Audi Q7 Origins
The Audi Q7 marks the first SUV in the German luxury carmaker’s lineup, followed by the Q5 in 2009 and the Q3 in 2011. The Q7 uses a modified Volkswagen PL71 platform and was first introduced as the Audi Pikes Peak Quattro concept.About the Audi Q7
Although it is an SUV, the Audi Q7 prefers a softer road, meaning that it is more suitable on paved surfaces than off-road. As a luxury SUV, the car comes with all the qualities expected from the reputed German carmaker. The interior of the car is signature Audi and the overall aesthetics, both inside and out, reach the highest quality, as you would expect from a German-made luxury car.
However, the Audi Q7 does have its share of cons. The large number of luxury features, along with the height and size of an SUV, results in a significantly high curb weight. This, in turn, results in dull and delayed acceleration and a poor fuel economy.Audi Q7 Features
The 2012 model Audi Q7 carries forward the facelift from 2009 as well as some changes from 2011 and 2012. The exterior features newly designed front and rear lights with better LED lighting for daytime running lights and turn signals. The interior of the car includes a new instrument panel from the pre-2009 models, new leather seat covers, interior color choices, and trim.
The 2012 Audi Q7 maintains some changes from 2011, including optional LED headlights, an eight-speed transmission, a reduced CO2 rating (195 g/km), a wraparound tailgate, and start/stop fuel-saving technology. The vehicle also offers two new engine options. Both of these options are supercharged engines with 3.0-liter displacements. One of them delivers 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the other produces 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.
The 2012 Audi Q7 also features a brand new Audio Connect system along with the third generation MMI control system. This feature is new to the 2012 model and offers internet-driven POI search through voice control system, or user input. The Audi Connect system in the Q7 also offers online access to information such as local weather, news, and fuel prices. The system also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. Like all other models before it, the 2012 Audi Q7 only offers an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
The Audi Q7 comes in four trim levels, with the TDI Premium at the top and the 3.0T Premium as the base model. The standard features available on all models of the Q7 include leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power lift gate, and heated front seats. The high-end model of the Audi Q7 includes additional features such as a rearview camera, navigation system, surround-sound audio system, and xenon headlights. The topmost model also offers options such as a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and an air suspension system.
The cabin of the Audi Q7 is high-tech, but still features classic touches like the burled wood on the display panel. The navigation, audio system, and climate control are accessible through the Audi MMI. Third row seating remains quite constricted, but this shows no difference from other luxury SUVs. This row, along with the second row of seats, can fold down to create 88.7 cubic feet of cargo space, quite impressive for a luxury SUV.Audi Q7 Evolution
The Audi Q7 includes the Audi Music Interface (AMI), which allows the user to control an iPod or an MP3 music player. The Q7 also marks the first vehicle produced by Audi that includes a Side Assist system for blind spot detection and warning.
Audi initially offered the Q7 with a 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine, producing 230 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This engine remained until 2007, when Audi updated it to deliver 237 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. 2008 saw the introduction of two new engines: the 3.5-liter VR-6 FSI engine that gives 280 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, and the 4.1-liter V-8 FSI engine that delivers 350 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Audi Q7 a five-star rating on safety tests for front and side impact safety. Audi first released the car as the 2007 model in the U.S. market. Other models available in the U.S. market include the Audi Q7 3.6 FSI Quattro, 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel Quattro, and 4.2 FSI Quattro.