The Audi Q7 is a full-size and mid-size luxury crossover SUV available since the 2006 model year. It started off as a full-size SUV until 2015, when it was changed classification to a smaller mid-size design.
Audi Q7 Design and Introduction
First unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Q5 was Audi’s first SUV model which began production that same year and went on sale in 2006. It is a seven-seater and is the largest Audi SUV offering, built on the Volkswagen Group MLB platform also used for the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. While the Audi Pikes Peak Quattro concept car shared a lot of similarities with the production Q7, the concept was geared for off-road use while the Q7 was made primarily for on-road use as it lacks a low-range transfer case in its permanent four-wheel drive system.
Engine and Performance
Since the beginning of the Audi Q7, there have been many engine choices to select from, including a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 with 230 horsepower originally, bumped up to 237 horsepower in 2007. A 2.6L V-6 and 4.2L V-8 gasoline options were also part of the lineup with 276 horsepower and 345 horsepower, respectively. The first North American release came as the 4.2L V-8 in 2007, with Quattro four-wheel drive standard. In 2008, a giant 6.0L V-12 twin-turbocharged diesel engine was made available, based on the Audi R10 race engine design although significantly modified. It produced a whopping 493 horsepower and 738 lb ft of torque. Those who wanted to obtain some series power could now seek out an Audi Q7 to get the job done. Seven passengers and all the gear you wanted could rocket down the road and up any mountain. Its 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) time is just 5.5 seconds, incredible for nearly any SUV on the market even to this day. The V-12 version was slated for US introduction in 2007 or 2008, but was halted due to the 2008 financial crisis and worldwide economic downturn. It was last available in 2013.
The Audi Q7 received a major update in 2010, where the interior received a new instrument cluster, seater, and trim. The exterior changes were also robust, with new LED lights, wheels, paint options, and overall styling. 2011 saw more enhancements to the exterior lighting, plus performance upgrades under the hood and in the transmission. The larger V-6 and V-8 engine sizes were reduced and replaced with a 3.0L supercharged V-6, producing up to 333 horsepower and 325 lb ft of torque. The transmission changed from a standard 6-speed Tiptronic automatic to an 8-speed automatic.
Second Generation Changes
The second generation Audi Q7 was released in for the 2016 model year, and was first unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It had similar engine offerings with upgraded performance figures, including a 3.0L supercharged V-6 with 328 horsepower. The second generation also saw the introduction of one of Audi’s first hybrid systems. The top-tier hybrid package was in the Q7 60 TFSI e and featured a 3.0L turbocharged V-6 along with a 17.3 kWh battery pack, pushing out 450 horsepower and 516 lb ft of torque. The 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 e-tron had 382 horsepower and 516 lb ft of torque. Those who chose the SQ7 received the ultimate in performance out of an Audi SUV. The 4.0L twin-turbo V-8 was available in both gasoline and diesel with 500 horsepower / 429 horsepower and 568 lb ft / 664 lb ft of torque, respectively. The gasoline version can go 0 to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds. Another relatively major update occurred in 2020, where the front end was restyled to keep up with the changing Audi lineup. Air suspension now came as standard equipment, while the lowest engine choice now made 228 horsepower. Although not Audi’s most popular model, the Q7 has respectable sales figures for a relatively expensive SUV, with over 30,000 units per year in the United States since 2016 and another 20,000 to 30,000 in Europe annually.