Upgraded Q7 models due in 2024
A host of new features, technology and styling for new Q7 and SQ7 TFSI models.
Distinctive new design, technology and additional equipment underpin the new Audi Q7 and sporty SQ7 TFSI due to arrive in Australia in the latter part of the year.
30 January, 2024
The model that started the brand’s ‘Q’ family, the Q7 proved an instant hit when it first arrived on the scene at the 2005 Frankfurt International Motor Show
A new iteration of the tremendously popular and successful Audi Q7 and its performance sibling, the SQ7 TFSI, will arrive in Australia later this year, bringing with it a bold new face, new technology and a raft of additional equipment.
The model that started the brand’s ‘Q’ family, the Q7 proved an instant hit when it first arrived on the scene at the 2005 Frankfurt International Motor Show. Indeed, much as the brand did with the Audi TT nearly 10 years before, the vehicle that ultimately became the Q7 was first seen as a concept vehicle called the Audi Pikes Peak quattro, which starred at the North American International Motorshow in 2003. Like the TT concept before it, this concept study received an overwhelming response from customers and critics alike – a reception that was reinforced with the arrival of the Q7 as a series production model just two years later. The first Audi SUV had arrived, and while the brand’s SUV offering has expanded significantly to include models of differing size, performance and now drivetrains, the Q7 and its many derivative models remain a steadfast favourite all around the world.
Australia embraced this new model from the outset and has continued to do so ever since. Launched Down Under in spectacular fashion in 2006, Audi Australia’s press launch saw this new luxury SUV driven literally across the country in a 7000km epic called the Audi Q7 Trans-Continental Crossing. An epic journey from Sydney to Broken Hill, to Birdsville, Coober Pedy, Uluru, Alice Springs across the Northern Territory and into Western Australia to Halls Creek and ultimately Cable Beach in Broome. Not surprisingly it was considered a risky proposition by many, as taking a brand new luxury SUV from Sydney to Broome over several weeks offered an unlimited opportunity for trouble, yet with the sole exception of some punctured tyres, the fleet of Q7s covered the journey without incident and without so much as a hiccup.
This event proved the Q7’s credentials beyond a doubt, conquering the sort of terrain that was more often associated with rugged agricultural vehicles with transfer cases and little in the way of creature comfort. And while the majority of Audi owners would not be subjecting their large, luxury SUV to anything approximating that sort of treatment, that it had proved as capable in that harsh environment as it was cruising the highways or in the day-to-day trials of city traffic put it firmly in a class of its own.
Audi Australia’s press launch for the original Q7 saw this new luxury SUV driven literally across the country in a 7000km epic
The popularity of the Q7 only grew with the release of the second generation in 2015
The popularity of the Q7 only grew with the release of the second generation in 2015 and subsequent model upgrades have built on both the image and the capabilities of the ‘original Q’.
The new Q7 and SQ7 TFSI models represent the second major upgrade of the Q7 since the second generation arrived in 2015. The most obvious visual difference is a new front end and the new treatment of the Singleframe grille which now 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 TFSI.
Different specification levels will be offered in Europe with a base model and S line model slotting in under the top-of-the-line SQ7 TFSI. LED headlights are standard on this new Q7 with HD Matrix LED headlights with the Audi laser light also available. In addition, OLED rear lights will be offered for the first time on Q7, featuring the proximity function already seen on the likes of the Audi Q5, which flashes the rear lights in warning should another vehicle be detected behind the stationary Q7 at a distance of two metres.
One of the Q7’s many strengths has always been its superior size and interior accommodation. Available as both a five and seven-seater, the Q7 and SQ7 offer tremendous room for passengers and luggage alike, with an enormous 780 litres of storage, or 1908 litres with the backrests down. The tailgate is electrically powered as standard and can optionally be triggered by a foot gesture and the Q7 also offers the optional rear seat plus which allows the length and back angle of all three seats to be individually adjusted.
Inside the sumptuous interior there are nine decorative inlays available to choose from, with natural Elm Burl Silver for the base model, matte carbon twill and matte brushed aluminium with linear embossing in silver for the Q7 with the S line sport package, as well as for the SQ7 TFSI. A further three new finishes are available to give customers greater flexibility in customising their vehicle, with Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chilli Red on offer. The wheel range offers a choice of five new 20” to 22” wheel designs in Black Metallic, Grey Silk Matte with glossy black inlays or diamond-cut Black Metallic for wheels 21-inch and larger.
One of the Q7’s many strengths has always been its superior size and interior accommodation
The Q7 will be offered in Europe with both TDI and TFSI powerplants while the SQ7 will again be solely available with a 4.0-litre petrol V8
Performance and handling likewise have always set the Q7 models apart. This latest iteration will be offered in Europe with both TDI and TFSI V6 powerplants all displacing 3.0-litres, while the SQ7 TFSI will be offered solely with a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine. A 45 TDI quattro with 170kW and 500Nm of torque and a 50 TDI with 210kW and 600Nm provide plenty of urge, dispatching the 0 to 100km/h sprint in 7.1 seconds and 6.1 seconds respectively. The TFSI variant, the Q7 55 TFSI produces 250kW and 500Nm of torque for a 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds. All are mated to eight-speed tiptronic transmissions and put power down to the road using quattro permanent all-wheel drive. With a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes their appeal for those with boats or horse floats is obvious, while the presence of a mild hybrid system improves fuel efficiency, using a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that supplies power to the SUV’s 48V main electrical system.
The Q7 comes with steel spring suspension as standard, while electronically controlled air suspension with a continuously adaptive damping system – adaptive air suspension or adaptive air suspension sport (standard equipment on the SQ7 TFSI) – 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 millimetres. On the highway, the suspension lowers automatically by up to 30 millimetres, depending on the speed, and by 15 millimetres 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 millimetres at low speeds.
Topping the range, the SQ7 TFSI quattro likewise sees its V8 power planted mated to a fast-shifting eight-speed tiptronic transmission, its 373kW and 770Nm of torque allowing it to see off the standing sprint to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds on the way to its electronically-governed top speed of 250km/h.
Boasting features such as cylinder-on-demand, which shuts down half of its eight cylinders when not under load, the SQ7 TFSI exhibits a more sedate and frugal side when its performance potential is not required – but the full complement of its V8 is just a nudge of the accelerator away.
The SQ7 also offers the aforementioned suspension package which features a sport differential with torque vectoring as well as electromechanical active roll stabilisation (eAWS).
Depending on the driver’s preferences and the driving situation, the suspension adjusts the ride height by up to 90 millimetres
The new Q7 and SQ7 TFSI are set to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2024
Here, both axles are equipped with a compact electric motor coupled to a transmission which splits the stabiliser into two halves, reducing body movement on poor road surfaces and significantly reducing body roll when cornering at speed.
The eAWS is powered by a 48-volt super capacitor which can absorb and release high current swiftly, suppling the two electric motors with a maximum power of 1.5 kW each. Riding on 21 or 22-inch wheels with massive brakes (400mm front and 350mm rear) visible in black or optional red and bearing the Audi S logo, making for an impressive and versatile package.
Over its 18 years of production, the Audi Q7 in all of its variants has continued to enjoy widespread success right around the globe. The appeal of the model is obvious, this large SUV with limousine-like ride and comfort, yet with a ‘go anywhere’ versatility, towing capacity and tremendous levels of performance and handling. The arrival of these new variants towards the end of 2024 will no doubt continue to strike a chord with customers looking for the benchmark in this sector of the large SUV market, while continuing the legacy of the brand’s original Q model.
The vehicles depicted in this article are international press vehicles and may not accurately reflect the specification that will be available on the Australian market. Final specification and pricing of Australian models will be confirmed closer to launch.
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