2012 Audi A7 TFSI

June 3, 2011

Bottom line: The asking price for the 2012 Audi A7 TFSI, including transportation costs and the optional Prestige trim package, is $68,930. That’s a lot of money. But it’s a bargain in the world of luxury automobiles. Considering everything that comes with the A7, it’s one of the best bargains ever.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent in all three.

Head-turning quotient: I could have sold tickets, especially to current Audi owners (people piloting A3 wagons, A4 and A6 sedans and wagons) who were drawn to the A7 every time I parked it.

Body style/layout: The 2012 Audi A7 TFSI is an all-new luxury, mid-size, front-engine, all-wheel-drive, hatchback family sedan designed to look like a sports coupe, which it isn’t. It has four fully functioning side doors and a rear hatch.

Engine/transmission: The A7 comes with a standard 3-liter, supercharged, direct-injection V-6 with variable valve timing (310 horsepower, 325 foot-pounds of torque, based on latest A7 performance reports from Audi). The engine is mated to Audi’s eight-speed — repeat, eight-speed — patented Tiptronic automatic transmission, which also can be shifted manually.

Capacities: There are seats for four people. Cargo capacity with foldable rear seats up is 24.5 cubic feet. That capacity nearly doubles with seats folded down. The gasoline fuel tank holds 19.8 gallons. The V-6 in the A-7 is a high-compression engine. That means premium gasoline is required.

Mileage: Surprisingly good for a car with the A7’s performance characteristics. You get from 14 to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 23 to 33 miles per gallon on the highway depending on driving style, and road and other driving conditions.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel antilock brake protection; emergency braking assistance and electronic brake force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; post-collision safety system; side and head air bags.

Price: The 2012 A7 is scheduled to arrive in Audi’s U.S. showrooms in the early summer of 2012. Some dealers expect to receive shipments before then. Assuming that energy, environmental, and global financial concerns are pretty much what they are today, expect high consumer demand and dealer premiums. Base prices at this writing are scheduled to start at $59,250, with dealer invoice prices on base models beginning at $55,103. Options, such as the $6,330 Prestige package, easily can boost that price to almost $70,000.

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