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by Tim Beissmann

Images of the all-new 2011 Audi A7 Sportback have leaked across the internet in the final hours before the vehicle’s official unveiling in Munich later today.

The leaked images reveal a production version of the A7 that has remained true to the styling of the Sportback concept unveiled 18 months ago at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The interior is especially faithful to the concept while the rear has maintained its flat, angular design.

In terms of drivetrains and specifications, all will be made clear later today, but a few details of the A7 have trickled out along the way.

It is believed the five-door coupe will be a four-seater only with a useful rear hatch. Both petrol and diesel V6 engines will be available from launch, with a new 3.0-litre TSI expected to produce around 216kW.

Transmissions will include six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic options, while a seven-speed automatic is also reported to be in the mix.

S7 and RS7 variants are tipped to join the line-up, with a hybrid version also rumoured to be in the pipeline for 2012 or 2013. Expected to follow the lead of the next-generation S6, it is believed the high-performance variants of the A7 will be powered by no more than eight cylinders.

Like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the A7 is also expected to benefit from an air suspension system rather than the standard spring set-up.

Production is set to begin later this year in Neckarsulm, Germany, with the first vehicles to be delivered before the start of 2011. Although pricing is yet to be revealed, Audi anticipates annual sales of 40,000 units.

Stay tuned as CarAdvice brings you all the news from the official unveiling of the 2011 Audi A7 Sportback in the coming hours.




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