Audi Q7 facelift – improved dynamics, Q8 dashboard06/26/2019
The Audi Q7, which has been around as the current Typ 4M since 2015, has received a fairly big facelift. This update brings the big SUV in line with the rest of the Q family, both visually and technically. It will hit the market in mid-September, starting from Europe.
The new grille and lighting graphics are the most obvious changes. The Q7 now gets Audi’s big octagon-shaped Singleframe, with six upright slats providing the structure. If it looks a bit busier at the lower end of the car, it’s because the two-part side air inlets have have been designed to look more “expressive”, just like the sill area that underscores the Q7’s ground clearance.
The headlights are available in HD Matrix LED technology with Audi laser light. On the whole, the face looks like a less exaggerated version of the Q8’s. On the restyled rear, a chrome strip bridges the rear lights with their new and very technical-looking graphics. Even without the lights on, you won’t be mistaking this for the pre-facelift.
The Q7 you see here wears the optional S line exterior, which brings a blade in the front bumper, accentuated underbody protection at the rear, full paint finish and 19-inch wheels. The restyle has brought 11 mm in extra length, which is now 5,063 mm.
Audi says that it has “substantially enhanced the dynamic attributes of the Q7”. Electromechanical active roll stabilisation is available as an option now. Adjustable stabilisers reduce the body movements on uneven roads when driving in a straight line. When driven hard, the focus is on optimum roll compensation – the tendency of the car to lean into the bend is reduced substantially, it’s claimed.
All-wheel steering is also optionally available. With it, the rear wheels turn by up to five degrees in the opposite direction at low speed, which increases agility. On the highway, these wheels steer slightly in the same direction as the fronts to improve stability.
Besides cruising comfort, adaptive air suspension also provides variable ground clearance and prepares the big Audi for off-road excursions. The appropriate off-road mode can be selected via the Audi drive select system with its seven profiles. Air suspension is standard across the range, but S line cars get a slightly firmer version that also lowers the ride height by 15 mm.
A choice of two 3.0 litre diesel engines (231 hp, 286 hp) will be available at market launch. Shortly after, a 340 hp 3.0 litre TFSI petrol option, followed by a plug-in hybrid model, will join the lineup. All are mated to an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The engines also come with standard mild hybrid tech, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 km, Audi claims. Its central component is the belt alternator starter (BAS), which powers a 48-volt main electrical system in which a compact lithium-ion battery stores the energy. During braking, BAS can recover up to 8 kW of power and feed it back to the battery.
If the driver takes his/her foot off the accelerator at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h, the Q7 recuperates energy, rolls in idle or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. The BAS restarts the engine the next time the accelerator is depressed, and does so faster and more gently than a conventional starter. The start-stop range begins at 22 km/h.
The biggest Q car can be had with five or seven seats. Audi says that the Q7 beats its direct competitors with interior length as well as headroom and elbow room in the front and rear. Boot space in the five-seater varies between 865 and 2,050 litres, an electric tailgate is standard, and foot-activated gesture control is optional.
The biggest cabin story is the all-new dashboard, which is the latest screen-heavy version seen in the Q8. The centre stack houses two large touchscreens that provide haptic and acoustic feedback. When off, the upper display slots almost invisibly into the black decorative surface. It looks significantly more modern than the B9 A4-style dashboard in the pre-facelift.
Options include contour ambient lighting, four-zone auto air con, power-assisted door closing, a Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System and the air quality package with fragrancing and ioniser. The seat department has customised contour seats and the S sport seats plus, both available with climate control and massage. Of course, the latest MMI navigation plus and adaptive cruise assist systems included as well.
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