- Unmistakable design with new details makes for impressive street presence
- Headlights and rear lights customizable for the first time thanks to digital lighting technology
- The variable interior concept offers the ideal basis for family, business, and free time
Audi has once again upgraded its flagship family SUV with a clear design and even better technology. The fresh exterior design with new front and rear sections underscores the powerful character of the SUV, which offers first-class versatility and generous space for up to seven passengers. For the first time in a Q7, the HD Matrix LED headlights with laser as an additional high beam feature digital daytime running lights with selectable light signatures. Digital OLED rear lights with four selectable rear light designs complete the light offering. New wheels, colors, decorative inlays, and seats with contrasting stitching lend the Q family’s most versatile SUV an even higher level of customizability. The new Audi Q7 starts at 79,300 euros.
From a study to a successful production model
The Audi Q7’s journey of success began in 2003 as a concept car called the Audi Pikes Peak quattro at the North American International Motor Show. Conceived as a vehicle suitable driving on all roads and moderate off-road use, the current Q7 – which has been delighting customers worldwide for 18 years – remains true to its virtues of design, technology, and functionality. The first SUV from the brand with the four rings was unveiled to the public at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), just in time for the 25th anniversary of the quattro permanent four-wheel drive with Torsen center differential (40:60 front/rear torque distribution). The new “superlative” in the SUV segment, as Audi put it at the launch of the Q7, combines poise, sportiness, and versatility. Since its launch, the Audi Q7 is seen as an all-rounder that combines high prestige with a wide range of applications.
Its size is imposing, its appearance princely: With a length of more than five meters (16 ft), a wheelbase of around three meters (10 ft), room for seven people, and a luggage compartment volume of up to 2,035 liters, the first generation of the Q7 immediately became the flagship in the SUV segment. From 2008 to 2012, the Q7 V12 TDI took over the top spot – with its 500 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque, it surpassed all competitors across the entire SUV segment. The V12 TDI, built at the Bratislava plant, was also the first Audi to roll off the line with a ceramic braking system as standard.
The gasoline engines on offer ranged from 272 to 350 PS, while the diesels had an output of up to 500 PS. From the start of production in 2006 to the end of production of the first generation in 2015, more than 550,000 customers opted for a first-generation Q7.
Powerful, spacious, elegant: Exterior
Following the launch of the second generation with all-wheel steering in 2015 and an initial product upgrade in 2019, the new Q7 impressively shows its robust and elegant design with a second comprehensive upgrade in 2023. The largest and most versatile SUV in the lineup of the brand with the four rings features Audi’s modern design language. With its even more minimalist form, clean surfaces, and exceptionally large volume, the Q7 stands for variability in every situation.
The overhangs and wheelbase demonstrate powerful and confident proportions that are further emphasized by distinctive exterior colors and wheels. The unmistakably upright Audi Singleframe with an octagon design now impresses with vertical inlays. They feature a teardrop shape in the base exterior and come in the shape of an L in the S line exterior, as well as for the SQ7 TFSI1. This makes it clear at first glance that the vehicle is an Audi top model and clearly differentiates it from the A models. In addition, the new interplay between the grille’s contours and the headlights, now positioned higher, makes for a completely new front-end architecture that clearly emphasizes the powerful and more present appearance of the new Q7. The Q7’s self-confident appearance is underscored by the new prominent, color-framed air intakes, which are clearly integrated into the vehicle’s basic architecture.
Audi has systematically reduced the decorative elements to give the vehicle an even clearer and more purist look. In order to distinguish the base version and S line exterior package at first glance, parts of the front bumper, door trim, and diffuser in the base model come in contrasting colors that underline the robust off-road look. All Audi Q7 engines feature an exhaust system with functional, visually appealing tailpipes. Aligned even more closely with the SQ7 TFSI1, the S line exterior package stands out with its strongly accentuated side air intakes in the front bumper, giving the vehicle an even sportier appearance.
The Singleframe is sure to impress with its independent color scheme. The optionally available Black and Black Plus optics packages set striking accents in the exterior around the Audi Singleframe, the trim on the side windows, and the front and rear bumpers. The newly designed headlights featuring HD Matrix LED technology with lasers as an additional beam light as well as the digital daytime running lights positioned on the upper horizontal edge give the Q7 an even more powerful expression. In combination with the digital OLED rear lights, which are available for the Q7 for the first time, the premium-class character of the model becomes even clearer.
Customizability at its best: Headlights and rear lights
High-intensity LED headlights light up the road in the Q7 as standard; Matrix LED headlights are available as an option. HD Matrix LED headlights with the Audi laser light are also available. They work with 24 LEDs and a high-power laser diode each and are immediately recognizable via a blue ambient light incorporated into the headlights that symbolizes the precision of laser technology. The laser light becomes active above 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and significantly increases the high beam range. New for the top-of-the-range headlights are digital daytime running light signatures. They give the Q7 its characteristic and unmistakable appearance by allowing the user to select one of four various light signatures via the MMI. However, not just the headlights’ extended range of functions is new, so is their design. The higher position of the daytime running lights gives the Q7 a wider appearance and more expressiveness. For the first time, the Q7 also features largely digitalized OLED rear lights (OLED = organic light emitting diode) as an optional extra, which also feature four digital light signatures.
In addition – as in the Audi A8, Q8, and Q5 – the digital OLED rear lights have a proximity indication feature in conjunction with the assistance systems: When other road users approach the stationary Q7 from behind to within two meters (6.6 ft), the control units automatically activate all of the digital OLED segments. Additional functions include dynamic turn signals as well as various coming home and leaving home sequences that match each digital light signature.
New decors, colors, and wheels expand the equipment range
With the latest product upgrade, Audi has once again refined the equipment range for the Q7. The seams on the seat trim in the base model now come standard and in a contrasting gray color. There are also nine decorative inlays available to choose from. New in the equipment range: Natural Elm Burl Silver for the base model, Matte Carbon Twill, and Matte Brushed Aluminum with linear embossing in silver for the Q7 with the S line sport package, as well as for the SQ7 TFSI1.
Three new finishes are available that allow customers to further personalize the Q7. For a particularly sporty appearance, the range of metallic finishes now includes Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red. But customers can look forward to more new features in more than just finishes: The wheel range offers a choice of five new 20” to 22” wheel designs. Black Metallic, Gray Silk Matte with glossy black inlays or diamond-cut Black Metallic are available for 21-inch wheels and larger.
As part of the model update, Audi is also expanding the range of apps: For the first time, passengers can directly use popular apps from third-party providers (for example Spotify or Amazon music). Regular software updates and a constantly expanding range of apps make for even greater individualization of the infotainment system. A store with a market-specific app portfolio expands the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3).
In terms of driver assistance systems, the surroundings display in particular is receiving an upgrade. Among other things, the Audi virtual cockpit displays a lane change warning, other road users (trucks, cars, and motorcycles), distance warning, intersection assist, and traffic light info online in stunning full HD quality. In addition to the store for apps and the new surroundings display, the product upgrade also expands the standard equipment for the Q7 – standard features for the V6 combustion engines now include 19-inch alloy wheels, the gloss package with aluminum roof rails, a rearview camera with parking assist plus, and high beam assist. Other features include the comfort center armrest, smartphone interface with integrated store for apps, and Audi phone box.
Safe on every surface: Suspension with Audi’s DNA
Only an Audi drives like an Audi: This is how the brand with the four rings sums up the DNA of an Audi’s driving characteristics, and it’s no less true for the Q7. Five characteristics define the Q7’s handling: balanced, solid, controlled, precise, and effortless. The suspension, steering, drive and braking and control systems all play a key role in creating a reliably safe, confident, and comfortable driving experience. Even the standard equipment, with its balanced steel spring suspension, ensures a consistent driving experience in the Q7. The Q7 is also reliable and safe as a towing vehicle – it can tow up to 3.5 tons.
Electronically controlled air suspension with a continuously adaptive damping system – adaptive air suspension or adaptive air suspension sport (standard equipment on the SQ7 TFSI1 – are available as optional equipment. Depending on the driver’s preferences and the driving situation, the suspension adjusts the ride height by up to 90 millimeters while also offering level control. On the highway, the suspension lowers automatically by up to 30 millimeters, depending on the current speed, and by 15 millimeters with adaptive air suspension sport. During off-road driving, the “Lift” function in Audi drive select can be used to increase the ground clearance by up to 60 millimeters at low speeds. In addition, optional all-wheel steering (standard equipment on the SQ7 TFSI1) ensures an increased level of safety and comfort. At low speeds, the back wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels. This reduces the turning radius by up to one meter (3.3 ft) and increases manageability. At the same time, the driver feels more comfort and stability at higher speeds because the back wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels. The advanced suspension package, with electromechanical active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering, is also available as an option for the V6 TFSI and TDI. To improve the Q7’s handling in everyday situations such as maneuvering in parking lots, parking garages, and the garage at home, the steering system was optimized for greater ease.
Another helpful feature is remote park assist plus: It uses the camera in combination with the radar and ultrasonic sensors to easily maneuver the Audi Q7 into tight parking spaces. Customers can control the parking maneuver using the myAudi app on their smartphone. When they’re ready to leave the parking space, customers can start the engine in the myAudi app, at which point the vehicle maneuvers out so they can enter comfortably.
Efficient and powerful: Drive systems
The range opens with the 45 TDI quattro2, a three-liter diesel engine that has 170 kW (231 PS) of output and delivers an impressive 500 Nm of torque, which extends over a plateau between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. From a standing start, the Audi Q7 45 TDI in 7.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph). This engine is followed by the 50 TDI quattro3, a more powerful version with 210 kW (286 PS) and 600 Nm of torque. This means the large SUV accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 241 km/h (150 mph). The Audi Q7 55 TFSI4 features a six-cylinder gasoline engine with three liters of displacement and direct fuel injection that delivers 250 kW (340 PS). It delivers a maximum torque of 500 Nm in a broad rev range from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. With its turbocharged gasoline engine, the Audi Q7 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds. It reaches its electronically governed top speed at 250 km/h (155 mph).
All V6 engines in the Audi Q7 boast a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons. This is more than enough to tow campers, horse trailers, and the like. All engines work together with an eight-speed tiptronic, quattro permanent four-wheel drive, and the mild hybrid system, which can improve fuel-consumption by up to 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers in customer operation. Its key components are a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that supplies power to the SUV’s 48V main electrical system. Between 55 and 160 km/h (34 and 99 mph), the Q7 can coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds when the driver takes their foot off the gas. After braking, the BAS restarts the six-cylinder quickly and effortlessly. The start–stop range starts below 22 km/h (14 mph).
Dominant in every situation: the Audi SQ7 with a V8 TFSI gas engine
Sportiness is deeply rooted in the genes of the new SQ7 TFSI1 – it impresses with a redesigned spoiler at the front and an expressive diffuser at the rear. The Singleframe stands out with vertical L-shaped inlays in a sporty color scheme. The larger air intakes feature honeycomb grilles across their surface. Characteristically, Audi opts for a sporty aluminum look for the exterior mirror housings, the inlays in the Singleframe and the edging of the side air intakes. The same color scheme is also used for the inlay in the side skirt. The Black and Black plus optics packages can also be ordered for the SQ7 TFSI1.
As part of the product upgrade, the SQ7 TFSI1 now runs on the established 4.0 TFSI with 373 kW (507 PS) and 770 Nm of torque with fast-shifting eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. With this engine, the SQ7 TFSI1 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.1 seconds, with an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). With its firing order of 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8, the 4.0 TFSI provides a distinctive sporty and sonorous sound.
At low to medium loads– from 160 to 250 Nm – and engine speeds between 950 and 2,500 rpm with a maximum torque requirement of 145 Nm the cylinder on demand system deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 in the upper gears by shutting off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The switching process takes just milliseconds and goes virtually unnoticed by the driver. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points in the active cylinders shift to higher load, which boosts thermal efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders operate, essentially with no losses, like gas springs. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the deactivated cylinders reactivate immediately. To achieve the sporty sound, there is an exhaust valve in the two outer tailpipes that modulates the sound depending on load and engine speed.
For an optimal driving experience, a vehicle requires not only first-class engines, but also outstanding suspension components. With the optional advanced suspension package, customers also benefit from the sport differential. When cornering at high speed, it uses two multi-disc clutches to shift the torque between the rear wheels, giving the wheel on the outside of the curve, which has the better grip, the greater share. Known as torque vectoring, this makes handling even more effortless and precise. When turning or accelerating in a curve, the large sport SUV coupé is literally pressed into the curve, minimizing the tendency to understeer. The second component in the package is electromechanical active roll stabilization (eAWS). Here, both axles are equipped with a compact electric motor coupled to a transmission. It splits the stabilizer into two halves. When driving straight, it allows them to work largely independently of each other, which reduces body movements on uneven roads. In sporty driving, however, the electric motor causes the two halves to rotate in opposite directions, thus making them work as a unit. This means the car leans into the curve significantly less, and the steering response becomes more precise.
The eAWS is powered by a 48-volt super capacitor. The compact, lightweight energy storage unit, which can absorb and release high current in a very short time, supplies the two electric motors with a maximum power of 1.5 kW each.
The Audi SQ7 TFSI1 rolls off the production line with 20-inch wheels and 285/45 tires as standard. Alternatively, other 21- and 22-inch wheels are on offer. The brake discs on the front axle have a diameter of 400 millimeters; on the rear axle they measure 350 millimeters. The black brake calipers, which come optionally in red, and, on the front axle, bear the S logo that defines Audi’s look.
Versatile and spacious: Interior
Both the five- and seven-seat versions of the Audi Q7 and SQ7 TFSI1 combine high prestige with everyday practicality. With their generous length, headroom, and elbowroom in both the front and back, both vehicles offer a first-class, airily spacious atmosphere. Depending on the position of the rear backrests, the luggage compartment in the five-seat version offers a volume of between 867 liters (backrests up) and 1,993 liters (backrests down). The tailgate is electrically powered as standard and can optionally be triggered by a foot gesture. Audi also offers the optional rear seat plus. This feature allows the length and back angle of all three seats to be individually adjusted, ensures enough space for three child seats at all times, and boasts a third row of two electrically folding seats.
The best Q7 of all times, available from 79,300 euros
The market launch of the Audi Q7 – with its revised design, innovative lighting technology, and more extensive range of equipment – will be in the first quarter of 2024. Prices for the 45 TDI quattro2 start at 79,300 euros, while the 50 TDI quattro3 costs 82,300 euros. The price for the 55 TFSI quattro4 is 82,500 euros. The sporty SQ7 TFSI1 starts at 112.000 euros.