As it works towards electrifying one-third of its US portfolio by 2025, Audi introduces the A7 Hybrid Sportback for 2021, alongside the Q5 SUV and the flagship A8 sedan. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine augmented with a 14.1-kWh battery and an electric motor for a combined output of 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox directs outputs to the German automaker's quattro all-wheel-drive system. While the 2021 A7 plug-in is an eco-conscious vehicle, returning impressive gas mileage figures of 68 MPGe on electricity and 29 mpg in mixed driving scenarios, in reality, the electrification of the Sportback enhances performance as much as it lowers emissions and improves fuel economy. Put the pedal to the metal, and the A7 runs from 0 to 60 mph in a zippy 5.7 seconds. That positions the A7 right alongside its competitors in the form of the BMW 5 Series Hybrid and Volvo S90 Hybrid.
The Audi A7 Hybrid is new for 2021, debuting alongside an updated version of its gasoline counterpart for the 2021 model year. Not much differs between the two other than for the powertrain which, in the A7 Hybrid, is electrified with the assistance of a 14.1 kWh battery pack and an electric motor to give it impressive gas mileage and an all-electric range of 24 miles. Over the regular variant, the PHEV does deliver better acceleration and fuel economy, too, but is a little more expensive because of its complexity. Both feature similar specifications and features, but the 55 TFSI e powertrain that denotes the plug-in hybrid, is only available on the Premium Plus and Prestige trims.
With plenty of power at the helm and balanced handling matched by lightness at the pumps and heavenly comfort, the Audi A7 Hybrid is an exceptional addition to the hybrid executive segment. It's one of the best, particularly for those who prefer the coupe-like styling over the traditional sedan bodies of the 5 Series and S90, but it'll cost buyers a whole lot to get into their garages, and that does play against the marque. The competition offers almost identical packages at lower fees by comparison, many of which have also received safety reviews from the NHTSA and IIHS, making them safer bets for those who shop on paper.
But no rivals deliver the same blend of style, luxury, and frugality, and Audi's recent offerings have also proven the brand's penchant for reliability - a key deciding factor for many early adopters of hybrid tech. The A7 Hybrid pulls its weight in a segment rife with competition and deserves a look from the well-heeled shoppers among us.
We couldn't possibly review the Audi A7 Hybrid without complaining about how much it costs. That's because the price of the Audi A7 Hybrid starts at $74,900 in the USA, while the MSRP of rivals is far lower. The BMW 5 Series Hybrid, for example, starts at $57,200. Opting for the higher-spec Prestige trim from Audi increases the cost to $80,250, before a destination and handling fee of $1,045. Sure, the Audi is more stylish than rivals and is based on the concept of a four-door coupe rather than a traditional sedan and has impressive specs, but even the more powerful Volvo S90 Hybrid only asks a little more than $60,000.
While it may still be announced, at the time of writing, the A7 Hybrid is not eligible for federal tax rebates.