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Audi Q7 PDF Print E-mail

The new Audi Q7 luxury 4x4 is an extremely smart piece of kit, although for how long it will remain badged as a Q7 is currently in dispute.   Apparently, Nissan, which lays claim to the Q-prefix, notably in North America with its highly successful, luxury Q45 sedan, has filed suit against the German manufacturer.  Industry insiders anticipate an out-of-court settlement from Audi, which could run to many thousands of dollars.

Audi Q7
Audi Q7

Based, inevitably, on the same platform as the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, the Q7 offers just a little more comfort and refinement than the VW, yet is not as pricey as the Porsche.

Configured to accommodate either five or seven passengers, the Q7 is extremely versatile; in the five-seater mode, it can boast a load of a huge 775 liters – the best in its class.

Although in some markets a 4.2 liter V8 is available, it is the 3.0 TDI that will find favor in Asia.  This common rail diesel offers adequate power and impressive torque: 233 bhp and 500 Nm respectively.  Audi claims a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 9.1 seconds – not bad for a luxury SUV – while the top speed is a healthy 216 km/h.   A diesel particulate filter is standard and the Q7 comfortably meets the stringent Euro 4 emission regulations.

Much of the suspension is aluminum for improved wheel control, particularly off-road, while adaptive air suspension is an option.  The combination of air suspension and electronic damper control gives the best of both worlds, whether on- or off-road.  Using this combination the ride height can be varied from 165 mm to a massive 240 mm, while a knob on the dash selects the desired mode, be it sports or comfort.

As you would expect in the 4x4 of this quality, the very latest electronic gizmos are fitted, including ABS with brake force distribution and brake assist, traction control, a stability program (ESP) and an electronic differential lock.  The ESP incorporates a system whereby if the driver brakes hard suddenly it switches on the hazard flashers to warn following traffic.  There is also a hill descent control which prevents the vehicle running away on steep declines, and a roll-over sensor that applies the brakes if a critical point is reached during tight manouvers.

Vehicles such as the Audi are often used to tow trailers and the ESP incorporates a trailer stabilizer to prevent the trailer or box swaying at speed.  Anyone that has experienced the high-speed trailer-taking-over sensation will know just how frightening this can be and any system that takes care of the problem is to be thoroughly welcomed.

Further electronic intervention comes in the form of an adaptive cruise control with a radar-assisted distance reader.  This can now control distance and speed anywhere between zero and 200 km/h and will brake the vehicle to a stop if necessary.  The sensor, located behind the front license plate, takes continuous measurements determining whether the distance and speed in relation to the car ahead have changed.  It will then adjust the speed accordingly, either accelerating or braking as is deemed necessary.

The collision warning system built into the cruise control has a range of up to 180 meters and will warn the driver of an impending shunt, first by sounding a warning signal, together with a visual display on the dashboard, and secondly – if the driver has not reacted – by triggering a noticeable warning jolt and applying the brakes.  The jolt is to alert the driver to an imminent problem.

Safety, as you would expect, is of paramount importance within a vehicle like the Q7 and Audi has provided two-stage front airbags, front side bags and a full-length air curtain that covers the entire side window area right up to the third row of seats.  Belt tensioners and force limiters are fitted to the front seat belts.

Although the Audi 4x4 will not come cheap, it appears to offer everything you would require in a luxury off-roader and more.  Launched earlier this year at the Frankfurt show, deliveries should begin in early 2006.

-JH

 

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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