While the four-door-fastback styling of the 2012 Audi A7 has already been the subject of heated debate among enthusiasts, we can't help but see it as stunning and beautiful, just different enough to bring a hint of quirkiness. It's the quirkiness that some might focus in on; from some angles, the tail can look a bulbous in back, but otherwise the design feels cohesive yet refreshingly different—mating the more aggressive front-end design that started with the R8 with the sculpted side sheetmetal of the new A4 and A8, and the unique tail of a fastback coupe, yet somehow avoiding the more humpback look of the Porsche Panamera.
Inside, the A7 isn't as radical or refreshing as the exterior, but it has everything we've come to love about Audi design—including well-coordinated materials and trims. The design has borrowed some of the better points from the recently redesigned A8 flagship sedan, with a smoothly styled, straight-across instrument panel that sits rather low and helps maximize interior space. The MMI touch controller, pop-up nav screen, and rather thick, low center console are all much like in the A8, but the interface has been simplified and cleaned up a bit. Altogether, matte-metallics, two-tone soft-touch finishes, and woodgrains all meet along curves, and flowing door and dash surfaces make this car feel even more expensive than it is.