Today’s big news is the leak, and subsequent official release of the brand new Audi Q7. Audi’s top of the range SUV breaks cover ahead of the Detroit Motor Show 2015 where it is expected to make its official debut. The new Audi Q7 is lighter and more efficient than the model it replaces. It retains Audi’s trademark sportiness, efficiency and premium feel.
The biggest headline for the new Audi Q7 is the substantial diet it seems to have been subjected to. It sheds 325 kilograms (716.5 lb) over the previous generation. lt features a new multi-material body and an all-new chassis which has helped keep weight down. 71 kilograms is lost from the body as the Q7 is shorter and narrower than its predecessor. The 3.0 litre diesel weighs just 1,995 kg.
In terms of design, the exterior dimensions have gotten smaller, yet the interior room for passengers and luggage is significantly improved. The Audi Q7 gets modern Audi design with a new single frame grille, are defined horizontal design line and a muscular look. The headlights feature either xenon, LED or Matrix LED technology. The daytime running lights of the LED headlights are shaped like a double arrow. The taillights of the top model include dynamic turn signals.
The Audi Q7 comes with a variety of different engines including a 272 hp 3.0 TDI which is capable of a 0-100 km/h sprint of 6.3 seconds. A 3.0 litre TFSI is also available with 333 hp and a 0-100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds. Another engine option is the 2.0 TFSI with 252 hp and 370 Nm of torque.
The Audi Q7 will receive an e-tron quattro drive system. The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro will arrive in 2015 as the world’s first plug-in hybrid with a six-cylinder diesel and quattro all-wheel drive system. It gets the 3.0 litre TDI engine with 258 hp and 700 Nm of torque. The total output of 373 hp makes for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h.
The Audi Q7 has a cd value of just 0.32 making it extremely quiet at motorway cruising speeds. It will apparently manage efficiency ratings of just 1.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (138.4 US mpg) and a CO2 equivalent of less than 50 grams per kilometer (80.5 g/mi). The lithium-ion batteries manage 56 kilometers (34.8 miles) in pure electric mode.
Inside there is an additional 21 millimeters between the first and second rows of seats, and head room has increased by 41 millimeters and 23 millimeters in the first and second rows, respectively.
The Audi Q7 gets the second-generation modular infotainment platform. It also gets the new MMI all‑in‑touch control unit with large touchpad, expanded services from Audi connect, the Audi tablet for the rear seat passengers and the two sound systems with 3D audio. Smartphone integration with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is also new. These features bring the new Audi Q7 in line with the rest of Audi’s latest products.
Audi’s virtual cockpit system is also available with a 12.3-inch TFT display. Speaker systems include a Bose sound system with 3D sound and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound. The Bang & Olufsen system uses 23 speakers including subwoofers with 1,920 watts of amplifier power. Optionally two Audi tablets with 10.1 inch screens can be fitted to the rear headrests.
The new Audi Q7 uses a newly developed, eight-speed tiptronic gearbox coupled to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The quattro systems self-locking center differential is integrated into the housing of the eight-speed tiptronic shedding extra weight. Normal driving conditions result in a 40:60 ratio. The power can be transferred between wheels to allow for as much as 70 percent of the power to got to the front and a maximum of 85 percent to the rear. Torque vectoring is also available.
The chassis gets a front and rear axle with five-link design, replacing the double wishbone axles of the previous model. The chassis of the new Audi Q7 is over 100 kilograms lighter – thanks to many changes. The links of the wheel suspensions, for example, are now made of aluminum and high-strength steel; the cardan shafts of the front axle are hollow; and the pivot bearings are aluminum forgings.
An interesting option is all-wheel steering. A steering system with an electric spindle drive turns the rear wheels inward by as much as five degrees depending on the situation. At low speeds they steer opposite the front wheels. A system first used on Porsche performance models.
Audi readily admit that the new Q7 was conceived with the US and Asian markets in mind. German customers will be able to order the new Audi Q7 from spring 2015. Physical vehicles won’t actually hit dealership forecourts until summer of 2015. The starting price has been confirmed at 61,000 euros.