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Journeys : MNJ Aug Sep 2011
Life on the move Darren Moody First drives Audi A7 Sportback Looking to upgrade your luxur y sedan for something a bit more sporty, but not quite ready to migrate to a two-door coupe? Then Audi, always looking for that niche market, has released a high-end luxury cruiser in the styling of a coupe with the practicality of four doors, and a hatch-style rear opening. A big brother if you like for the A5 Sportback, the A7 sits on the new partially aluminium weight-sav ing A6 platform. The A7 was released with a 3.0L TDI producing 180kW and a thumping 500Nm of torque, while retur ning an amazing combined cycle of 5.9L/100km. The option is Audi’s cracking supercharged V6 petrol power plant, good for 220kW and 440Nm, again retur ning a credible 8.2L /100km. There is also talk of an entr y-level lower- capacity engine being available later, but no specifics on that yet. As you’d expect, both engines shift the luxury cr uiser along quite rapidly, but both have different dr iving characteristics. The diesel, with that massive torque from low r pm, provides effortless cruising with a minimum of fuss, but is deceptively quick. The sweet note of the supercharged V6 petrol as it climbs the tacho gives you the engaging experience that you are driving a sports car. Our drive loop took us from Coles Bay across to Campbell Town to give us a gentle feel for the dynamics of the Sportback. Then it was across to Poatina and up the snaking climb to the Central Highlands. This is where the chassis balance and the grip of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system really shone. Apart from some predictable understeer if you hit the corners too fast, the tr icky crown gear centre diff moves the drive from front to rear, allowing up to 85% of the drive to be directed to the rear wheels or as much as 70% to the front, putting the power down out of the tight bends impeccably in any conditions. Inside, the luxur y sur rounds insulate you from the outside world, seating four passengers in contour-hugging leather seats, four-zone climate control and plenty of room to stretch out, although the sporty roof line will intr ude on headspace for tall rear passengers. Audi’s integrated multimedia interface provides standard navigation and a hard-drive to keep your music back-catalogue with you all the time. Naturally the driver gets plenty of assistance w ith a full safety suite, stop-go cruise control (that takes a bit of trusting) and Audi ‘pre-sense’ that readies occupant safety systems if the situation ar ises. You can also option heads-up display, which includes night-vision assist with pedestrian safety, and of course the $12,350 Bang & Olufsen audio option. With the mighty diesel starting at just under $143,000 and the inspiring V6 supercharged petrol at $147,800 (plus on roads) the A7 Sportback doesn’t come cheap – but you do get plenty of car and technology for your money, as well as enjoying a spor ts car experience while not sacrificing the practicality of four doors. Check the launch v ideo – shot on Tasmania’s East Coast – on the RACT community blog at ww w.ract.com.au 34 August / September 2011 6548A A sure sign your car is in safe hands. Our RACT Approved Repairer Code of Practice ensures that all repair work and services performed for members of the RACT will be carried out under the supervision of a competent and qualified person. The RACT Approved Repairer Code of Practice also includes the following key points: • Written estimate of costs provided upon request • Warranty covering repair work for 90 days or 5000 km • Parts that are replaced will be available for you to inspect and keep, if desired • Once commenced, repair work will be completed quickly. When your car’s being repaired, it’s hard not to wonder if the job’s being done correctly. With an RACT Approved Repairer you can relax. www.ract.com.au RACT Approved Repairers shown with the Show Your Card & Save logo will provide 10% discount on labour if you present your card prior to quotation. Contact your nearest RACT branch for a complete list of Approved Repairers or visit www.ract.com.au
Jun Jul 2011
Oct Nov 2011