This show car will morph into the production A7.
Audi has decided hatchbacks are cool again, and after some educated speculation over the last few months, here we finally get an official look at what the design gurus in Ingolstadt have up their sleeves. The Sportback concept—unveiled at the 2009 Detroit auto show—is a mildly altered version of what will become the production A7, which will most likely debut at the Frankfurt auto show this fall.
You wouldn't think that there is room in Audi's lineup between the A6 and the next-generation A8, but this concept is already so clearly distinguished from those more conventional notchback sedans that it could define its own category. With a length of over 16 feet, the Sportback concept is almost in full-tilt flagship territory—an A8L is 17 feet long—while its four-and-a-half-foot height is decidedly coupe-like. Think Mercedes CLS on luxury 'roids.
History in Its Genes, Beauty in Its Lines
Audi designers insist the Sportback concept's roofline and rear end are inspired by the mildly legendary, early-1970s Audi 100 Coupe. But the concept also invokes the first Audi 100 Avant, launched in late 1977. Back then, the Avant moniker stood for a true hatchback, before the Avant models gradually morphed into station wagons.
Keep Reading: Audi A7 Sportback Concept - Auto Shows