The Mercedes-Benz CLS four-door coupe will soon have another competitor – the Audi A7. This new Audi model will be for sale in Europe beginning 2010 as a 2011 model, says German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, and will likely hit US shores in 2011.
US models will likely receive a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 putting out 300 hp, while the Europeans can expect a lesser 2.8-liter 204 hp engine as the low-end choice. A high-end S7 is expected, and is likely to receive a 394-horsepower V8 engine, while some rumors say an even more powerful RS7 would get a 600 hp twin-turbo V10. I’m not entirely convinced of that.
While the AWD quattro system is likely to be standard on the A7 (at least in the States,) power will be routed through a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic gearbox, with a 7-speed dual-clutch system possible as well. In an effort to stay on track with the Mercedes CLS, Audi will be giving the A7 an air-ride suspension setup instead of the typical spring system.
Audi expects annual sales of 40,000 units, but is the A7 a necessary vehicle? It will slot between the A6 and A8, but do we need another car between those models? I know Mercedes has a car for every possible segment and more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Audi needs to follow suit. It looks good and reads good on paper, but we’ll see if it’s really necessary come closer to launch.