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At last week’s tony Design Miami reveal of the 2011 A8 luxury cruiser, we were able to corner Johan de Nysschen, Audi’s executive vice president in North America, and ask him for some tasty tibits on the brand’s upcoming products, including the A8’s sexier derivative, the A7.

In addition to giving us the first official confirmation of the A7’s existence, de Nysschen revealed that the four-door coupe model will slot in “a little bit below” the new A8 in terms of pricing, just as we expected. Of course, it’s worth noting that the 2011 A8 faces a price bump due to substantial increases in content and technology, so when the A7 finally comes to the States, the average model is likely to sticker at around $82,000-$83,000, which de Nysschen says is about the price for a typically equipped 2010 A8 (pricing starts at $74,550 plus delivery).

Based on Audi’s new longitudinal modular platform technology, the A7 will be clearly related to the A8 (and the A6 replacement that will follow it), and de Nysschen says that the 2009 Detroit Auto Show Sportback concept car serves as a “very reliable indicator” of what the production model will look like. Judging by recent spy shots from our friends at KGP, that very much appears to be the case. While parts commonality will be “substantial,” de Nysschen says that the A7 will not use the full aluminum spaceframe design of the A8, although it will have aluminum elements.

As expected, the A8 will launch Stateside in both standard and long-wheelbase formats, with the latter predicted to make up the lion’s share of the volume (the A8L presently accounts for about 80 percent of the model’s sales).

More of the original story from autoblog



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