“Lightweight” Audi Q7 emerges


Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January this year, Audi has officially announced pricing and spec details of its all-new second generation Q7 SUV.

Touted by the Ingolstadt based firm as its most advanced Q model yet, the newcomer rides on same MLB 2 platform as the flagship Audi A8 and forthcoming Bentley Bentayga, and is said to be 325 kg lighter than the outgoing model.

Measuring 5 052 mm in length, 1 968 mm in width and a height of 1 740 mm, the Q7’s revised drivetrain setup is said to be 20 kg lighter than before, while ground clearance has gone down by 50 mm.

Making extensive use of aluminium, the Q7’s body now tips the scales at 71 kg less than before, while the suspension has been completely redesigned from scratch for a total weight reduction of 100 kg.

Inside, the Q7’s interior now features the latest iteration of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit layout that places most of the media interface on the instrument cluster, rather than just a centrally mounted display screen. Fitted once again with seven seats, the interior offers up 41 mm more head and leg room up front, with cargo capacity measuring 295-litres with all seven seats up, and 2 075-lites with the rear rows down.

As for standard spec, the Q7 includes an 8.3-inch media interface with a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, MMI navigation plus with dual USB ports, DVD system and music interface, xenon headlights, LED interior lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels and an electric tailgate.

Available as option, the Q7 can also be have with Audi’s matrix LED headlights that, with the help of a forward facing camera on the rear view mirror, automatically dims the lights depending on any on-coming traffic.

Additional options includes a 3D Bose or Bang & Olufson sound system and a rear passenger entertainment system with dual 10.1-inch HD screens and in-car Wi-Fi which can be relayed to the main MMI system.

Up front, power will initially only be provided by a revised version of the popular 3.0 TDI engine, connected to an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Although rated at 200 kW in Europe, South Africa’s designation as a hot climate market has seen the amount of twist drop to 183 kW with torque remaining unchanged at 600 N.m.

Top speed is rated at 234 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 6.3 secs. Audi claims a combined fuel consumption of 5.7 L/100 km and emissions of 149 g/km.

For buyers seeking petrol power, the Q7 will also be offered, albeit from January, with a 2.0-litre TFSI engine that churns out 185 kW and 370 N.m of torque. It remains unconfirmed whether the previous 3.0 TFSI will once be available while no plans currently exist to bring the 160 kW 3.0 TDI engine to market.

A five year / 100 000 km Freeway Plan is included in the Q7’s R924 000 sticker price.