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Audi Q7 world premiere in Detroit: This is Audi's new luxury SUV

Thom Cannell
Audi Q7 at the Detroit Motor Show
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D a was in the gym ! The new Audi Q7 has lost 325 kilos, and you can tell by looking at it. The 3.0 TDI is now below the two-tonne limit. The appearance of the second generation of the luxury SUV has also lost a lot of its former weight and, in return, has gained in dynamism. At almost the same height, the new Audi Q7 is almost four centimeters shorter and 1.5 centimeters narrower than its predecessor. Instead of the chubby curves of its predecessor, Audi is now opting for a clear edge with the new Q7.

The new Q7 comes as an e-tron

There will be two six-cylinders for the new Audi Q7 at the market launch . The 3.0 TDI has an output of 272 hp and a torque of 600 Newton meters. The 3.0 TFSI petrol engine is 440 Newton meters, but it has 333 hp. The driving values ​​are corresponding to the power: the diesel rushes from zero to one hundred in 6.7 seconds, with the gasoline engine this topic can be ticked off in 6.1 seconds. Three more engines are still in the pipeline: a 252 hp 2.0 TFSI is planned for non-European markets, we will have an 'efficiency model' at a later date in which the 3.0 TDI is throttled to 218 hp and 500 Nm accordingly even lower consumption. The new eight-speed tiptronic serves as the transmission. A classic torque converter automatic transmission, which however has a 'sailing' function and allows particularly low minimum speeds when idling.

The fifth Q7 variant will literally be exciting: the Audi Q7 will also be available the following year e-tron with plug-in hybrid technology. Here again the three-liter TDI, which produces 258 hp in the e-tron, can compete. It is supported by an electric motor with 94 kW /128 PS. Audi specifies the maximum achievable system performance from both drives with 373 hp, a maximum of 700 Newton meters of torque is allowed to ensure strong pulling power. This means that the upcoming Audi Q7 e-tron will also be the fastest-sprinting model in the series - zero to a hundred in 6.0 seconds. Thanks to a lithium-ion battery, it should go up to 56 kilometers purely electrically, from which Audi derives an average consumption of 1.7 liters of diesel for the Audi Q7 e-tron, which is not very practical Driving dynamics, so far not the core competence of the great Ingolstadt-based driver, Audi wants the new Q7 to be placed at the top of the competition. In addition to the completely redesignedChassis with five-link axles, sporty drivers can get all-wheel steering on request, which is supposed to reduce the turning circle by around one meter as a bonus. In addition, the center of gravity has been lowered by 50 millimeters compared to its predecessor. In addition, there is the so-called 'wheel-selective torque control': the brake system works with light impulses to decelerate the relieved wheels on the inside of the curve, which should further improve handling.

When it comes to infotainment and operation, the Q7 leaves nothing to be desired open. We have looked at the features in detail:

  • Smartphone integration

Via the Audi Phonebox In the center console, the Q7 wirelessly connects cell phones with the external antenna, which clearly benefits the reception quality while driving. Smartphones that meet the Qi standard for inductive charging are even supplied with power while they are in the storage tray. The importance of smartphone integration is shown by the fact that the Q7 is one of the first cars in the world to support both Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

Apps can be displayed on the on-board monitor via the two interfaces control the controls in the car. A USB connection is required for this in both cases. After plugging in, the Carplay or Android logo appears in the Audi menu and the apps can be clicked on. For security reasons, only apps that are not too distracting and have appropriately large fonts are allowed. List entries or apps are selected using the turn-push controller or voice input. Since mobile phone route guides are also supported, Q7 drivers can choose between different navigation systems.

  • Operation:

With the help of the large touchpad, letters and numbers can be entered or the scale of the navigation map can be changed. On the front edge of the touchpad there are eight freely programmable quick selection buttons for radio stations, navigation destinations or telephone contacts, the assignment of which is displayed on the on-board monitor. Otherwise, the number of buttons in the center console has been significantly reduced. The voice control has also been significantly improved: it is no longer tied to fixed commands, but also reacts to commands such as 'Drive me to Nuremberg' or 'Call Michael' - which worked impressively well in the first test. With the four-zone automatic air conditioning, the temperature displays are located within the rotary control. The volume button is located to the right of the newly designed automatic selector lever with integrated parking button.

  • Audi tablet for passengers
  • MMI Navigation Plus

The MMI Navigation Plus in the Q7 adapts much better to the user than before. For example, anyone who drives to work at the same time every morning will receive traffic disruptions even if they have not activated route guidance because they already know the route. In addition, destination addresses can be entered intuitively and in different ways without having to stick to the typical menu structure 'city, street, house number' or 'point of interest'. Maps with images from Google Earth help with orientation and can be updated online via LTE radio, while TomTom's live traffic congestion services now also take secondary routes such as district roads into account. The Audi MMI Connect app transfers navigation destinations from the mobile phone to the car with a swiping motion.

  • B&O Advanced Sound with 3-D sound

Conventional sound systems struggle with a general problem: By placing the loudspeakers in doors, floor pan or dashboard, they sit too low for a balanced stage image - as if you were listening to a concert from the balcony takes place on the street. With the Bang & Olufsen sound system for the new Q7, the developers therefore opted for additional height loudspeakers, which are housed in the upper area of ​​the A-pillars and which, together with the roof loudspeakers in the rear area, raise the sound. But just adding a few additional loudspeakers was not enough, after all, the height specialists should only reproduce the sound information that is responsible for the impression of the room.

The music signal is therefore analyzed by software developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute , broken down into 23 individual channels, amplified separately and then distributed to the respective specialized transducers. In addition to the classic spatial division into left /right and front /rear, the sound image should be given a further dimension with top /bottom - without the need for special music sources. The system calculates the room information from thenormal stereo signal, which is why you can even enjoy radio or simple MP3 songs in 3-D sound. Despite additional loudspeakers in the A-pillars, the acoustic lens tweeters are one of B&O's specialties. Thanks to their half-open shape, they shine directly towards the interior and are therefore among the best that the loudspeaker market has to offer. But the sound system, which costs 6450 euros, is not only bulky in the upper frequency range: A 25-centimeter subwoofer, which sits in a stately 20-liter housing, takes care of the bass range. For comparison: In the Audi A7, the B&O subwoofer has to get by with a volume of 8.7 liters. The subwoofer is supported by 180 millimeter bass, which are housed in closed door housings.

The loudspeaker ensemble is driven by a 23-channel power amplifier, which has a maximum output of 1,920 watts and is undistorted even at very high levels should play. At the first listening check, the system impressed with its high stage and precise and spatial image without intrusive reverberation effects, which can become annoying after a short time. Despite the many loudspeakers, the music played like a single piece - with uncolored voice reproduction and clear highs. Depending on the piece of music and personal taste, the impression of the room can be varied between a dry studio recording and an airy concert atmosphere. Regardless of this, the deep, seamless bass was fascinating, and even at very high volume it didn't soften or sounded hollow.

  • Entertainment

The media offering has also been refined in many details for the Audi Q7: The station list shows all receivable radio stations, regardless of whether they come in via VHF or DAB. The list view is enriched with cover photos of the songs you have just heard. The source is selected using the turn-push control in the center console or the steering wheel buttons. In addition to FM and DAB, there is a CD /DVD player in the glove compartment with slots for two SD cards. In addition, 10 GB of the built-in hard drive can be recorded with your own pieces of music. When cell phones are paired, the latest Bluetooth protocol A2DP 1.4 allows access to music lists. Aupeo web radio receiver or Napster streaming service are integrated into the Audi MMI Connect mobile phone app and can be safely operated using the menus in the car while driving. On the 8.4-inch main monitor, however, the picture from the TV tuner is only displayed when the camera is stationary. However, the DVB-T receiver sends images and sound to the Audi tablet PC via WLAN if required. So passengers can watch TV while driving.

  • Smartwatch

A special Audi app that we were able to test Samsung Gear Live on the smartwatch, controls the new Audi Q7 : To get into a warm car, the auxiliary heater can be switched offActivate on the go, and vehicle data such as the mileage or fuel level can also be called up. And if you have forgotten where you parked your Q7, you can display the location. The LG model with built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) chip will even replace the ignition key in the future A8.

  • Virtual cockpit

Instead of the analog instruments, the Audi Q7 can be equipped with a 12.3-inch TFT display, which Audi first showed in the TT. The driver has the choice between an infotainment-oriented view with a large navigation map and a classic display of round instruments. Even the areas within the round instruments can be individually assigned - with values ​​from the on-board computer or arrows for navigation. In contrast to the compact sports car TT, which does not have a monitor in the center console, the virtual cockpit in the Q7 serves as a supplement to the main screen. This gives the front passenger the opportunity to browse the music archive or phone book without the driver having to forego the route view. Another difference to the TT is that the Q7 is also available with analog instruments and a seven-inch on-board computer display. The virtual cockpit costs an extra 500 euros.

Speaking of the price: something will also change with the new Audi Q7 - and significantly upwards. The base price (three-liter TDI) is 60,900 euros. The six-cylinder petrol engine in the 3.0 TFSI Quattro is available from 62,900 euros. Orders will start in spring 2015, deliveries will begin next summer.


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