The most important advances benefiting the latest Q7 range are arguably to be found beneath the reworked body, where a new 3.0-litre TDI engine which uses an AdBlue additive to eradicate virtually all harmful nitrous oxides from emissions, and already meets stringent EU6 emissions applicable from 2014.
Like the rest of the engine range, including 3.6 FSI V6 and 4.2 FSI V8 direct injection petrol units and mighty 4.2 TDI V8 and 6.0 TDI diesels, the new high-tech 3.0-litre TDI unit is backed up by a new energy recovery system which helps to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 5 g/km. During braking and coasting phases the system converts mechanical energy into electric energy via the alternator and stores it within the battery to reduce the load on the engine.
An advanced version of the common rail piezo injection system with 2,000 bar of pressure, new combustion chamber sensors and a high-performance exhaust recirculation system ensures a highly efficient combustion process in the new TDI clean diesel. An innovative DeNOx catalytic converter reduces the remaining nitrogen oxides. Just upstream of it, a pump injects an additive named AdBlue into the hot exhaust flow, where this solution decomposes into ammonia, which splits the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water. This additive is replenished by Audi Centres during routine servicing.
In Q7 3.0 TDI quattro models equipped with the new TDI 'clean diesel' unit backed up by the energy recuperation technology, a combined fuel economy figure of 31.7mpg is achievable. The benefits of recuperation are also particularly evident in the 4.2 TDI, which enjoys a fuel economy boost from 25.5mpg to 28.5mpg, despite an increase in power for the latest generation unit from 326PS to 340PS.
All engines transmit their power via a six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, and all of course work in conjunction with quattro permanent four-wheel-drive with the now familiar 40 per cent / 60 per cent front-to-rear torque split for optimum on-road balance. Both on and off the tarmac, the standard five-mode air suspension with its variable ground clearance of between 180mm and 240mm helps the Audi Q7 to iron out the most imperfect of surfaces. The off-road setting, with 205mm of clearance and adapted damper control, is the perfect setting for cross-country driving.
A redesigned front grille, restyled bumpers incorporating new integrated under-body protectors, new door mouldings and distinctive new LED rear lights embellish the distinctive Audi Q7 body in its latest incarnation. SE versions are further enhanced by larger 19-inch alloy wheels (previously 18-inch), and top specification S line models by LED indicators and new U-shaped 'wraparound' LED daytime running lights built into standard xenon headlamps. These new light units can also be added at extra cost to SE and standard models.
Inside the latest Audi Q7, numerous detail enhancements, most notably to the instrument cluster and switchgear but also taking in lighting and interior colour schemes, have improved the ambience. Three specification levels – standard, SE and S line - are offered for the V6 FSI and V6 TDI models, while the V8 petrol and V8 TDI versions are available exclusively in SE or S line form. The V12 TDI has an extensive, stand-alone specification. SE and S line versions in the latest generation benefit from equipment upgrades, the former including the new 19-inch alloy wheel design and Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, and the latter the addition of front seat heating, Bluetooth phone preparation and xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and indicators.
Among the new additions to the options list is the latest HDD navigation and entertainment system available for integration into the standard Multi Media Interface. The system uses a hard drive to store navigation mapping, music and telephone data, and displays its new 3D graphics on a high resolution colour monitor. Climate controlled comfort seats capable of heating or cooling their occupants are also newly available, as are long life, virtually fade-free carbon fibre ceramic brakes, which have been fitted as standard to the Audi Q7 V12 TDI since its launch and are now offered at extra cost for 4.2 FSI and 4.2 TDI versions.B&B tunes Q7 to 595 hp
9 October 2009