Such is the importance of SUVs these days that you could argue the Audi Q7 is much more necessary compared to the firm’s range-topping limo, the A8. And now the German manufacturer is widening the range of its 4×4 flagship along with a performance diesel edition, the SQ7.
A seven-seater as standard, the brand-new model is made to go up versus cars adore the seven-seat BMW X5 M50d and five-seaters adore the Range Rover Sport SDV8 and Porsche Cayenne S diesel. Audi’s offering costs £70,970 – much more compared to the 2 of its German competitors, yet the thick end of £17,000 much less compared to the Range Rover Sport.
At the heart of the SQ7 is an all-brand-new 4.0-litre twin-turbodiesel that features some fairly nifty technology. Its two turbos job fairly conventionally, being spooled up by the car’s exhaust gases. They operate sequentially, so one gets all the available exhaust gas at reduced speeds, prior to a valve opens as the engine revs raise to kick in the second turbo.
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This process is made to minimise the delay between pressing the throttle pedal and improve being available – turbo lag. yet to negate much more of this trait, Audi has actually likewise fitted a small electrically powered compressor that can easily provide the turbos an additional improve at actually reduced revs. It claims the technology is a globe initial in a production automobile – though it sounds remarkably just like the PowerPulse set-up that Volvo is bringing along with its latest four-cylinder diesel engines.
In any kind of case, the V8 has actually some fairly mighty stats: 429bhp between 3,750rpm and 5,000rpm, and a whopping 900Nm of torque from merely 1,000rpm. To position points in context, that’s a full 95bhp and 160Nm much more compared to you get hold of in Range Rover Sport SDV8, and it the torque kicks in 750rpm reduced to boot. Even Porsche’s mighty Cayenne S V8 diesel is 49bhp and 50Nm adrift.
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Audi says the SQ7 can easily reach 62mph in 4.9 seconds – fairly amazing for a 2.3-tonne automobile – and an artificially limited top rate of 155mph. Its fuel efficiency looks solid for the class too, along with combined economy of 39.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 190g/km. BMW’s slower X5 M50d is cleaner, admittedly, yet the Range Rover Sport and Cayenne S are the 2 north of 200g/km.
On the road the SQ7 can’t rather belie its size and bulk – yet it comes impressively close to executing so. It’s actually rather hard to finish low-rate manoeuvres smoothly, such is the aggression of the throttle modulation and the engine’s ability to deliver such huge reserves at little much more compared to idle.
Once you’re up to speed, the SQ7 comes to be an obtained cruiser, along with barely a murmur from the V8 and – unusually for a performance Audi – a compliant ride. The SQ7’s air suspension is particularly soothing if you force its hand and usage the Drive Decide on controls to stick it in to Comfort mode. Leave it to its own equipments and you’ll be a little much more aware of pattering over poorer surfaces, even though it’s by no means uncomfortable.
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The eight-rate automatic gearbox shifts smoothly and quickly, and while it’s not infallible, it generally gets you in to the right ratio on twistier roads. In those conditions the SQ7’s brand-new electromechanical energetic roll stabilisation – an option in the UK – does a cracking task of minimising physique roll, allowing you to Decide on Dynamic mode, usage the gearshift paddles to hold revs for longer and appreciate just what should be among the best-sounding diesel motors on the planet. The steering is perhaps the weakest link; its lightness is at the very least consistent, yet there’s precious little communication to speak of.
The UK standard spec for the SQ7 looks reasonably generous – as it must on a vehicle costing merely over £70,000. On the outside you get hold of LED headlights and tail-lights, 20-inch alloy wheels, revised front and rear bumpers, edge skirts and a rear roof spoiler.
The cabin, meanwhile, contains Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – the configurable 12-inch display that replaces the conventional instrument dials – plus MMI Navigation Plus, leather-clad front sports seats, four-zone climate manage and an S-badged three-spoke leather steering wheel. The 3rd row seats operate electrically, as does the rear hatch. The suit and complete is fairly standard fare for the Q7 – which is no unsatisfactory thing, since its high-quality components are among the very best in the class.