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2012 Audi A7 has power, tech and a style that draws double takes

Whether you adore or abhor the A7 for its curved silhouette, low-slung stance and abrupt rear end, you can't help but look at this hatchback.

May 25, 2011|By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times

Now, if only the A7 had been able to steer itself, I could have spent my week in the back seat playing Portal 2 and live-streaming Netflix to my laptop. Finally, my tester had the $5,900 Bang & Olufsen stereo system. That alone is nearly 10% of the A7's base price of $60,125. Yes, the sound coming from the 15 speakers was so clear and crisp you could hear the artist blink. But that's still a sizable expense; imagine a $1,600 stereo option on a Ford Fiesta.

Plenty of ink has been used extolling the virtues of Audi's interiors. This one is no different, so I'll spare you the adulation. I will point out that the company seems unnecessarily beholden to marketing this car as a four-door coupe. So much so that it has eliminated the middle seat in the rear and in its place installed a simple plastic bin.

Audi's line is that anyone needing to transport five people won't buy the A7. Maybe. But you have to think at least one potential customer is going to look at the rear seat and find this disdain for practicality a deal-breaker. Especially when Audi markets the hatchback design in terms of its usefulness.

After a week of driving this car, I didn't feel differently about the styling — the profile of the A7 still seems unbalanced and slightly awkward. But drivers and passengers can't help but appreciate the classy and ever-so-rebellious way the Audi A7 eschews the traditional high-end sedan.

A week of double-takes will do that to you.

david.undercoffler@latimes.com

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