Kempten im Allgäu, Germany - For Johann Abt, fast is spelled Ay You Dee Eye. Abt engineering, founded in 1896, has been modifying and tuning Audis and related Volkswagen Group machinery for the track, and latterly for the street, since 1991.

But racing comes first, so Abt’s focus is more on performance than stance or fancy aero kit - which in this case is a very good thing, because the new Audi A7 Sportback has all the stance it needs straight out of the box. Ingolstadt’s take on the big four-door fastback genre (I refuse to call them coupés) is one of the sleekest yet, borrowing its roofline and C pillar from the R8/TT parts bin to great effect.

All Abt has done to the outside of the car is to fit his own lightweight forged-alloy rims and low-profile rubber. Abt offers a range of wheels for big Audis in two designs - FR and GR - and sizes ranging from 20 to 22 inches, up to 250mm wide

But under the bonnet is where the magic happens, with an Abt-developed engine control unit that boosts the output of the A7’s three-litre TFSI turbopetrol six from the standard 250kW and 500Nm to 313kW and 550Nm - an improvement of 25 percent in power and 10 percent in torque.

And it does that by using a three-dimensional mapping rather than a simple characteristic curve, for a wider spread of power under a wider range of conditions, without disturbing Audi’s original engine protection measures. Not only does it retain the original factory warranty, but Abt is also able to offer an extended warranty for up to 36 months.

IOL Motoring