(Mirror) Eighty years ago, the kind that inhabited Hollywood’s golden era, when men wore fedoras, and women wore dresses, rather than vice versa, the streamliner shape dominated automotive design. It’s a shape that automotive designers have rediscovered, and few if any automakers are doing it as well as Audi does with its 2019 A7, a five-door hatchback that oozes an agelessly graceful panache.
Its striking shape is long and low, with a flowing supple shape and minimal body seems that quietly, confidently proclaims its station with monied buyers. And check out the rear view – what gay man wouldn’t? Few cars possess one as alluring as the 2019 Audi A7.
That refined presence is reinforced once you climb inside, as the A7 possesses one of the industry’s most cutting-edge cabins, anchored by two touchscreens. The top one handles infotainment and navigation, while the lower one controls the climate, comfort and convenience functions. If you’re a neat freak, you’ll love the lack of buttons or knobs. Instead, the screens control everything through haptic feedback. After an on-screen button is pressed, a small vibration signals that the particular function is triggered.
Then there’s Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, an optional 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster that can be customized to a number of different views including a 3-D navigation screen with a Google Earth overlay. At 1920 x 720 pixels, resolution is superb. The accompanying soundtrack is provided by a standard Bang & Olufsen 705 watt, 16-speaker, 15-channel sound system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard; inductive phone charging and a full-color head-up display are optional.
It’s all housed in a sleek, opulent cabin with a standard panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces with contrast stitching with heated front seats, optional heated rear seats, and natural wood inlays.
When it’s time to move, the A7’s 335 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive system make the perfect accomplices. Credit its 48-volt hybrid system that helps minimizes turbo lag off the line, and produces 0-60 mph times of 5.2 seconds and an effortless supply of power.
The car’s four driving modes – auto, comfort, dynamic, and individual – allows drivers to tailor the car’s responsiveness, while an optional sport suspension lowers the ride height by 20 mm – that’s about three-quarters of an inch for those averse to metric measurements.
All of this produces a supple, relaxed character often lacking in German cars, absorbing the rough stuff without excess body motions. Yet it’s also athletic and responsive as only a true grand touring machine can be.
Spectacularly stunning, the Audi A7 is a classic yet modern – able to cut and thrust with the best along I-95, yet supremely comfortable and accommodating. It’s a superb luxury hatchback, a segment Audi pioneered when the A7 debuted in 2012 with a shape that harkens back eight decades.
The 2019 Audi A7 is truly a cutting edge classicist, a finer piece of industrial art that will enhance your commute and your garage.
Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based in South Florida. He can be reached at .