At last, after almost 10 years, the second-generation Audi Q7 has arrived.
Audi’s flagship SUV, the Q7, has enjoyed enduring popularity with drivers wanting a luxury high-rider, but its long model life must have tested the loyalty of those needing to update.
For now, a single model with a 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel engine replaces the previous three-model range, but further variants are expected next year.
While the list price of $103,900 is around $12,000 more than the previous 3.0 diesel, the new car offers many enhancements.
The upgraded engine, mated to an eight-speed auto, delivers 200 kilowatts of power and a very substantial 600 Newtonmetres of torque. The body is slightly shorter and narrower but more importantly, 240 kg lighter.
The result of this is average fuel consumption down to 5.9 litres per 100 kms – very good for a seven-seat luxury wagon weighing more than two tonnes – and a claimed top speed of 234 kmh.
Aside from more efficient performance and a high level of luxury, the Q7 offers a wide variety of advanced technology systems.
An optional assistance package includes Active Lane Assist, which gently steers itself to guide the car in its own lane above 60 kmh.
Adaptive Cruise Control with a “stop and go” function and pre-sense front, as well as Traffic Jam assist, ease the driver’s task in freeway driving or in traffic, by autonomously accelerating, braking and steering the car under certain conditions.
Collision Avoidance Assist supports the driver if an obstacle has to be avoided. Using a 360 degree video camera and radar sensor data, it instantly calculates a suitable track, taking into account distance, width and offset of the preceding vehicle.
Its first action is a warning jolt to alert the driver about the danger. Once the driver begins steering, the system intervenes in the power steering with torque in order to guide the vehicle around the obstacle.
Turn Assist monitors oncoming traffic when turning right at low speeds. In a dangerous situation, it slows the Q7 to a halt, keeping the Q7 within its own lane.
An all-new quattro drivetrain sits beneath the new Q7. A new centre differential is integrated into the auto gearbox, making the drivetrain 20kg lighter than its predecessor. Vibration damping allows low engine idle speeds as slow as 850 rpm, for maximum efficiency. The idle-stop system now cuts the engine even before the car comes to a stop, when required braking parameters are met.