For the first time in its history, Audi is about to stamp its mark on the large Sport Utility Vehicle segment with the new Q7, an all new seven-seat all-terrain luxury car that will make its world public debut at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt on September 12th.
Available to order in the UK from spring 2006, this new departure for Audi combines the technological sophistication, unparalleled quality and design flair that typify the brand with genuine off-road capability delivered by a combination of adaptive air suspension and the famous Audi quattro four-wheel-drive system.
Just over five metres long, and with a wheelbase stretching to just over three metres, the new Q7 offers class-leading interior space, and no less than 28 seating and loading configurations guaranteeing exceptional versatility.
Up to seven occupants can be accommodated in the three rows of seats that will be a standard feature of UK Q7 models. The seats in the second row are individually adjustable for fore/aft movement, and offer the most leg room in this class. Both rear seat rows can be folded flat to provide a load area of 2,035 litres if required, without the seats having to be removed.
At launch, the Audi Q7 will offer a choice of two powerful engines: the new 4.2-litre V8 with FSI petrol direct injection, developing 350PS and 440Nm of torque, and the supremely refined 3.0 TDI V6 with advanced piezo injection, delivering 233PS and 500 Nm. Both engines will transmit their power via six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission.
The Audi Q7 will feature a new development of the quattro permanent four-wheel drive system that has been an Audi trademark since it revolutionised driving on road and rally stage 25 years ago. Its latest generation Torsen centre differential, which conveys power to all four wheels on-road and off, is shared with the Audi RS 4 quattro, and features a standard torque split of 40:60 (front / rear) that helps to optimise axle load distribution for even greater agility and steering precision.
With its chassis weight significantly reduced through the use of numerous aluminium components, and control maximised by a combination of electronically controlled damping and a dynamic roll stabilisation system, the Q7 will effectively disguise its dimensions on challenging roads. Variable height adaptive air suspension will be standard for UK Q7 models, placing the emphasis on superior comfort on and off the beaten track without ruling out agile on-road handling.
The variable ground clearance of between 180mm and 240mm offered by the air suspension system will help the new Audi Q7 take the rough as much in its stride as the smooth. The off-road mode, with 205mm of clearance and adapted damper control, will be the perfect setting for cross-country driving.
Like the acclaimed Audi A6 and A8 models, the new Q7 will be equipped as standard with the innovative Multi Media Interface (MMI) operating concept that controls many major in-car functions. In the Q7 the system will be available with a variety of new optional extras, including Audi side assist with radar technology for lane-changing manoeuvres and the advanced parking system with optical/acoustic guidance and rear-view camera.
The Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) will also include numerous new functions such as hill descent assist, a special off-road mode that optimises brake performance and traction on loose surfaces and a trailer stabilisation system that reduces the risk of fishtailing by means of targeted brake intervention.
UK orders for the new Q7 will be taken from next spring, and first deliveries will begin in late summer. Prices in Germany will start from 48,900 Euros, but have yet to be finalised for the UK market.
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