Q7 will be available with seating for five
17th October 2005.
It will be known as an SUV,
a Sports Utility Vehicle, or
a "light truck", according to the North American
classification of minivans, SUVs and pickups.
But the "truck" story ends
right here, for the new Audi
Q7 is a car-based crossover
(unitary body), born from the common, yet heavily-modified
platform already known in different shapes and dimensions
in the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
With a technical brother called
Cayenne, where can the "truck" label fit anyway?
VW insists on the structural
differences between the five-passengers Touareg
/ Cayenne brothers, and the
7-passengers Q7. After all, with the 5 or 7-passengers Q7
choices, Audi leaves a space for its smaller Q5 SUV which
should follow (in 2007) the Q7 first deliveries in the
first quarter of 2006.
The Q7 is meant to combine sportiness,
versatility, high automotive technology, quattro
all-wheel-drive... with the luxury expected from a model
which prices start from € 48,900 (in Germany) for the
Q7 3.0 TDI.
wheelbase of no less than 3,002 mm.
Typical for a vehicle with the genes of
an off-roader are the high ground clearance of 200
millimetres (with steel-spring suspension) and the 18-inch
wheels (up to 20-inch on request) in the broad curve of
the wheel arches. Off-road capability is also enhanced by
a distinctly short overhang at the front and the sturdy
underride protection at the front and rear.
Inside, large surfaces in the same
colour and material dominate, accommodating the functional
units which are embedded like islands. In addition to
aluminium and high-quality plastic, three different wood
options are available for the horizontal trims in the
instrument panel and doors.
The seats in the Q7 are of a new design
promising comfort on long journeys. Depending on the
configuration chosen, up to seven people can be
accommodated in three rows of seats. The middle seat row
can be adjusted forward and back by up to 100 millimetres.
The styling of the controls was
inspired by the interior of the A6, as was the driving
area with teardrop-shaped frames for the instruments.
Numerous storage compartments and up to six cup holders
enhance traveling comfort for every passenger. The door
pockets are fitted with brackets that will even take
luxury and dynamism in an off-road
The Q7 is equipped as standard with
backrest angle adjustment over three seats in the second
row and a load-through hatch with ski bag. As an
alternative, two comfort seats can be ordered for the
second row in conjunction with a large centre console.
Here, under the fold-up, adjustable centre armrest is a
large storage compartment; two cup holders provide an
additional stowage option.
In addition, a third seat row can be
ordered for the Q7, which can accommodate passengers up to
1.60 m tall, with an easy-entry feature for the rear
The seats in the second and third row
can be folded flat, providing – along with up to 28
different loading configurations – a load area with a
maximum volume of 2,035 litres, without the seats having
to be removed.
If the third seat row is omitted the Q7
has a load area of 775 litres – the best in its class.
Even if all three seat rows are in use, a load capacity of
330 litres remains.
The broad tailgate of the Q7 can be
operated electrically if desired. The load area comes with
numerous types of fastening and securing elements.
Another useful convenience feature is
the trailer hitch with detachable, electrically controlled
ball end, which is user-friendly and easy to operate if
Body and safety
- In contrast to earlier SUV generations that were
based on a ladder-type chassis frame in the tradition of
an all-terrain vehicle, the Audi Q7 has a self-supporting
body of lightweight steel construction. The drag
coefficient of only 0.34 is evidence of the aerodynamic
qualities of the lines.
The Audi Q7 is equipped as standard
with two full-size front airbag (two different deployment
levels depending on accident severity), side airbags at
the front as well as the sideguard head-protection airbag
system, which virtually covers the entire side window area
up to the third seat row.
middle seat row can be adjusted by up to
- Two power plants are available for the debut
of the Q7: a new 4.2 litre V8 with FSI direct petrol
injection and the 3.0 TDI with common rail system using
piezo inline injectors. Other engines will be added to the
The V8 is a close relative of
the power plant of the Audi RS 4. It has a 90° cylinder
angle, a distance of 90 millimetres between cylinders, and
four camshafts activated by a two-stage chain drive system
at the rear of the engine.
Like the RS 4 engine, the V8 in the Q7
has FSI direct petrol injection, which – following five
victories in the Audi R8 Le Mans racing car – is now
being introduced in a production eight-cylinder model.
FSI engines deliver more power and
dynamism than the conventional power plant with manifold
(indirect) injection – and they do so with better fuel
The V8 has been retuned for use in the
Audi Q7. A fuller torque curve up to nominal speed and
spontaneous response – these are the characteristics of
this new engine.
seats in the second and third row can be
folded flat, providing – along with up
to 28 different loading configurations –
a load area with a maximum volume of 2,035
litres, without the seats having to be
Output reaches 257 kW/350 bhp at 6,800
rpm, with a maximum torque of 440 Nm at 3,500 rpm. In just
7.4 seconds the new Audi Q7 4.2 quattro sprints from zero
to 100 km/h and accelerates up to a top speed of 248 km/h.
Fuel consumption: 13.8 litres of premium plus fuel per 100
kilometres (overall / provisional figure).
The six-cylinder 3.0 TDI offers
233 bhp and 500 Newton-metres. Maximum torque is available
just above idle speed, from 1,400 rpm – giving the
driver powerful acceleration in all speed ranges.
Despite having a torque-converter
transmission, the speedometer needle passes the 100 km/h
mark 9.1 seconds after driving off; the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI
quattro goes on to reach a top speed of 216 kilometres per
Fuel consumption: 10.4 litres of diesel
(provisional figure) on average per 100 kilometres. This
equates to a range of almost 1,000 kilometres. The Q7 3.0
TDI quattro is fitted as standard with a diesel
The V6 four-valve engine with
turbocharger technology and map-controlled, cooled exhaust
gas recirculation also belongs to Audi’s new family of V
engines and features a chain drive for camshafts and oil
Mixture preparation is performed by a
latest-generation common rail system. It has a
high-pressure pump and an injection rail for each cylinder
bank, increasing maximum injection pressure to 1,600 bar.
The high injection pressure ensures even finer atomisation
of the fuel and therefore better mixture preparation and
more efficient combustion.
The piezo injectors are the most
important innovation of the present common rail system.
The injection process utilises the piezo effect: an
electric voltage is applied to ceramic, altering its
crystal structures. The minimal expansion resulting from
this – supported by a hydraulic element – mechanically
triggers the opening of the injector needle.
With piezo injectors, the number of
injection processes per cycle can be varied almost at
will. The Audi TDI development engineers have opted for up
to five injection processes for the 3.0 V6: in addition to
the main injection process, double pilot injection takes
places in the lower speed range and single pilot injection
takes places in the medium range. In addition to this,
simple post-injection takes place up to around 2,500 rpm
and under partial load.
This strategy ensures both a reduction
in emissions and a smoother combustion process – which
primarily benefits the engine’s acoustic behaviour. In
this area the 3.0 TDI engine undeniably sets the benchmark
in its class.
Gearbox - Both engines are
combined as standard with a 6-speed tiptronic. This
transmission allows the engines’ power potential to be
converted into a masterly synthesis of dynamism and
New quattro generation - A
typical feature of all high-performance Audi vehicles is
quattro permanent four-wheel drive – a drive principle
that is now celebrating 25 years of success with more than
two million Audi quattro models sold so far.
A Torsen differential in the new Audi
Q7 – with its longitudinally installed engines –
automatically ensures optimum power distribution to all
four wheels. The name Torsen is a combination of the terms
“torque” and “sensing”. The Torsen differential is
a self-locking worm gear.
Like the RS 4 most recently, the Q7 is
equipped with the latest-generation quattro drive
technology. Here the torque split between front and rear
axle is 40 : 60. This provides the basis for even
more agility – most notably when steering into bends –
with practically no perceivable torque steer.
Suspension comes with double wishbones at the front and
rear as well as standard steel springs and twin-tube shock
absorbers. Long spring travel and a ground clearance of
205 millimetres take into account the application spectrum
of off-road driving.
The double wishbones at the front
axle are made of aluminium, reducing unsprung masses
for better ride comfort and driving dynamics. The lower
wishbone and anti-roll bar are attached to a subframe of
high-strength steel, on which the steering is mounted.
All Q7 models are equipped as standard
with speed-dependent servotronic steering. This
helps the driver to manoeuvre in or out of a parking space
with minimum steering effort, and its directness and
precision ensure good road contact and clear feedback at
At the rear axle, the upper
wishbone and the spring strut cross bar are made of forged
aluminium. The tie bar on the other hand is made of
weight-optimised tailored rolled blanks, which thanks to
steel plates of varying thickness combine low weight with
high rigidity for sections under particular loads and
strain. All control arms are attached to a subframe which
also supports the final drive. The tilted position of the
spring and shock absorber unit reduces overall height and
creates more room in the vehicle interior.
The Audi Q7 is fitted with 18-inch
aluminium wheels as standard, with 235/60 tyres
(eight-cylinder: 255/55). As an alternative, other wheels
(sizes 18, 19 and 20-inch) can be ordered on request. An
optical highlight is the new 20-inch 5-arm double-spoke
cast aluminium wheel with the bicolor design. If the Q7 is
configured as a 5-seater with 18-inch wheels, a full-size
spare wheel is available.
with the adaptive air suspension settings.
Adaptive air suspension option -
The latest-generation adaptive air suspension is available
as an option, with a combination of air suspension and an
electronically controlled damping system. Ground clearance
becomes variable between the minimum dynamic level of 165
mm and a maximum of 240 mm (lift mode).
For normal driving, a choice of three
different characteristics can be selected via the central
multimedia interface (MMI) control panel, ranging from
very sporty to comfortable, namely dynamic, automatic
and comfort. The system control unit varies the
spring and damping characteristics according to the mode
selected and vehicle speed.
In parallel with this, the trim is
lowered by up to 35 millimetres (dynamic mode at high
speeds), optimising drag and lateral dynamics at the same
Driving dynamics also benefit from the
dynamic roll stabilisation function of the adaptive air
suspension system – an innovation in the Q7: the system
actively responds to steering movements and thus
counteracts body roll.
In addition, the driver can activate
two additional modes off-road: 25 millimetres higher than
at normal level, the Audi Q7 can reach speeds of up to 100
km/h in the off-road mode. In lift mode, with 60
millimetres of extra ground clearance (absolute value 240
mm), even major obstacles can be negotiated. The automatic
function’s control mechanism intervenes to lower the
vehicle’s centre of gravity to achieve ride comfort and
driving dynamics at higher speeds.
A new feature in the Q7 is the facility
to lower the body at the touch of a button via the rear
axle only. The loading lip is lowered significantly,
making it much easier to load items into the luggage area.
The fully-supporting air springs at the
front and rear axle keep the body level constant,
regardless of the load situation. Added to this is a
quality specific to this air suspension concept: the
occupants benefit from a smooth ride at all times,
regardless of the load the vehicle is carrying. The
firmness of the springs always adapts to the weight of the
All driving modes and height levels can
be read off the MMI screen. The ride height also appears
in the central driver information display.
New ESP generation - All Audi Q7
models are equipped with a latest-generation electronic
stabilisation program. This includes the antilock brake
system ABS with electronic brake force distribution
EBD and hydraulic brake assist which
automatically increases brake power when the driver
applies the brakes in an emergency. The traction control
system ASR and the electronic differential lock
EDL, in conjunction with yaw control, form the basis of
the ESP safety concept.
Important for other road users: if the
driver brakes hard in extreme situations the ESP warns
following traffic accordingly by switching on the
hazard warning lights. If the driver activates the
off-road mode with the ESP button, the traction of the Q7
is substantially enhanced by means of modified control
Also important – particularly for
off-road operation, is the hill descent assist
feature. It automatically keeps the speed constant when
driving slowly on steep downhill stretches, allowing the
driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle. The roll
stability program (RSP) intervenes during critical
driving manoeuvres that could cause the vehicle to
overturn and takes the necessary corrective braking
Large vehicles are not infrequently
used to tow trailers – with a trailer weight of up to
3,500 kg the Q7 is clearly destined to be used this way.
With this is mind, another function is
an indispensable safety feature – the trailer
stabilisation system. Often at cruising speed, and
even when driving straight ahead, minor lateral movements
build up, causing the trailer to sway dangerously as a
result. The ESP trailer stabilisation function
identifies this situation and effectively stabilises the
outfit by means of automatic brake intervention.
Equipment - A new generation of
the radar-assisted distance control system, adaptive
cruise control plus, is being introduced in the new
Audi Q7. As an extension of conventional adaptive cruise
control, the system now controls distance and speed from
0 to 200 km/h. It is therefore able to brake the
vehicle to a standstill behind the vehicle ahead. The
benefits of this sensitive control function –
particularly in slow-moving traffic – are quite clear.
The sensor for the system is located
out of sight behind the license plate trim. By taking
continuous differential measurements it determines whether
distance and speed in relation to the car in front have
changed, and adjusts the vehicle’s own speed by
manipulating the accelerator or brakes accordingly.
In addition, the driver can alter
vehicle acceleration and control response via the MMI,
opting either for a dynamic or more comfort-oriented
The collision warning system is
being introduced for the first time on the Q7. It uses the
sensors of the adaptive cruise control function and has a
range of up to 180 metres. If there is the risk of
a collision with the car in front, the system alerts the
driver in two stages: first a warning tone
is issued, with an optical signal appearing on the
instrument panel at the same time. If the driver does not
react, the system triggers a clearly noticeable warning
jolt, produced by a fast build-up of pressure in the
brake system. The purpose of the jolt is to draw the
driver’s attention immediately to what is happening on
the road in front of the vehicle.
Audi side assist - Incorporating
radar sensors, Audi side assist monitors the area next to
and behind the vehicle to warn the driver – additionally
to the image in the rear-view mirror – of any
approaching vehicles. The driver is alerted by a warning
light on the outside mirror, followed by an additional
acoustic signal should he/she nevertheless switch on
the direction indicator.
The sensors have a range behind the
vehicle of 50 metres and have also been designed to
monitor the blind spot next to the vehicle. The
system can be switched on and off at the touch of a
button and operates from a speed of
60 km/h. Audi side assist does not intervene in the
driving and control functions.
MMI and Infotainment
- Already established in the Audi A8 and A6, the
integrated MMI, (multi-media interface) in the new Audi Q7
brings the infotainment platform with its reputed ease of
operation, perfect positioning and consistent inherent
Audi MMI system is reputed for its logical
interface and simple use.
The system is available in three
configurations: the standard MMI basic, the MMI
basic plus and the MMI.
MMI basic - The standard version
of the Q7 is equipped with MMI basic comprising a
terminal, monochrome display as well as an integrated
radio and single-disc CD player. Music output is via a
4x20-Watt amplifier and four speakers in the doors. As
well as the radio system and broadcasting of traffic
information, numerous vehicle functions such as the air
conditioning and interior light configuration can be
controlled by the MMI basic.
MMI basic plus - the optional
MMI basic plus offers additional functions such as TP
memory, a digital sound system with a total of 11 speakers
and a CD-based navigation system.
MMI - In the optional version
with the full range of features, the MMI comes with a 7‑inch
colour monitor, a double tuner and a 6-disc CD changer. On
request the MMI can be rounded off with a DVD navigation
A further extra, which can be combined
with the MMI and the MMI basic plus, is the all-new BOSE
surround sound system.
Cornering lights - Already
featured on the A8 and A6, the combination of the dynamic
cornering light system adaptive light, energy-saving
daytime running lights and xenon plus technology are
optionally available with the Q7.
The headlights of the new Q7 are
available in three versions: standard free-form
halogen lights, xenon plus lights with daytime
running lights or additionally in conjunction with
adaptive light dynamic cornering lights. The
ellipsoidal module for dipped and main-beam headlights
swivels according to the angle of each road and bend. This
distinctly improves illumination of the road in the
direction of travel and of the side area, making
predictive driving even simpler.
Parking assistance - Three
parking assistance systems are available as options on the
Audi Q7. The Audi parking system aids the driver
when approaching obstacles, using four sensors at the rear
and an acoustic warning signal. The parking system plus
monitors both front and rear areas around the
vehicle and alerts the driver to a potential collision
during parking manoeuvres also by means of a bar chart in
the MMI display.
In addition to these options, the Audi
parking system advanced features a rear-view camera;
the images captured appear on the MMI screen. Parking
lines projected on to the camera image provide extra
support for the driver when manoeuvring into parking
spaces. Audi is introducing this option in its program for
the production launch of the Q7.
Advanced key - The “advanced
key” is an optional system that functions as an
electronic access and authorisation system.
The key – which can remain safely in the pocket – has
an electronic pulse transmitter and its signal is
registered and verified by a proximity sensor in the door.
If identified, the doors are unlocked as soon as the
driver pulls the door handle.
The central locking system can be
activated and deactivated at every door on the vehicle.
The driver merely has to have the key on his/her person
within a range of around 1.5 metres of the vehicle
and pull the door handle. If required, the passengers can
also open the door first. Via the MMI you can choose
whether the central locking should release only the door
opened manually or whether all doors should be unlocked.
Before starting out, the steering and
ignition are released electronically with advanced key,
through wireless remote control. Provided the driver has
the key on his or her person inside the vehicle, the
steering is released by lightly pressing the starter
button. At the same time, the ignition is turned on and
the electronic immobiliser released.
The engine is then started by pressing
the starter switch in the centre console once again. For
safety reasons the automatic selector lever must be in
position P or N, while the driver operates the foot brake
at the same time.
Open sky - The optional open sky
system comes in a large panorama glass sunroof (three
segments) reaching virtually from the front roof edge to
the third seat row. The front segment of the 1.6 square
metre open sky system can be raised and moved to the rear
electrically. The rear segment is designed as a tilting
Two roller blinds provide sun
protection whenever required. Each element can be operated
by occupants seated in the first and second row. Thanks to
precision work undertaken in the wind tunnel, the drumming
noise typical of many a sliding/tilting roof during a
journey is eliminated.
Climate control - With the
automatic 2-zone climate control, air distribution and
temperature control are separate for the driver and front
passenger. The system also offers draught-free indirect
ventilation and an air quality sensor, with other features
such as the residual heat function, automatic air
recirculation and additional ventilation at the rear via
the door pillars.
In addition, the Audi Q7 can be
optionally ordered with automatic high-comfort 4-zone
climate control, an option that provides individual
climate zones for rear-seat passengers. Temperature, air
distribution and air volume can be adjusted separately for
the left and right side, with an additional evaporator –
located behind the luggage area trim – to ensure
consistent and steady cooling, even in the third row of