Audi Philippines reasserts its presence in the full-size premium SUV segment with the much-awaited arrival of the second-generation Q7 – its all-new, award-winning family SUV.
Presented to valued clients, guests, and members of the media during a formal launch at the Audi Greenhills showroom, the Q7 was described by Audi Philippines head Benedicto Coyiuto as “the great quattro,” boasting values of “presence, precision, and performance.” He shared that, coincidentally, the first-generation Q7 was introduced in 2005, on the 25th anniversary of the Ingolstadt-based carmaker’s Quattro vehicle, which first bannered Audi’s revolutionary permanent four-wheel-drive system. Coyiuto considers the Q7 as the “cornerstone” of the brand’s SUV lineup.
Meanwhile, in a speech, German Embassy Chargé d’affaires Michael Hasper declared that “Germany and cars belong together,” and praised Audi for winning the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour endurance race 12 times in the last 15 years. He cited the carmaker’s tagline “Vorsprung Durch Technik” (Advancement Through Technology) and assented: “There is no Audi without top technology.”
And top technology the Q7 indeed has, inside and out.
For starters, Audi engineers capitalized on more than two decades of experience in manufacturing aluminum chassis and suspension components to shave off substantial weight from the Q7 without sacrificing cabin safety and integrity. Audi general sales manager Paolo Brambilla said that the new iteration is lighter by as much as 325 kilograms compared to the first-generation Q7. “That’s the same weight as a grand piano,” he illustrated.
The considerable weight reduction promises a myriad of benefits – reduced fuel consumption, more dynamic handling response, increased cornering ease, improved braking, and quicker acceleration. Audi makes the lighter Q7 possible through a multi-layer material for the chassis consisting of hot-stamped high-strength steel and aluminum. Other parts like the doors, tailgate, hood, and fenders are made entirely out of aluminum to save further weight without decreasing cabin safety and integrity.
While 37 millimeters shorter and 15 millimeters narrower than its predecessor, the all-new Q7 provides much roomier interiors, with an additional 21 millimeters of space between the first and second rows. This enhances rear-seat legroom and makes passenger ingress and exit easier. Headroom has improved by a generous 41 millimeters in the front seats, and 23 millimeters in the second-row seats.
A sleeker profile has lowered the Q7’s coefficient drag to 0.32 – leading to further reduction in fuel consumption and reduction of wind noise at highway speeds. A rear-facing reverse camera comes standard for both the locally offered 3.0 TDI and 3.0 TDI S Line variants to provide added ease in maneuvering and/or parking.
Under the hood rumbles a 3.0-liter V6 TDI good for a healthy 272hp and a hefty 600Nm. Power is transmitted to the standard quattro All-Wheel Drive system via a ZF eight-speed automatic. A gas-fed 2.0-liter, four-cylinder power plant meanwhile offers 252hp and 370Nm. The diesel engine enables standstill to 100kph in 6.3 seconds; the gas variant reaches the rate in 7.5 seconds.
The exterior imbues a decidedly more aggressive look for the Q7. Angular wheel fender flares pay homage to legendary Audi quattro models of old, and the trademark single-frame grill is deeply sculpted and features bold horizontal crossbars to project an image of strength and confidence. Xenon/HID, LED or Matrix LED headlights surround the grill, depending on options. Body strips come standard to protect the main exterior panels and are covered in matte aluminum, while the S-Line option adds more aggressive styling components that further separates the Q7 from the competition.
Owners can easily stow the third-row seats with a press of a button. With both this and the second rows folded, the Q7 boasts a substantial 2,075 of cargo space. Audi designers also lowered the rear loading lip by 46 millimeters for more convenient loading. The rear tailgate is powered as well. A kick or sweeping motion underneath the center of the rear bumper can open and close the tailgate – handy when the driver’s hands are full.
Leading the charge into the future, the Q7 features Audi’s breakthrough Virtual Cockpit centered around a 12.3-inch TFT display that shows a variety of engine and vehicle information, multimedia settings, and route guidance for a GPS/satellite navigation system. This highly customizable system is complemented by the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) system. Haptic feedback now improves usage while driving – as the system provides both an audible sound as well as vibration through one’s fingers to confirm the selection of a function. The revised MMI also uses a new-generation software that allows for a more “intelligent” voice command control and search function between MMI and driver.
Designers and engineers trimmed down the number of buttons on the Q7 for a more user-friendly, cleaner layout. Drive Select is available, which provides four drive modes are available: Comfort, Normal, Dynamic, and Individual. The last allows the driver to define a combination of settings for the engine responsiveness, transmission responsiveness, steering effort and suspension firmness.
All the improvements and innovation have not gone unnoticed. Early in its lifecycle, the all-new Q7 has already received the Euro NCAP Advanced award for its optional Multi-Collision Brake Assist System and Audi Pre-Sense, which puts tension on the seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof when the system detects a dangerous situation leading to a collision. Meanwhile, the Multi-Collision Brake Assist System initiates braking automatically in case of an accident to reduce the risk of skidding and mitigate greater damage. Audi also places maximum value on integral safety by going above and beyond the measures assessed by the institution. A central element in the Q7 is the Audi Pre-Sense City, a predictive warning and emergency braking system for accident avoidance and the protection of pedestrians. At speeds of up to 85kph, the feature observes the road with respect to other road users. Both are optional in the new Q7. Eight safety airbags come standard.
Motoring journalists who have recently tested the all-new Q7 in Dubai were impressed by the performance of the premium family SUV:
“The new Audi Q7 effortlessly delivers exceptional performance through cutting edge technology, but appears to do it discreetly due to the highest levels of comfort and luxury it provides. It’s truly deserving to be called Audi’s flagship (SUV) nameplate,” stated Ardie Lopez.
George Ramirez remarks, “It is totally different from its predecessor. Shedding over 300 kilos, it handles better and yet it is roomier. Aside from the larger power output, it is more luxurious as well as fitted with the latest technological sophistication… This new Q7 is truly worth of being Audi’s flagship SUV…”
Hasper expressed excitement in the all-new Q7’s arrival, and added that the quattro feature in the Q7 promises versatility and ability for whatever road and weather condition throughout the year. “It’s everything you need for the Philippines throughout the year,” he concluded.
For more information, call 0917-8139064 or visit the Audi showrooms located at Greenhills, Global City, and Alabang.