Audi’s A7 Plans

At the recent New York Auto Show, an autofieldblog correspondent was on the scene, reporting on Audi.

At the recent New York Auto Show, an autofieldblog correspondent was on the scene, reporting on Audi. Here’s his assessment:

“At the New York Auto Show, Audi introduced the new A7 four-door coupe to the media for seemingly the umpteenth time. It also reiterated the notion that the car bridges the gap between the A6 and the A8 in much the same way that the BMW 5-series Gran Turismo fits neatly between the 5-series sedan and the 7-series and the Mercedes-Benz CLS is book-ended by the S-class and the E-class.

A

Audi A7

“Of course, it’s further evidence that product planning in Ingolstadt [Audi] and Munich [BMW] is heavily influenced by what’s happening in Stuttgart [Mercedes], and vice-versa. The A7 definitely wins the styling battle in this exclusive class, since the BMW is one of the company’s more homely offerings and the Mercedes isn’t as attractive in its second iteration as was the first.

B

BMW 535i

“The only real news at New York was what the car will cost—and how many Audi expects to sell. The A7 will start at $59,850, fitted with a 310-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a little bit pricier than the base 535i GT and about $11,000 less than the CLS, which does have a more powerful V8 underhood.

C

Second-generation Mercedes CLS

“Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen says that a well-equipped A7 will likely go out the door in ‘the late 60,000 area,’ and says that Audi wants to sell 7,000 a year. Those numbers look do-able, although the car’s hatchback design might be a sticking point with luxury-car buyers here in the U.S.

A

Audi A7

“He also said, interestingly, that the car might cannibalize some short-wheelbase A8 sales in the quest for Audi to get A6, A7, and A8 volumes up to a quarter of the company’s model mix. That’s sound business sense in the long term: the sweet spot in the luxury market is in the A6/E-class/5-series arena, where margins and volumes are both relatively high. Mercedes must love the way it shifts as many E-class models as it does C-class cars in the U.S. ….”