Replacing its style leader was always going to be difficult, especially when its design department feels like it’s lacking the confidence it had when the first A7 Sportback was developed. Audi has done brilliantly with the cabin, the dash, the digitalisation and the drive, but its exterior design is good, which is a step down from its near-perfectly nuanced predecessor. There’s a point along the A7’s body when the design-is-in-charge jig is up. That point is at the intersection of the rear door’s shutline and rear door’s window line. The two should create a seamless, straight line. Except they don’t. There’s about a 3cm dogleg between them. The Audi design team explains it was forced on them by the location of the rear seat-belt anchor points and that it had to leave space so the frameless rear windows could wind down into the doors. Whatever the reason, it’s the sort of thing that didn’t happen on the last A7. That was a car that stood proud of the rest of the range, incorporating ...

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