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First Drive: Audi A7 55 TFSIe plug-in hybrid

By / 2 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

Audi’s big coupé goes plug-in hybrid, and it could be the pick of the A7 range, Martyn Collins reckons.

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SECTOR: Premium Coupé PRICE: N/A FUEL: N/A CO2: N/A

The first model in Audi’s hybrid arsenal was the recently launched 55 TFSIe version of its mid-size SUV – the Q5. Next is the svelte A7 hatchback that we have here, with the order books opening this month and the first car hitting UK soil in January 2020.

Largely following the same formula as the Q5, the A7 55 TFSIe is powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, mated with a 14.1kWh battery pack. The result is an impressive 362hp, with 0-62 acceleration in just 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Yet, despite all this performance, the TFSIe can do 25 miles on battery power alone.

Too powerful for you? Not a problem, as a lesser 50 TFSIe will follow – just like the Q5.

Outside, the hybrid A7 looks exactly the same as the standard car, the only giveaway being the TFSIe badging. Inside, it’s equally hard to tell the difference between this and the standard A7. Look closer, and the TFT instruments now display electrical consumption and the range.

You know you’re in a plug-in hybrid Audi when you set off. Instead of the muted 2.0-litre petrol tones, this A7 starts almost silently. Progress from the electric motor is so energetic, this Audi confuses you into you thinking you’re still petrol-powered.

At higher motorway speeds this A7 then slickly and smoothly switches to petrol power, with the battery providing extra poke when needed via Audi’s electric drive meter. Vibrations from the throttle pedal tell you when to ease off.

Exact MPG and CO2 figures are yet to be finalised for the UK, but on first impression, like the Q5 before it, this Audi has a fine plug-in hybrid drivetrain that’s sure to equal everyday savings for business buyers.

FW RATING: 4 out of 5

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Martyn Collins

Martyn has 18 years experience as a motoring journalist, working across a wide selection of B2B and consumer titles. A car enthusiast since his early years, Martyn has a particular interest in the latest models and technology and in his spare time enjoys driving his own Minis.