The driveline: dynamic character
The Audi Q7 4.2 TDI is equipped as standard with the six-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. The dynamic shift program (DSP) manages the gearshifts, whereby it orientates itself to the driver's style and to the characteristics of the road. A special sport programme - the S programme - supports a particularly dynamic driving style. The driver can intervene at any time, either at the gear gate for the selector lever or at the optional paddles on the steering wheel. As the tiptronic in the Audi Q7 was designed for high torque from the very outset, it does not need to be specially reinforced to team up with the V8 diesel engine.
Like all Audi Q7 models, the 4.2 TDI has a self-locking centre differential with asymmetric/dynamic torque split. In regular operation, it transmits the drive force with a ratio 40:60 to the front and rear axles respectively. If needed, torque is distributed at varying ratios between the front and read axles according to the level of grip: optimum traction is provided at all times. This ultramodern quattro technology provides for sporty characteristics reminiscent of a rear-wheel drive vehicle, for exceptional agility and for a steering precision that is to the greatest possible extent free of influences from the driveline.
The running gear: sporty performance
The running gear on the Audi Q7 4.2 TDI supports this dynamic presence. And it superbly masters all of these challenges – whether in rough terrain or on the road, where handling characteristics, driving safety and comfort set the standards. Adaptive air suspension, fitted as standard, rounds off the outstanding character – the combination of pneumatic suspension and electronically controlled damping with dynamic roll stabilisation forms the perfect synthesis of sportiness and maximum rolling comfort.
The Audi Q7 4.2 TDI driver can set the adaptive air suspension to any of three maps, from very sporty to very comfortable. In addition, the system allows five ground clearance settings. Up to 205 millimetres of air under the vehicle (offroad mode) is usually enough even on demanding terrain. The rear can be lowered by 71 mm for comfortable loading.
The Audi Q7 running gear is characterised by its high degree of sophistication. All four wheels are independently mounted on double wishbones. The axle components are made largely of aluminium. The servotronic steering is distinctively direct and precise, giving a feeling of excellent road contact. The Audi Q7 4.2 TDI runs on sporty 18-inch alloy wheels with size 255/55 tyres. Behind them, the four brake discs are internally ventilated and generously dimensioned – 350 millimetres in diameter on the front axle and 358 millimetres on the rear axle. The front brake callipers employ 6-piston technology, like on a top sports car.
The equipment: intelligent luxury
The leather design package is standard on the new Audi Q7 4.2 TDI. It includes inlays in three different types of wood or aluminium, and seat upholstery in Cricket leather. The front seats are electrically heated as standard. An on-board computer, cruise control system and multifunction steering wheel enhance comfort for the driver. The much-praised "MMI basic" control system is also fitted as standard. A practical tool is the electrically driven tailgate, whose opening angle can be programmed.
A range of assistance systems makes driving in Audi's performance SUV even safer.
A new technology that is enjoying its debut in the Audi Q7 4.2 TDI is Audi lane assist. It informs the driver if the lane is inadvertently left upwards of a speed of around 40mph. If the system is activated and the driver has not indicated, then shortly before the vehicle crosses the line marking, which is detected by Audi lane assist, the system alerts the driver by making the steering wheel vibrate (only in conjunction with the 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel).
Optional Audi adaptive cruise control is a radar-supported cruise control system incorporating active distance control. If required it can be combined with the "braking guard" brake assist system.
Audi's "side assist system" employs radar technology to monitor the blind spot and inform the driver if it is dangerous to change lanes. The "Audi parking system advanced" uses a camera for the view to the rear. The aid lines on the monitor make parking an enjoyable task.
Numerous interesting features are available for the dynamic lines of the exterior and for the spacious interior of the 5.09-metre-long Audi Q7: 21-inch wheels, the "open sky system" glass roof or the rail system for the generous luggage compartment, which has a capacity of up to 2,035 litres. A deluxe climate control system is standard. The seats are extremely variable. Like all Audi Q7 models, the 4.2 TDI is available as a 5, 6 or 7-seater. A 4-seater version will be available at a later date.
The new Audi Q7 4.2 TDI is scheduled to open for UK order in April, and first deliveries are expected in late June 2007.Published 5 March 2007