2019 Audi A7 First Drive: Party In The Back

Shut lines are the enemy of stylists. No, we couldn’t get into our cars without these breaks in the sheet metal, nor open the hood, trunk, gas filler or any other moveable panel, but stylists despise these slashes in the flowing lines they sketch on paper and mold in clay, so clever ones, like Sebastiano Russo, do their best to hide these unwanted intrusions of reality on their visions of design.

“We designers cry if they want to destroy our lines with shut lines,” the 2019 Audi A7’s designer said. Hiding such intrusions was part of Audi’s goal to both separate the fastback sedan from its staider A6 counterpart and to extend the A7’s reputation for racy style, Russo explained.

Where the new A6 conveys stately elegance, the A7 is lower-slung with a sloping rear window and an enormous hatch, making it simultaneously sportier and more practical than the A6.

The A7 doesn’t just look lower, its roof is an inch and a half lower than that of the A6. It looks even lower still because of a design trick applied to the arching roofline – Audi designers stamped a crease into the edge of the roof that tricks the eye into seeing that slightly lower part as the corner of the roof, visually lowering the already low car. The A7’s tail, which sits about an inch and a half higher than the outgoing A7, includes an active spoiler that pops up for aerodynamic stabi...