By: IOL Motoring Staff

Ingolstadt, Germany - It's not that Audi's so-called 'five-door coupe' really needed much time in the beauty parlour. Thing is, the A7 has been around for four years now and few carmakers can resist the nip and tuck itch for much longer than that.

While the sloping fastback side profile remains unaltered and rear end changes are on the subtle side, Audi's stylists did redesign the headlights, grille and front bumper. LED lights are now standard and those seeking the snazziest form of illumination can opt for Audi's new Matrix LED headlights, which allow permanent high-beam lighting on rural roads.

S7 GETS A BOOST

That's enough cosmetics for now, the A7 range has also come in for some engine tinkering and the most promising upgrade occurs beneath the S7's bonnet, where its four-litre turbopetrol V8 has been boosted from 309kW to 331kW. No word yet on the RS 7, which produces 412kW in its current guise.

On the diesel front, Audi has upgraded its 3-litre TDI 'clean' diesel, which remains available with three output levels: 160kW, 200kW and, in twin-turbo form, 235kW (up from 150, 180 and 230kW respectively).

We're also pleased to announce that the Multitronic gearbox disappears from front-wheel drive versions. Thus, now all models (FWD and AWD Quattro) are fitted with a seven speed dual-clutch S Tronic, except for the twin-turbo diesel that instead sports an eight-speed Tiptronic autobox.

On the suspension front, the A7 range offers a choice between two steel sports suspension designs and an adaptive air suspension system - a firmer version of the latter is standard on the S7.

ALL ABOUT COLOUR

Audi has left the basic design of the cabin untouched, but there is added bling in the form of a new selection of seat colours, with five options offered. New interior materials also add some spice to the mix, including Audi's layered aluminium/Beaufort walnut inlay.

Various infotainment systems can be ordered, the top dog being MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, which also offers touchpad control.

Expect to see Audi's imposing Sportback in South African dealers in early 2015.