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The 2019 Audi A7 shares the aforementioned basic and agent as affinity Audi A6, but gets its own sheetmetal and a amount tag some $8 admirable north.(Photo: Henry Payne, The Detroit News)Buy Photo

How do you accommodate the Mona Lisa?

Michelangelo didn’t accept to, of course. His masterpiece has stood the analysis of time as one of the world’s abundant works of art. But achievement automakers accept to re-create their signature works every decade or so. A new bearing of buyers demands it.

The iconic 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO was followed 20 years after by the 288 GTO. Ford’s characteristic Mustang is now in its sixth generation. The Porsche 911 its ninth. Audi’s A7 sportback auto became an burning archetypal aback it debuted in 2010. Now comes A7 2.0, and enthusiasts accept had our faces apprenticed adjoin the exhibit bottle to see how the adorableness looks.

“It’s a abundant account to architecture the abutting A7,” said exoteric artist Sebastiano Russo, who acknowledges the abundant accountability on his amateur alike as his cherubic, 36-year-old face betrays no adumbration of strain. “Honestly, it was a lot of fun.”

Russo (ah, those Italian designers accept it in the blood) and his aggregation accept abundantly succeeded, evolving the beauteous swan on auto with an alike racier tail, sculpted face and distinctive, accumbent rear-light signature. The symphony of band is bedridden alone by a choppier accept band that replaces the previous taut, stem-to-stern backbone that danced in footfall with the arcing roof band like Astaire shadowing Rogers.

It is adamantine to belittle the appulse the Audi A7 has had on auto architecture in its abrupt history.

In the aftermost two years I accept activated three above new releases aggressive by Audi’s gem. The elegant five-door Kia Stinger sportback is aboveboard billed as the account A7. The Buick Regal was inspired not aloof by the Audi’s architecture language, but additionally its auto utility. And the Chevy Malibu brings A7’s coupe-like appearance to the boilerplate auto articulation (even if it could accept benefited from an Audi-like anaplasty as well).

A7 has alike aggressive a inferior ancestors affiliate — a derivative, handsome A5. But the new Audi is added than a hot bod. This German aerodrome archetypal is adult and smart.

Sharing the aforementioned belvedere and technology as its A6 auto affinity (but with area metal all its own), the A7 brings to bazaar a host of Audi innovations that will redefine Audi for a new bearing of buyers.

Most abrupt is an all-new MMI. That’s Man Machine Interface for you auto geeks, infotainment arrangement to anybody else. Having able the operation of a alien book awning by animate rotary dial, Audi tore out its old arrangement for twin, knob-less haptic-touch screens.

I can already apprehend my Audi pals screaming, active in their hands.

Noooo! I admired my rotary dial!Didn’t Audi apprentice from Cadillac that haptic blow is a curse?Argh!

But there is adjustment to Audi’s madness. As bodies become more absorbed to their smartphones (I aloof had abundance surgically built-in into my hand), Audi wants to accomplish its interface a touchscreen as well.

While the rotary affectionate will beef that Audi’s acceptable band-aid was both safe — the alien awning was aerial on the birr in driver’s acreage of vision) — and calmly attainable (the rotary aural accessible ability for all), Audi has two words for you: bang and voice.

The touchscreen not alone uses haptic acknowledgment to simulate a button aback you blow a awning figure — it additionally emits a discernable “click” to affirm your selection. It makes for accessible aeronautics of the screen, and I could move icons around, smartphone-like, depending on area I adopted them. Sure, the touchscreen is harder to accomplish aback the car is in motion — the big advantage of rotary punch — but Audi’s band-aid is to accomplish articulation commands as absolute as your smartphone.

For example, “Navigate to Starbucks” is met by a account of adjacent coffee shops. Like Google Maps. Or a Tesla blow awning which is currently the automotive standard. Ditto added articulation commands for altitude and seats (which are controlled by the lower blow screen).

This upgraded tech is complemented by Audi’s beauteous Virtual Cockpit, which now displays alike crisper 3D Google Earth images for navigation. All this tech is again captivated in a air-conditioned new autogenous design.

Where Sebastiano’s exoteric amend is evolutionary, the autogenous architecture is as abolitionist abandonment from the aftermost gen as the blow screens. Think 1960’s Swedish appliance architecture with its bold, blocky graphics. The animate blow awning is housed central a dramatic, chrome-bezeled, guitar-shaped graphic. And aback abounding industry models were baselining to Audi’s antecedent architecture belief (see Hyundai, Mazda) the new attending is refreshing.

Of course, motorheads like me can alone sit idly by admiring architecture for so long. Eventually, our appropriate bottom needs exercise. The Audi does not disappoint.

Beneath Mona Lisa’s face is the able-bodied beef of Lindsey Vonn. The toned, all-wheel-drive all-the-time anatomy is impressively automatic accustomed the big sedan’s 2-ton-plus girth. Over the arid hills of Napa Valley, California, the A7 admired to play. Firm wheel, all-wheel-steering, Dynamic approach for quicker-shifting, dual-clutch, 7-speed tranny.

California is as blubbery with cops as it is with blaze smoke these days, so go bound at your peril. Slow it bottomward with Audi’s chic Adaptive Cruise Control.

Those accompanying adenoids in the advanced grille are alarm and laser accessories that adviser short-and-long ambit objects, while the computer additionally uses GPS to self-brake for corners. Hustling forth Napa’s aback anchorage at 60 mph, the A7 automatically backed bottomward to 48 mph for a 45-degree about-face – accelerating aback to acceleration out of the apex. Smart.

Running all this cyberbanking diabolism is a articulation first: a 48-volt lithium ion array tucked beneath that admirable tail. Area accomplished “hybrids” accept acclimated their added batteries (the Audi’s 12-volter still starts the car) for ammunition ability (Prius) or ability (Acura NSX), the A7’s backpack is abundantly committed to electronics and cutting out the engine’s stops-start function at stop lights.

Speaking of lights, the A7 is a aftereffect of addition sort. It introduces a new ablaze signature to the cast that pioneered LED active lights in 2004. For its abutting act A7 uses multiple, cocked LEDs to actualize a agenda signature. Unlock the car and the Rockettes band of LEDs creates an activated ablaze signature.

Think of it as Mona Lisa 2.0 giving you a wink.

Henry Payne is auto analyzer for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected] or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.

2019 Audi A7

Vehicle type: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan

Price: $68,995 base including $995 destination fee ($85,240 as tested) 

Powerplant: 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6

Power: 335 horsepower, 369 pound-feet torque 

Transmission: 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic 

Performance: 0-60 mph, 5.2 seconds (mfr)

Weight: 4,332 pounds

Fuel economy: EPA ammunition economy: 22 city/29 highway/25 combined 

Report card

Highs: Hot bod; acute tech

Lows: Audi affectionate may absence the rotary controller; acceptable looks comes at a price

Overall: 4 stars

 

Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/henry-payne/2018/11/28/review-payne-sequel-audi-7-masterpiece/2082866002/

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