Audi A7 hybrid engines, drive & performance
Audi’s A7 hybrid offers plenty of pace, even if it isn’t a match for the diesel and petrol-powered A7s when it comes to driver engagement
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Let’s get one thing straight: the Audi A7 TFSI e is no slouch. Prod the accelerator and the rate at which it gathers speed (regardless of engine choice) is impressive. On the subject of engines, the less powerful 50 TFSI e four-cylinder petrol is claimed to produce 295bhp and the more potent 55 TFSI e makes 362bhp.
Despite these outputs, the plug-in A7 models don’t feel quite as effortlessly fast as the 3.0-litre diesel-engined A7s. This is mostly due to the hybrids using a smaller four-cylinder petrol engine, which sounds strained rather than characterful when pushed hard. In addition, the dual-clutch automatic gearbox can be a little jerky, which can make driving less relaxing.
Audi A7 hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
Starting with the more powerful 55 TFSI e version, its healthy power output gives it a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds (which is quick, but not as quick as a plug-in Volvo S90's 4.8 seconds) and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The 50 TFSI e model has a claimed 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed also limited to 155mph.
While the A7’s steering is nicely weighted, it isn't really communicative enough to satisfy a keen driver. In deference to the car’s sporty character, ride quality isn't pillow-soft and the larger the alloy-wheel size you pick, the worse it’ll be.
In truth, the A7 TFSI e shines most when running solely on battery power. Those with a commute up to around 20 miles can enjoy the entire journey in electric mode (including faster stretches on dual-carriageways or motorways).
In doing so, they can make the most of Audi’s clever hybrid technology – including using navigation data to help maximise range. Then again, if you can regularly charge you car, there could be a case for going fully electric with something like an Audi e-tron GT or Tesla Model S.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Audi A7 TFSI e is good-looking, technologically advanced and efficient plug-in hybrid executive car, but it fails to impress enough to warrant its high price tag
- 2MPG, CO2 & chargingOfficial figures promise low emissions and high fuel economy – but the A7 TFSI e’s battery must be used regularly to get close to claimed numbers
- 3Running costsLow running costs are a feature of the Audi A7 TFSI e, even if high insurance groups ruin the party somewhat
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingAudi’s A7 hybrid offers plenty of pace, even if it isn’t a match for the diesel and petrol-powered A7s when it comes to driver engagement
- 5Interior & comfortThe A7 TFSI e delivers in all areas an upmarket Audi is expected to, while adding a dash of sportiness to the equation
- 6Practicality & boot spaceSUVs and estate cars may be inherently more practical than sleek four-door coupes, but the A7 TFSI e isn’t as far behind as you might think
- 7Reliability & safetyThe A7 TFSI e has a strong safety rating, but Audi’s customer-satisfaction scores are disappointing for what’s perceived as a premium brand