Audi is systematically pursuing its electrification strategy and is now offering its large four-door A7 Sportback coupe as a powerful, efficient plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The new Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro delivers a system output of 270 kW (367 PS) (combined fuel consumption of 2.1 – 1.9 l/100 km (112.0 – 123.8 US mpg); combined electrical consumption of 18.1 – 17.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions of 48 – 44 g/km (77.2 – 70.8 g/mi)).
The drivetrain of the new plug-in hybrid Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro comprises a turbocharged 2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine with an output of 185 kW (252 PS) and 370 N·m (272.9 lb-ft) of torque and an electric motor. The permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) has a peak output of 105 kW and peak torque of 350 NN·mm (258.1 lb-ft).
Together with the separating clutch, it is integrated into the seven-speed S tronic, which uses ultra technology to transfer the drive torque to a quattro ultra drivetrain.
Total system output is 270 kW (367 PS); the maximum torque of 500 N·m (368.8 lb-ft) is already available at just 1,250 rpm. The A7 PHEV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph).
As a company car, the plug-in hybrid model is subject to a lower tax rate in Germany because its electric range in the WLTP cycle is more than 40 kilometers (24.9 mi). The A7 Sportback can drive at up to 135 km/h (83.9 mph) in electric-only mode, making emissions-free highway driving easy.
Comprising 104 pouch cells, the lithium-ion battery stores 14.1 kWh of energy at a rated voltage of 381 volts beneath the luggage compartment floor. For optimal temperature control, its cooling loop is connected to both the coolant loop for the climate control system and the low-temperature cooling loop into which the electric motor and power electronics are also integrated.
The lithium-ion battery is integrated into the rear of the vehicle below the luggage compartment floor in such as way that there is no step in the luggage compartment. Maximum usable stowage capacity with the rear seat folded down is thus 1,235 liters (43.6 cu ft).
A full charge at a three-phase CEE industrial outlet with 400 volts and 16 amperes per phase takes just approximately 2.5 hours. The vehicle charges with a maximum of 7.4 kW. Even a 230 volt household outlet can recharge an empty battery fully and conveniently overnight in approximately seven hours. Convenient recharging is also possible on the road. The proprietary Audi e-tron Charging Service provides access to more than 100,000 charging points in Europe. A single card is sufficient to start charging, regardless of the provider.
Typically Audi, the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e is also equipped with quattro all-wheel drive with ultra technology. The rear axle is activated lightning fast and predictively as needed. Recuperation of electrical energy is always via the front axle.
Three driving modes. The drive concept of the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro is designed so that customers can do the most of their daily driving electrically. Whether with zero local emissions in the city or with high range on long trips. The combination of electric motor and internal combustion engine provides for a sportily dynamic driving experience. With its three different driving modes, the plug-in hybrid is easy to operate in everyday use.
The A7 PHEV starts by default in EV mode. This means the car is driven exclusively electrically as long as the driver does not depress the accelerator past a variable, perceptible pressure point. EV mode is the base setting each time the vehicle is started. In the second driving mode, Battery Hold mode, the drive management system holds battery capacity at the current level so that a defined distance can later be covered fully electrically, for instance.
The Hybrid mode is activated either automatically together with route guidance in the navigation system or by the driver using the operating mode button. In this mode, the A7 PHEV uses the interplay between the electric motor and the internal combustion engine to complete as many driving segments as possible electrically so that overall fuel consumption at the end of the trip is as low as possible. For example, stop-and-go traffic in cities can be driven electrically for the most part.
Depending on the situation, the system chooses between freewheeling with the engine switched off and coasting recuperation. Up to 35 kW of power can be recovered with the latter. The electric motor is responsible for all light braking up to 0.1 g, i.e. the majority of braking in everyday driving. A maximum of 80 kW of electrical energy are generated via braking recuperation at a deceleration of up to 0.2 g.
Predictive operating strategy and predictive efficiency assist. For maximum efficiency the A7 uses predictive drive management—the predictive operating strategy. It uses information from the predictive efficiency assist also found in other Audi mid- and full-size class models to control the electric motor, lithium-ion battery and the internal combustion engine.
If route guidance is active in the MMI navigation system, the predictive operating strategy controls the drivetrain so that the last urban section of the route can be driven exclusively electrically and the Audi A7 PHEV arrives at the destination with the drive battery nearly empty.
If the A7 Sportback TFSI e approaches a town, the drive management charges the battery so that the last urban section can be driven electrically. The driver can thus use all of the electric energy to drive with zero local emissions upon entering a town.
Drive management is controlled on the basis of a large amount of data. The predictive operating strategy uses two types of data, near field and route information, for rough and precision planning of the route. The rough planning is based on online traffic information, distance to the destination, the route profile of the chosen route, precise information about immediate surroundings from the navigation data, such as speed limits, types of roads, uphill and downhill slopes and the latest data from the onboard sensors.
The drive controller’s rough planning is therefore based primarily on route information along the driven route, such as traffic flow, topography and road type. Precision planning, with which the A7 manages the drive controller in the current driving situation, is performed by the predictive efficiency assistant (PEA) found in other Audi mid- and large-size class models.
The predictive efficiency assistant adjusts coasting recuperation behavior to the driving situation at hand. It uses the predictable route data from the navigation database and monitors the distance to the vehicle ahead using signals from the camera and radar. Depending on the situation, the system chooses predictively between freewheeling with the engine switched off and coasting recuperation, i.e. the recovery of kinetic energy and its conversion into electrical energy. When the adaptive cruise control (ACC) is active, the PEA supports the driver by automatically braking and accelerating with the aim of enhancing efficiency and comfort.
A haptic pulse from the active accelerator pedal and an optical signal in the driver information system display as well as the optional head-up display provide additional support for the greatest possible efficiency. The active accelerator pedal has both a haptic pressure point that signals the end of electric-only driving and haptic feedback that signals the driver to take their foot off of the accelerator.
Orders are now being accepted for the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro at a base price in Germany of €77,850. Market introduction begins in the third quarter of 2019.