Audi has released the first images and details of the new second-generation Q7 SUV ahead of its public unveiling in Detroit. One of the best selling SUVs, the Q7 has had a good reputation from a trusted brand and with this major overhaul, will it live up to the expectations? Ammar Alvi finds out.
Compared to the eight-year-old model it replaces, the new Q7 is smaller in every external dimension. Key measurements include an 37mm reduction in length, 15mm narrower, while the wheelbase is 10mm shorter and height the same as the outgoing model. Despite the shrink outside, Audi claims the seven-seat interior is actually more spacious than before and cargo space with third-row seating stowed is 775-litre VDA. A fresh dashboard design features a dash-top mounted multimedia interface, with a large touchpad controller located on the centre console. Like the new Audi TT sports car, Q7 also features a digital instrument cluster.
Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto smartphone integration systems are integrated in Q7, making it one of the first production cars to offer these functions. The second-generation Q7 is also up to 325kg lighter than the outgoing model in 3.0 TDI guise. Over 100kg has been lost through new lightweight suspension and structural components. Further, weight savings have been made through the use of aluminium and hot-formed high-strength steel in the body. The new sheet metal also has a more aggressive appearance with sharper lines and prominent rear shoulder haunches to give a muscular look. Adopting a new three-dimensional grille first seen on the updated Q3 small SUV, the new model also features heavily defined wheel arches. Audi boasts that the new Q7 is also up to 28 per cent more fuel-efficient than before. The new Q7 3.0 TDI diesel produces 200kW, drinks 5.7L/100km combined and can hit 100km/h in a spritely 6.3 seconds. Stepping up to the 3.0 TFSI petrol brings Audi’s 245kW 3.0-litre supercharged V6, also found in the S4 and S5 performance models, and a 0-100kmh time of 6.1 seconds. The Q7 e-tron quattro plug-in hybrid will also debut shortly but we doubt it will come to India. All models use an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive system with a 40:60 front-rear torque split. The standard suspension is a steel spring setup, while air suspension will be available as an option.
The new second-generation Audi Q7 SUV is expected to arrive in India towards the second quarter of 2015.