Saturday 14 December 2019

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Cork Independent


Audi updates big-boy Q7

Wednesday, 31st July, 2019 4:18pm

Audi has given its big seven-seat Q7 SUV a makeover, to try and keep it feeling fresh in the face of fresh competition from BMW, Mercedes, and in-house needle from the sportier Audi Q8.

In fact, the Q7 is basically being given the Q8’s face, with a lower, wider grille and narrower lights at the front, which take away some of the ‘angry cliff-face’ styling of the outgoing Q7.

Those new lights can, optionally, be specced as Matrix LED units, complete with laser light function, so they’re going to be pretty bright. Elsewhere at the front there are bigger air intakes, a new bumper, while at the back there’s more chrome and flat-panel rear lights.

Underneath, Audi has equipped the updated Q7 with four-wheel steering, which it says makes this humungous SUV feel as at hime in hairpin corners as it does cruising down the motorway.

Twisty-road handling can also be enhanced by an active anti-roll system, which was previously only available on the range-topping SQ7.

That anti-roll system can be augmented with air suspension, and S-Line models get a more ground-hugging stance, sitting 15mm lower than an SE model.

On the engine front, every Q7 will now come with quattro four-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and mild-hybrid technology. The 48 volt system means that, at speeds between 55km/h and 160km/h when you back off the throttle, the engine can either slow and use the drag to regenerate electrical power to a compact lithium-ion battery, or it can actually coast with the engine powered off for as much as 40secs. It can also switch on the stop-start earlier when you’re driving around town, from speeds of 22km/h. Audi claims the mild-hybrid setup can knock as much as 0.7 litres per 100km off fuel consumption.

The Q7’s also a little longer — by 11mm this time around — so it’s also a little roomier inside, with a boot that stretches from 865 litres to 2,050 litres with all the seats folded flat.

Inside, the Q7 now gets the same double-decker touchscreen setup that we’ve already seen in the A6, A7, and Q8 with the top screen blending seamlessly in with dark-finished trim in the dashboard, an effect that’s heightened when the screen is switched off. That screen incorporates Audi’s connected technology, a wifi hotspot, and the new green light system that can advise you how fast or slow to drive to be able to catch as many green traffic lights as possible — although that tech only works in cities where the traffic lights transmit data to a communications hub.

The updated Q7 will go on sale in Ireland later this year.

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