Theoretically, it was even possible to go below the figures announced by the manufacturer. The observation is the same for each plug-in hybrid, the appetite depends on the use. But in the case of the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e, we remember something other than its efficiency at the pump. More powerful than an S7, the most virtuous of the A7s is perhaps the sportiest of the range.
Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e Quattro: the extended name, obscure to those unfamiliar with Audi nomenclature, relates to the engine plug-in hybrid from the A7 (also available on the A6). Inescapable passage, European regulatory imperatives oblige, also applied to SUVs Q5 and Q7, and even to the large A8 (with a V6 for these last two).
With this mechanism, the A7 PHEV paradoxically becomes one of the most muscular in the range. Except for the insane RS7 and its 600 hp V8, of course. But since the S7 sips Diesel, and its V6 TDI is "limited" to 349 hp, there is a gulf between the two engines supposed to be the most characteristically. As a result, the A7 hybrid is the most powerful of the classic range with 367 hp.
Since the thermal part is fueled with gasoline, one could even predict a nobility of operation a little more rewarding than the oiled S7. Not sure, in fact: the V6 of the latter delivers a remarkable pleasure (we discovered it on the recently restyled S5), and the mechanics of the A7 hybrid are satisfied with a modest 4 cylinders. In this case, the well-known 2-liter TFSI, 252 hp. Rather discreet and hushed, but hardly inspiring.
The reinforcement of the 143 hp electric motor (do not try to add the powers of the two engines, these are not delivered simultaneously) benefits the lap times. 500 Nm of maximum torque, from 1,250 rpm, certainly remains inferior to the Herculean S7 and its 700 Nm. But the revivals are there, the accelerations too: forgetting the 2.140 kg of the car (a 14.1 kWh battery and its cooling devices are necessarily cruel on the scale), 0 to 100 km / h requires 5.7 s. That is ½ second more than the S7.
The figures for the A7 hybrid are now close to the S7: 367 hp, and 5.7 s from 0 to 100 km / h. It's paradoxical, but the most virtuous of the A7s is also the most powerful of the range.
Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.
It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Audi A7, the alternative to the Argus rating.
Honorable, but beyond the performance, we retain the royal silence and the hushed feeling. The mechanics work smoothly. As long as you don't rush her … Foot to the ground, the rather banal sound of the 4 cylinders in full load becomes a little too present and denotes with the spirit of great sedan GT that is the A7. A sustained pace results in thermal / electric passages lacking in finesse, and increased consumption. Not really the original idea, then.
Better to keep a flow rate to appreciate at best one of the car's biggest strengths: its general comfort, and the refined, precise and very techno environment of the cockpit. The cabin of the TFSI e is identical to any A7, with the exception of some hybrid-specific displays. And unfortunately: the transplant of the battery results in a significant drop in volume, dropping from 535 to 380 l under the shelf.
The environment is identical to that of a conventional A7 or an A6. Neat and digital at all costs … Shortcuts allow access to the functions specific to the hybrid, to force the operation in electric for example.
Before taking advantage of the generosity of this cavalry, served by a chassis remarkably held in spite of the overweight (the piloted suspension manages to control the body movements while preserving a high level of comfort), the first turns of the wheels were wiser. Full battery, Audi announces an electric range of 45 km in the combined cycle, even 50 km in the city, urban routes being by definition more favorable to regeneration under braking … and less subject to aerodynamic losses. And rare thing, with a luxury of precaution certainly, we were able to exceed these numbers! In the end, we traveled 52 km before entering the reservoir (55 l, or 18 l less than a conventional thermal A7), on a route mainly made up of town and peri-urban expressways.
Then back to reality. As always, it should be remembered that a PHEV type hybrid only makes sense if charging is used as often as possible. Otherwise, simply supplying it with Lead Free amounts to moving a dead weight of some 300 kg extra. Thus, achieving the average of 2.1 l / 100 km promised by the technical sheet is perfectly possible, as long as most of the daily trips are carried out on the battery alone. This constraint requires having permanent access to a charging point, at one of the two ends of the usual route.
We found a little over 7 l / 100 km on average, empty batteries. Even without a load, the system is efficient.
We have deliberately wanted to stick to charging possibilities offered on public roads in Ile-de-France. Or rather, to impossibilities. Not to mention the old Autolib stations requiring an obsolete Type 3 plug and a specific subscription, the variety of operators, packages and invoices makes each search for a terminal an obstacle course … unsuccessful. Far from calling into question the merits of the plug-in hybrid (one of the most rational and viable solutions), our observation mainly points to the failures of the charging network and the inability of the public authorities and operators to standardize it. -this. When is a simple bank card terminal? Otherwise, we confirm: we could have virtually consumed 0.0 l / 100 km with a sedan weighing more than 2 tonnes and almost 5 meters long.
Out of spite, we therefore used our hybrid A7 as it should not be, that is to say as a simple gasoline A7. To ultimately achieve a average of 7 l / 100 km … Nice score, largely due to the efficiency of energy recovery in deceleration.
Too bad the 4-cylinder TFSI lacks nobility for a car of the stature of the A7. Its banal sound swears in this large sedan with GT airs.
Finances: the pros above all
For individuals, tax incentives hardly weigh in the balance at this level of tariff. Minimum 87,350 euros for an A7 55 TFSI e in the only Competition finish to date in the catalog … However, the additional cost is not so delusional compared to equivalent thermal engines. An A7 55 TFSI (340 hp) S Line asks for 83,010 euros, and an S7 requires 94,590 euros! The hybrid is therefore not so badly placed in the range. Professionals and fleet managers will appreciate the exemption from TVS.
On the rival side, plug-in hybrids are rare. Mercedes CLS and BMW 8 Series do not offer this type of engine. Much more expensive and efficient, a 462 hp Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid asks for 115,000 euros.
The trunk is seriously amputated by the 14.1 kWh battery. Only 380 l … Fortunately, the tailgate makes access easier.
Technical characteristics Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e Quattro (2020)
|Model tested: Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e Quattro Competition|
|Dimensions L x W x H||4.969 / 1.908 / 1.422 m|
|Min / max trunk volume||380 l / 1,235 l|
|Unloaded weight||2.140 kg|
|Engine||4-cylinder turbo, petrol, 1.984 cm3 + electric motor|
|Power||367 hp combined (252 hp thermal + 143 hp electric)|
|Couple||500 Nm at 1,250 rpm|
|0 to 100 km / h||5.7 s|
|Max speed||250 km / h|
|Autonomy / consumption announced||46 km electric / 2.2 l / 100 km (WLTP)|
|CO2 rate||49 g / km|
|Bonus / penalty 2020||0 €|
|Prices||from 87.350 €|