This is the new A7 Sportback, Audi’s newest car and – amazingly – the 35th model in the make’s ever-growing UK product offering. It’s an upmarket hatchback that’ll cost from close on £43,000 when the first arrive here early next year.

Although in size it’s pretty much a match for Audi’s existing A6 saloon – and about as big as a 5-series saloon or a Mercedes-Benz E-class – it’s intended to carve out space in the market of its own, says Audi. And it’s worth pointing out that not since the Saab 9000 (which ended production in 1997) have UK buyers had a big executive-class hatchback they could buy new: all have been saloons.

The car uses a new chassis rather than borrowing from an existing model and will, Audi claims, promise ‘impeccable comfort and control’. The cabin is strictly a four-seater and boot space is as generous as you’d expect in such a big car. Bumper to bumper, it’s close to 5 metres long. The tailgate will be electrically operated and will have an adjustable opening height.

At launch there’ll be four engines to pick from. The 200bhp 2.8 FSI petrol kicks off the range and is joined by a supercharged 3.0 TFSI that develops 296bhp. There will also be two versions of Audi’s 3.0-litre diesel producing 200bhp and 241bhp. Front-wheel drive models will have CVT automatic transmission as standard, while Quattro all-wheel-drive versions will have seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. All will feature fuel-saving Start-Stop technology, which halts the engine if you are waiting in traffic. The 200bhp diesel will be the most economical of the range, returning up to 53.3mpg and emitting 139g/km of CO2.

Audi’s select drive adaptive dynamic system will feature as standard on all A7s. This allows the driver to tune the steering, throttle response and gearshift points.

Two trim levels – SE and S-line will be available here. Standard equipment on all will include leather seats, satellite navigation, cruise and parking controls, xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps.