availability, A7 gross sales are down 25 %, year-over-year, by way of the primary 9 months of 2017.
Most consumers continued to decide on the less expensive trunked A6 reasonably than the A7. In the course of the five-year span from 2012 to 2016, Audi USA bought 2.7 A6s for each one A7. (The Canadian ratio was a a lot tighter 1.2 A6s per A7, by the by.) However the A7, which presently stickers from $70,650 — or 7-percent lower than the essential Mercedes-Benz CLS — confirmed how profitable Audi might be in a one-on-one battle between Ingolstadt and Stuttgart.Whereas the Audi A7 by no means rose to the extent reached by the CLS early in its tenure, the A7 outsold the CLS by a 12-percent margin by way of the primary half-decade of its lifespan, by no means as soon as ceding the annual gross sales crown to the Benz. Via the primary 9 months of 2017, U.S. A7 gross sales totalled three,439 models. CLS-Class gross sales are down 61 % to just one,424 models as Mercedes-Benz additionally prepares to launch a brand new mannequin.
However once more, quantity was by no means the mark of success with the A7. Audi has the Q5, A4, Q7, and A3 for quantity. (These 4 fashions account for 70 % of the model’s U.S. gross sales.) The A7 was supposed to raise Audi’s picture by marrying a singular fashion (and bodystyle) to a genuinely premium price ticket. A7s require a $20,000 premium over and above the A6 on which it’s based mostly; a premium of greater than $10,000 in contrast with equally configured A6s. Within the U.S., there have been no 2.0Ts within the A7 lineup. And through an age by which Audi forbade RS6s from getting into U.S. ports, the RS7 drummed up solely constructive consideration for the Audi model.
The A7 has, in different phrases, completed its job. It has fulfilled its mission. And what does Audi do when a member of its lineup performs at or above expectations?
Audi leaves properly sufficient alone.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Automobiles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.