At its most reductive, the Audi A7 is an oddball. It has more in common with some of the more, er, unusual European hatchbacks of the past few decades. Think Citroen.
But in its purest form, the A7 is Audi's purest design statement, the culmination of a culture of curves. The A7 has its rivals—the very handsome Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, and the very controversial Porsche Panamera—but none can claim its surfacing or its fine detailing. It's a beautiful, stunning piece with just a hint of quirky sensibility. If there's a flaw to be found, the A7 can look a little thick at the tail. Which modern car could be described differently?
Raising the ante to S7 and RS7 trim brings a discreet application of logos, wheels, and an automatic rear spoiler. There's a fantastic matte grey available on the RS 7, and painted brake calipers are on the order sheet too, to compliment its black honeycomb grille.
The A7 doesn't make waves inside the way it does on the outside, but it does show the best of Audi interior design, which includes some of the best-coordinated materials and trims on the luxury-car market. With a look that's essentially borrowed from the A8 flagship sedan—though slimmed down a bit and sitting low to fit the A7's more rakish look and feel. The smoothly styled, straight-across instrument panel helps maximize interior space, while matte-metallic finishes and two-tone soft-touch surfaces, along with some woodgrains and flowing door and dash contours, altogether make this interior feel special.
A centerpiece of the instrument panel is the MMI touch controller, pop-up nav screen, and rather thick, low center console; they're much the same as in the bigger A8, but the interface itself is even more cleaned-up and simplified.