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By Georg Kacher, CAR magazine.

Ever-expanding Audi seems to have missed the boat with its new A7. A four-door coupe is now the must-have car to have in your model line-up, yet Mercedes, VW and, arguably, Jaguar have stolen a march on Ingolstadt and the A7 will only arrive in late 2009, before sales start in early 2010.

Just as the A5 uses the A4 platform, so the A7 will be based on the new A6. But the next-gen A6, which means a lightweight aluminium platform with various steel reinforcements.

Air suspension will be standard on high-end models, and unless sales don't surpass the expected 40,000 units, four-cylinder power won't happen. Instead buyers will be offered a based 2.8-litre V6 FSI or the new supercharged 3.0-litre V6. Oil-burning owners will pick between a 2.7-litre, and a 3.0-litre V6 with either one or two turbos. Then if you can make sense of it all, there will be various six and seven-speed manuals, autos and dual-clutch S-tronic boxes.

Audi will slot, no make that shoehorn, its 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10 into the A7 to create an RS7, while the S7 will use a detuned version. Never fear though, because a hybrid version will be on hand to balance your polluting ways.

Expect A7 prices to start at £40k, for which you'll get four somewhat cramped seats - remember, this is a coupe. Up next from Ingolstadt? An A7 convertible is in the pipeline, as depicted in our first artist's impression above.

And these aren't mere pie-in-the-sky renderings. CAR Online has obtained an exclusive design sketch from the corridors of power in Ingolstadt, and the red drawing confirms the direction Audi is heading in for its CLS fighter.



 

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This doesn't look right, the A5 being 2 door I can dig, but I'm with Dave, it just doesn't lookit at all [:(]

And how the hell have they ended up coming in on the backfoot, with sales not til 2010??

C
 

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Defo competition the 6 series or the CLS!!

Looks awesome, the folding metal roof on a 4 door car....That'll be a first!!

I bet company car owners will be happy...4 door car/convertible...

:D:D:D
 

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It looks like it doesnt know what it wants to look like. The coupe looks like a BMW X6 that has been squashed! Would be interested to see how the 4 door cab looks in the flesh though.
 
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