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Technical analysis - Archive

13/05/2016
STYLE AND POWER!

Technical analysis of Audi Q7

 

Top of the range size and interior space, not to mention comfort and performance, as you would expect from a true flagship. Eco-friendly enough, in its hybrid version, and sporty enough with its twin-turbo

Duilio Damiani

When introduced, the luxury SUV market, across the globe,  was made up almost exclusively by Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90. The year was 2005, and exactly a decade later the luxury German SUV has been completely renovated, providing better performance and style. Form and substance, as you would expect from anything produced in Ingolstadt, making it a true status symbol, without exaggerating into shameless opulence.

The Audi Q7 now benefits from a deep renovation, with slightly resized external dimensions, though the overall size of the car remains impressive, 5 meters in length, yet lighter and more efficient through a completely redesigned platform, partly shared with the Porsche Cayenne. The extensive use of multi-material structures, guarantee greater agility and a reduction in terms of fuel consumption, up to 28% less than previous versions. The recent upgrade further equips the Q7 with a complete set of electronic assist devices as well as the latest news in terms of connectivity and infotainment, preventing each passenger from feeling isolated from the outside world that silently passes by.

 

 

A TOUCH OF CLASS                                              

 

Compared to the first series, the new Q7 is smaller - so to speak - 3 cm in length and 4 in width, but much lighter (up to 325 kg less) thanks to the wide use of aluminum for the chassis and bodywork reducing the un-laden mass to well below 2 tons. But what is most striking, climbing aboard Audi’s flagship SUV, is the massive presence of electronic aids for the all the passengers. Most of which can be managed with a simple touch of a finger, via the MMI (Multi Media Interface) control system, a second generation all-in-touch system, which allows the passengers to write, zoom and slide elements and menus displayed on a 8.3 inch monitor that pops out of the dashboard. And if all that is not enough, there is no lack of navigation functions via voice command. Once behind the wheel nothing escapes to the driver. The future is already here, represented by the virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch display controlled via the multifunction steering wheel, which includes in a unique digital display with all the classical instruments. For a more immediate understanding of alerts and indicators, Audi offers an optional head-up-display, which projects the most important information directly on the windshield, so as to keep everything under control without losing sight of the road. Selecting one of the six planned driving modes (Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual and Off-road), the Audi Drive Select decides on the best setup of the car, instantly changing the operating parameters of the engine, automatic transmission, steering and pneumatic springs, if present.

A riot of technicalities which includes (on request) two real Android 10.1” tablets, manageable contemporaneously via a WLAN connection to the car's infotainment system, located behind the headrests of the front seats and dedicated to entertain the rear passengers.  The standard five seats, and the car’s interior in general, are in no way inferior to the typical comfort of a club house when choosing air conditioning and massage functions for the front seats, while on request two retractable seats can be added at the back guaranteeing the same comfort for 7 passengers! The rear compartment can accommodate up to 890 liters of luggage, expandable to 2,075 liters by folding, even partially, the backseat.

 

                                                                                              

SUPERCAR OVERSIZE

 

Despite the imposing mass, the Q7 is punchy enough to guarantee impressive driving performances, thanks to its engines designed to satisfy different needs and styles, a 3-litre six-cylinder V 90 °, which comes both in petrol and diesel layouts. One is the 272 hp 3.0 TSFI, flanked by the 333 hp 3.0 TDI, two units slightly different in performance, to juice up the driving experience, as if you were sitting on a sleek sport coupe, able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in just 6.1 and 6.3 seconds respectively.

The low center of gravity and independent suspensions on all four-wheels keep the tires glued to the ground, driving with ease even through tight corners, where the action of the all-wheel steering reduces the perception of the size facilitating any maneuver. Furthermore, the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro permanent four-wheel drive ensures enviable grip on any terrain, including off-road, and in all weather conditions. Less pretentious, the 218 hp turbo-diesel version, is still enough to run around in absolute freedom by sacrificing a touch of panache in behalf  of significantly reduced fuel consumption, 18.2 km / liter declared average. Not bad for such a vehicle.

Those motorists who are particularly sensitive to environmental issues will probably appreciate the exclusive hybrid version of the Q7, the e-tron, with its V6 turbo-diesel coupled to a powerful 94 kW electric motor, which, when operating simultaneously, raise the power to well over 373 hp, with an estimated mileage up to 56 km when operating in totally electric mode. Environmental issues are not your main concern? What about the most powerful diesel engine on the market, the 435 hp SQ7 with its 4.0 TDI V8 and a staggering 91.7 kgm of maximum torque at just 1,000 revs / min, 0-100 km / h in just 4.8 seconds albeit with more than acceptable average fuel consumption, around 13.5 km / liter.

A true Audi offering an authentic exercise in style and technology, with multi-stage turbo-charging system with three turbochargers, one of which is electrically powered. In this case, the drive train ends with four oversized 20 inch wheels and generous 285/45 tires, but the catalog includes the possibility to equip the car with 22 inch wheels too. For all other versions, the tire range varies from 235/65 R18 to 255/60,  while the 255/55 R19, or 285 / 45 R20 not to mention the 285/40 R21 as optional. The only exception is the e-tron hybrid version, with dedicated 19 and 20 inch wheels.

 

 

FOR THE SPECIALISTS

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