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Audi's new generation Q7 for 2015

Audi Q7: new generation revealed

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14th December, 2014

  • All-new Audi Q7 to debut at Detroit Motor Show in January 2015
  • Global release begins mid-2015

With the new generation Q7, Audi is improving its entrant in the premium SUV segment. Less weight and a lower centre of mass make it more agile than the outgoing model. Its innovative assistance and infotainment systems modernises the SUV.

With a kerb weight of 1,995 kilogrammes (with the 3.0 TDI engine), the new Audi Q7 is lighter than before. In fact, it weighs 325 kilogrammes less than the previous model. With its lightweight, multi-material body and an all-new chassis, it is comfortable while at the same time offering relevant performance.

The engines set god marks in the segment of large SUVs with all-wheel drive. The 3.0 TDI with 200 kW and the 3.0 TFSI with 245 kW accelerate the new Audi Q7 from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (TDI) and 6.1 seconds (TFSI).

The Audi Q7 sets new standards for Audi with respect to the operating concept, infotainment, connectivity and driver assistance systems. The second-generation modular infotainment platform is on board, as is the Audi virtual cockpit. The new MMI all‑in‑touch control unit with large touchpad makes operation relatively easy. Other innovations include the expanded services from Audi connect, the Audi tablet for the rear seat passengers and the two sound systems with 3D audio. Smartphone integration with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is also new. The new Audi Q7 is one of the first cars worldwide to offer these functions.

One highlight is the comprehensive portfolio of new driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistant.

The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro, which will be launched later in 2015, is the first plug in hybrid from Audi with a diesel engine. It has 275 kW of system output and a system torque of 700 Nm. A full battery charge is sufficient for a distance of 56 kilometres.

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The new Audi Q7 in greater detail

Audi will present the second generation Audi Q7 at the Detroit Motor Show (North American International Auto Show) in Detroit, USA, 17th-25th January 2015.

The drivetrain, chassis, lightweight construction, assistance systems and infotainment have improved with innovative technology.


The new Q7 is an imposing car: 5.05 metres long, 2.99 metres in wheelbase, 1.97 metres wide and 1.74 metres tall (with steel suspension). Although it is shorter and narrower than its predecessor, the cabin is longer and offers more head room.

Equipped with the 3.0 TDI engine, the new generation Audi Q7 tips the scales at 1,995 kilogrammes, which is 325 kilogrammes less weight. The Q7 with the 3.0 TFSI engine is even lighter, weighing 1,970 kilogrammes. Lightweight construction has been applied in all areas, from the electrical system to the luggage compartment floor. The key is the body structure, where a new multi-material design reduces its weight by 71 kilogrammes.

Ultra-high-strength parts made of hot-shaped steel form the backbone of the occupant cell. Aluminium castings, extruded sections and panels are used in the front and rear ends as well as the superstructure. They account for 41 per cent of the body structure. Other parts made entirely of aluminium are the doors, which shave 24 kilogrammes of weight, the front mudguards, the engine bonnet and the rear tailgate. Audi uses new manufacturing methods for the production and assembly of the parts.

Three torsion rings reinforce the front end, the area of the C-pillars and the rear tailgate cut-out. These play a major role in the vastly improved static and dynamic stiffness of the body. The torsion rings are the foundation for the precise handling and vibrational comfort in the car's interior.

Quiet on board

The improved acoustic insulation reinforces the impression of solidity by providing for a degree of quietness in many situations.

The big SUV has a cd value of just 0.32. The underbody is partly lined; a small spoiler in the area of the rear axle reduces lift.

Exterior design

The proportions have changed compared with the previous model. The big SUV is 37 millimetres shorter and 15 millimetres narrower while virtually the same height. Inside, however, there is an additional 21 millimetres between the first and second rows of seats, and head room has increased by 41 millimetres and 23 millimetres in the first and second rows, respectively.

The design features horizontal lines extending above the wheels. These blisters are a subtle homage to the classic quattro models from Audi. The exterior mirrors are mounted on the shoulders of the doors; blades run from the front to the rear doors and bear embossed quattro logos. The tailgate wraps around the massive, steeply raked D-pillars.

The single frame grille is deeply sculpted and features thick crossbars. Its broad frame extends to the headlights. The daytime running lights of the LED headlights are shaped like a double arrow. The taillights of the top model include dynamic turn signals.

Trim strips and add-on parts

Four of the eleven exterior colours available for the Q7 are new. All of the trim strips adorning the body of the new Q7 have a matt aluminium-look for a sporty, modern appearance. Bolt-on parts such as the door inlays and underbody protection front and rear come standard with a silver paint finish. In the base model configuration, the bottom section of the bumpers and the wheel arches are anthracite, textured plastic. Borrowing from the bolt-on parts, the radiator grille is finished with a new, lightly structured paint that underscores the off-road potential of the car.

With the second alternative – the S line exterior package – the bumpers, the air inlets, the side sills, the roof spoiler and the diffuser feature a bold design. The radiator grille and the slats in the lateral air intakes feature a newly developed, progressive, dark grey, high-gloss finish that replaces the familiar high-gloss black.

Interior design

Audi's new generation Q7 welcomes its occupants with an atmosphere of cultivated elegance and spaciousness. The interior design appears tautly stretched; the two-piece inlays are available in various material combinations. The double application strip in the doors provides for a sense of lightness.

The instrument panel is visually separated from the centre console, supporting the sportiness and lightness of the interior.

A wrap-around running from the doors through the instrument panel to form a sort of protective shield gives the driver and front passengers a feeling of protection. The interface components are tailored specifically to the Audi Q7. They are located on the centre console, which is oriented toward the driver. The shapes and contours of the interface components harmonise well with the interior architecture. The lines of the air vents point to the instrument cluster and further reinforce the driver orientation.

The ambient lighting uses LEDs exclusively. A second variant of the ambient lighting is available as an alternative. Ultra-narrow light guides follow the contours on the instrument panel and in the doors (including exit warning) as standard, and in an upgrade option they also include the centre tunnel console. Now for the first time this lighting can be controlled via the MMI. In the top package, various colours can be selected.

Colour and equipment: Diverse equipment variants

With the colours and materials used in the Q7, Audi is showing a new expression of lightness, sportiness and luxury in the premium SUV segment. The instrument panel is separated horizontally into two colours, which enables brighter colours to be used on the bottom. There are seven interior colours from which to choose. The two-piece application strip is available in a variety of material combinations. Besides high-quality effect finishes, there are a number of aluminium and wood variants from which to choose, including Beaufort walnut. Audi offer a choice of fabric, Alcantara, robust Cricket leather and fine Valcona leather for the seat coverings.

For customers seeking even more individuality, Audi offers three leather packages and two design selections. One elegant and one sporty design include full leather with contrast stitching, Alcantara headlining, luxury velour floor mats plus exclusive colour and material combinations and application strips. The Audi exclusive range offers many additional customisation options.

Even more room than in the previous model: The space concept

Despite a shorter exterior length, the new generation Audi Q7 offers more space than its predecessor. Passengers enjoy more head, shoulder and knee room. The space concept is highly variable. Audi provides a comfortable three-seat unit with adjustable seatbacks for the second row. If desired, all three seats can each be moved longitudinally up to 110 millimetres, 10 millimetres more than before.

Another option is for two individual seats in the third row that are certified in Europe as Group 3 child seats. These turn the Audi Q7 into a seven-seater with even greater utility. With the seats folded down, the seat backs are integrated into the cargo floor and can be raised or lowered electrically using rocker switches located in the C-pillars and in the cargo compartment.

For optimal access to the third row, the seats in the second row can be folded down and tipped up on edge as a compact package, providing an entry width of 376 millimetres. All seats in the second and third rows have Isofix/i-Size fixtures for child seats. Customers can thus mount up to six child seats in the new Audi Q7. Roller blinds and dark “privacy” glazing is optionally available for the rear. The panoramic glass sunroof – another option – makes the interior even brighter and airier.

If all seven seats are occupied, the cargo compartment of the new Audi Q7 has a capacity of 295 litres. The five-seater offers 890 litres. To improve the usability of the cargo compartment, the designers lowered the loading lip by 46 millimetres compared with the previous model. A power rear tailgate is standard. In combination with the advanced key, Audi also offers gesture control – a kicking motion in the centre below the rear hatch and the hatch opens automatically. The same foot gesture can also be used to close the hatch again.

A number of other options are available for making interactions with the new Q7 practical and convenient: a power cargo compartment cover, power door closers and a heated windshield.

Fewer buttons for optimal ergonomics: Operation and display

All controls are framed in fine aluminium lines. They harmonise with the architecture – a reduced number of buttons while at the same time offering optimal ergonomics. Front seat choices are standard seats, standard seats with climate function, sport seats, sport seats with pneumatics and the custom contour seat. The design of the second and third row can be adapted to the variants chosen for the front seats.

The front seats offer driver and passenger plenty of space and comfort. Among the seat variants offered in the new Q7 are the multi-adjustable sport seat and the climate-controlled individual contour seat with up to 18 adjustments and optional massage function. The latter includes five different programmes, each with a choice of five intensity levels.

Air conditioning

Audi equips the new Q7 standard with a newly developed, two-zone air conditioning system. Its new operating concept uses fewer buttons and controls. Animated symbols in the display, the high-quality TFT display and the capacitive toggle switches provide for intuitive operation of the air conditioning. Audi also offers the option of a four-zone system, the temperature displays of which are integrated into the rotary dials. A display with toggle switches shows the status of selected functions. When the toggle switch is touched, the menu expands for better legibility and easier operation.

The right zone of the instrument panel includes a continuous air vent strip – including continuous chrome application – from which the air exits indirectly and draft-free. Both air conditioning variants offer occupants high air quality in the cabin. In both fresh air and recirculation mode, the air conditioning system filters out fine particulates.

MMI operating concept

The latest generation of the Audi MMI operating concept makes it easy to control the multitude of convenient and innovative functions in the Audi Q7. The innovative MMI search with intelligent suggestions makes it easier to search for specific song titles and to input telephone contacts or navigation destinations, thus significantly reducing the amount of time spent on these operations. Nearly all entries can be completed in just a few steps. Two supplemental menus contain intelligently linked functions and options.

Displays appear on the central MMI monitor, which rises up from the instrument panel when the system is started and also enables the passenger to use the Audi MMI system in the accustomed manner.

Haptic feedback: MMI all-in-touch

The focal point of the operating system is the newly developed MMI all-in-touch control unit with a full touch surface. Each input is followed by an acoustic and a haptic confirmation – a click that is also felt on the finger.

The driver can enter characters on the large touchpad or perform multi-finger gestures to zoom in on the map or scroll through lists, for example. The main functions can be accessed using the high-quality rotary push button and two rocker switches. The driver can also assign personal favourites, such as navigation destinations, telephone numbers or radio stations, to eight freely programmable buttons.

The essential control logic of the Audi MMI is also reflected in the new multifunction steering wheels. Drivers can operate the onboard computer with its vehicle information as well as operate the audio system with the thumb of their left hand. Depending on the equipment installed, telephony and navigation functions can also be controlled via the steering wheel. The volume roller with mute function as well as the voice dialogue button, telephone express controls and the practical Skip function quickly changing the radio station or the song are located on the right side of the steering wheel.

Audi virtual cockpit

The optional MMI navigation plus is also available with the Audi virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT display that presents tack-sharp, painstakingly rendered graphics. The Q7 driver can switch between a classic view with high-quality rendered dial instruments and an infotainment view with an extended display area for lists and the map – all conveniently from the steering wheel. Furthermore, custom views, such as certain values from the onboard computer, can also be configured. The great flexibility of the displays enables all information to be presented as a function of personal preferences and the driving situation.

T30 processor from Audi’s partner NVIDIA

The modular infotainment platform (MIB) is an important system component. The new Q7 is equipped with the second generation of the MIB, which includes a quad-core T30 processor from Audi’s partner NVIDIA.

Together with the second T30 processor integrated directly into the Audi virtual cockpit, the systems generate brilliant 3D graphics and tack-sharp dial instruments displayed at a rate of 60 frames per second. The graphics quality, transparent images and animations together with the high-end resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels create an all-new visual experience.

Another high-end option in the new Audi Q7 is the head-up display, which is harmoniously integrated into the instrument panel. It projects all key information onto the windshield.

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Modular: the infotainment

Audi offers various levels of the infotainment modules for the new Q7. The MMI radio plus is standard in Germany. This offers interfaces for external devices such as mobile phones or memory cards. The standard Audi sound system delivers sound from its ten speakers. It is controlled using the MMI terminal on the centre tunnel, which comprises a rotary push button, two options buttons and four main function buttons.

Displays are shown on a central, 7-inch MMI monitor that rises up from the instrument panel when the system is started.

The infotainment control centre is the MMI navigation plus, which has an 8.3-inch monitor. Working in the background is the second generation of the modular infotainment platform. Its key component is the fast Tegra 30 graphics processor from Audi’s partner NVIDIA.

Sound with a third dimension

Audi offers additional hardware components beyond MMI navigation plus. The Bose sound system with 3D sound and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound fascinate hi-fi users. Both systems reproduce music in innovative 3D sound. Additional speakers in the A-pillars provide the spatial dimension of height so that the music appears to be coming from a virtual stage. The Bang & Olufsen system drives 23 speakers including subwoofers with 1,920 watts of amplifier power.

The Audi phone box, another option in the new Q7 already available in other models, connects a mobile phone to the car’s cellular phone antenna. Inductive charging and wireless smartphone connection will be available as additional functions shortly after the launch of the new Audi Q7.

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Driver assistance systems

With its range of driver assistance systems, the new generation Audi Q7 is competitive in its segment. Some systems have been completely redeveloped from scratch.

Standard are the rear parking aid, cruise control, adjustable speed limiter, rest recommendation and the safety system Audi pre sense city. At city speeds it warns the driver of impending collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and will initiate heavy braking in an emergency.

If the collision is inevitable, the multi-collision brake assist system uses controlled braking manoeuvres during the accident to aid the driver. This can help to prevent the car from skidding and thus additional collisions. The optional “Audi pre sense basic” initiates preventive protective measures for the occupants in instable driving states, such as tightening of the front seat belts.

Optional solutions are bundled in the packages “Parking”, “City” and “Tour”. The “Parking” package includes the surround view camera and the park assist system, which autonomously steers the car backwards into parallel and perpendicular parking spots. The driver only has to apply the brakes and the accelerator.

Updated engines

The new Audi Q7 is coming to the European market with two V6 engines: a TDI and a TFSI. Thanks to refinements, their CO2 emissions have been reduced by as much as 50 grammes per kilometre. Both engines comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.

The 3.0 TDI produces 200 kW and 600 Nm of torque. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.3 seconds. Average fuel consumption rating is 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres. The V6 diesel has been systematically designed for minimal internal friction and efficient thermal management. The 3.0 TDI is smooth, which is also due in part to the switchable hydraulic engine bearings.

The 3.0 TFSI produces 245 kW and 440 Nm of torque, accelerating the new Audi Q7 from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. Its mechanical compressor, which provides charging, is deactivated when operating at part load. This technique contributes to the low consumption rating of 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC.

A second variant of the 3.0 TDI with 160 kW and 500 Nm of torque will follow at a later date.

Another engine is the 2.0 TFSI with an output of 185 kW and 370 Nm of torque. It is planned primarily for Asian markets and the USA.

By wire: the powertrain

Smooth, fast, lightweight and efficient. In the new Audi Q7, a newly developed, eight-speed tiptronic transfers the engine’s power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The torque converter transmission shifts gears smoothly and is very efficient. It offers a free-wheeling function when the driver steps off the gas. A new vaporisation system enables the engine to run at extremely slow speeds below 1,000 rpm.

Besides automatic mode, the driver can also choose to control the tiptronic using the standard paddles on the steering wheel or via a selector lever. In both cases, the commands are transmitted purely electrically (by wire).

The self-locking centre differential is integrated into the housing of the eight-speed tiptronic. It is lighter and more compact than the transfer case of the previous model, and with its optimised locking rates provides for outstanding traction and handling. Under normal driving conditions, the centre differential distributes the power between the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio. If the wheels of one axle lose grip, it can extremely quickly transfer as much as 70 per cent of the power to the front and a maximum of 85 per cent to the rear.

The mechanical centre differential operates in direct conjunction with torque vectoring. During fast cornering, the control software uses finely metered interventions to brake the inside wheels, which are under a reduced load. This makes the steering response of the new Q7 even more agile and precise, and the grip even better.

Australian availability

Stay tuned to Next Car for further details on Australian specifications, pricing and release date in due course.


Specifications are subject to change without notice.



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