All those motor manufacturers who decided not to exhibit at the Detroit Motor Show in January may start to think they are missing out on something. These voluntary absentees include Ferrari, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Rolls Royce. BMW will surely unveil its new Z4 there. Now Audi says its long-awaited A7 four-door coupe is headed for a Detroit appearance. At least in concept form anyway.
The A7 will, quite clearly if the number monikers are to be followed, slot above the A6 and below the A8 in Audi’s pecking order. Difference there is A7 features four doors but actually sits four people instead of five or six. So, two up front and two at the rear, not more. Sounds familiar? Yes. Mercedes-Benz has a similar car, the four-door CLS. And Porsche recently showed its sector rival in the Panamera. I understand Aston Martin’s Rapide is also in the same vein, but I expect that car to be slightly overpriced. Actually, even Lamborghini has something similar planned, something called an Estoque.
Engines for the A7 four-door will include the new supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with 245kW and Audi’s trusted 4.2-litre V8. A high-performance RS7 with over 430kW is expected by 2011. The new 7-speed double-clutch gearbox, called R Tronic, should be the main persuasion of all this power. Quattro all-wheel-drive should feature as the wheel driver.