IT’S hands down one of the most popular top-end SUVs on the market, and for its 2020 model year, the Audi Q7 is getting a solid all-round update, including more power, improved dynamic capabilities and additional cutting edge technology.
Among the changes for the large SUV are the introduction of the new Q family design language, mild hybrid technology, a new digital operating concept and optional HD Matrix LED headlights that include laser light.
Those exterior design changes include new lines in the air inlets and sills to highlight ground clearance and off-road capability, and a restyled rear end, featuring a chrome strip that creates the visual connection between the flat rear lights and horizontal body line.
The new Audi Q7 is particularly striking with the optional S line exterior. A blade in the front bumper, accentuated under body protection at the rear, a full paint finish and 19-inch wheels all come as standard.
In addition, Audi has substantially enhanced the dynamic attributes of the Q7, with the introduction of optional electro-mechanical active roll stabilisation and all-wheel steering at low speed.
The combination of these high-tech systems, makes the new Audi SUV extremely manoeuvrable, offering precise and agile driving in urban traffic and on hairpin bends, while maintaining comfortable, poised performance on the open road.
Adaptive air suspension also provides variable ground clearance and prepares the Audi Q7, with its standard quattro drive, for terrain off the beaten track. There’s a variety, some seven in total, of pre-determined off road modes on offer.
All engines in the Audi Q7 range are coupled to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive, while a choice of two diesel engines will be available at launch. A petrol unit and a plug-in hybrid model will join the lineup shortly thereafter.
The mild hybrid variant features recovery braking and recuperative energy technology, and can deliver a fuel consumption reduction of 0.7-litres/100km. It couples the main engine with a 48-volt electrical system and compact lithium-ion battery.
Inside, whether with five or seven seats, the Q7 features a new design with enhanced interior space, thanks to larger external dimensions. The changes mean the Audi outdoes its rivals for interior length, headroom, and elbow room in the front and rear.
A host of storage compartments, a new compartment in the instrument panel, and generous load capacity provide increased functional utility value For example, the five-seater version offers between 865 and 2050 litres of load capacity.
It’s inside that the new digital operating concept, which incorporates two large touchscreens takes pride of place, offering haptic and acoustic feedback when clicking on the touch controls.
When off, the top display slots almost invisibly into the large black decorative surface. The optional contour ambient lighting package also illuminates the interior in the dark and comfort equipment options include four-zone automatic air conditioning.
The Q7 also features a power-assist function to close the doors quietly, a Bang & Olufsen 3D advanced sound system, and an air quality package with fragrancing and ionizer. There’s also multi-function seating, and a massage function in some variants.
The updated MMI navigation plus system delivers LTE advanced phone technology, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and the extensive Audi connect portfolio that includes traffic information online, navigation with Google Earth and hybrid radio.
The cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated into the MMI operating system, is also new. Adaptive cruise assist, which combines the functions of adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist also reduces driver workload.
This is particularly useful on long journeys, and in combination with efficiency assist, it brakes and accelerates the Audi Q7 in anticipation of the conditions ahead. Emergency assist is also new, and can bring the car to a stop if the driver is inactive.
The system, which is active in all driving modes, can also initiate protective and rescue measures.
The new Audi Q7 is expected to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2020. Further details on the model line-up, pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.