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Audi A7 55 TFSI e quattro plug-in hybrid slots-in to top A7 Sportback range

New A7 55 TFSI e quattro mates four-cylinder turbo with electric motor for 362bhp and 0-62mph in 5.7s

New for the Audi A7 Sportback range is the 55 TFSI e quattro, the first plug-in hybrid model offered in Audi’s new four-door coupe line-up. It will no doubt be very popular with company car drivers, offering decent performance and on-paper economy along with low company car tax rates thanks to its 44-48g/km CO2 output.

At its heart is the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, which delivers 249bhp and 273lb ft of torque in this application and is backed up by an 105kW electric motor that also delivers 258lb ft maximum torque. However, the combined system output is pegged at 362bhp and 369lb ft, still good enough for a 5.7sec 0-62mph time and a top speed limited to 155mph. The A7 PHEV’s trump card though is its low CO2 output and claimed economy of between 134.5 and 148.7mpg, although as with the vast majority of PHEVs, these figures will be hard to achieve in real world conditions.

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The electrical system gives the A7 an emissions-free range on the WLTP cycle of up to 25 miles (40km) and it’s capable of speeds of up to 84mph (135km/h) in electric-only mode. As with most PHEVs, the TFSI 55 e quattro has several driving modes, with the default one being EV mode where it will drive as an EV until either the battery is depleted or the driver engages the ICE by pressing past a certain point on the accelerator’s travel. There’s also a Battery Hold mode and a Hybrid mode, the latter working in conjunction with the car’s sat-nav system to decide the best time to deploy its electrical energy in the most efficient manner.

The A7’s batteries are stored below the luggage compartment floor and their integration ensures the boot floor is flat with no annoying lip to stunt the car’s practicality. Audi hasn’t said how much of the luggage compartment has been eaten up by the batteries when the seats are raised, but its total luggage capacity is rated at 1235-litres as compared to 1390 for a standard A7. This suggests that with the seats up luggage capacity has been reduced from 535-litres to 380-litres. A variety of charging options will be available but Audi says that on a domestic three-pin plug the batteries will take seven hours to fully recharge, and two and a half hours on a 400v/16amp set up.

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With quattro all-wheel drive fitted as standard Audi says its A7 PHEV is the only offering from a premium manufacturer with the combination of all-wheel drive and plug-in hybrid tech. There’s no word from Audi on how much additional weight the PHEV system adds to the A7, but it still talks of the 55 TFSI e quattro as providing dynamic performance. As such it’s equipped the PHEV with S Line styling and a black styling package to enhance that sporting look.

The A7 TFSI 55 e quattro is due to go on sale in Germany later this year where it will cost from €77,850, just over €16,000 more expensive than the 45 TFSI quattro, and almost as expensive as the €82,750 S7 range-topper. UK pricing has yet to be announced.

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