Updated Audi SQ7 showcased: Looks sharper, goes faster
Audi has showcased the updated SQ7, a performance variant of their full-size Q7 SUV. The updates include a host of updates that we saw on the updated Q7 recently, plus a few updates specific to this ‘S’ model. The SQ7 is a rival to the likes of the Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Drivetrain of the Audi SQ7
What sets the SQ7 apart from the standard 7-seater Q7 is the drivetrain. Under the hood is a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel engine that puts out 429bhp and a massive 900Nm of torque. Performance is further enhanced by an electric powered compressor that runs on the 48V electric architecture. What it does is force compressed air in to the engine when the revs are low and the turbos aren’t spooled up enough, filling in the lag that would normally exist with a turbocharged engine. The EPC is integrated in the air intake tract, and it can spool up to 70,000rpm in just 250 milliseconds. This, along with the eight-speed auto and quattro AWD, makes for blistering performance for such a large SUV, 0-100kmph takes 4.8 seconds and it is electronically limited to 250kmph.
The Audi SQ7 gets a dynamic chassis
An SUV of this size packing this much performance needs a chassis that can deal with the loads it will be put through. The SQ7 gets air suspension as standard and it gets a dynamic steering too, that adjusts its ratio as steering angle increases. All-wheel steering is integrated to make it more dynamic, with the rear wheels having the capability to turn by 5 degrees. The SQ7 can be specced with an optional advanced suspension package that gets an electromechanical roll stabilizer, to enhance ride quality and help with keeping the body flat during hard cornering. It also gets a sport differential on the rear axle to help it put down torque better and control oversteer progressively.
Exteriors of the Audi SQ7
The SQ7 gets the design updates given to the Q7, and then gets some model-specific updates. The vertical slats in the grille are actually twin slats, exterior mirror housings are in aluminum and it gets quad-tailpipes finished in chrome. The underbody protection at the rear looks sturdier too.
Other updates from the older Q7 are the headlamps which now sit with the new Q7’s look, the tallamps and the styling elements in the grille. The bumper and intakes are more aggressive as well.
The SQ7 comes with 20-inch cast aluminium wheels as standard, and gets 285/45 tyres as standard. The front gets 400mm discs while the rear wheels get 370mm discs with optional (and larger) carbon ceramics are available as an option, to reign in all that performance.
Interiors of the SQ7
The Audi SQ7 gets dark leather interiors with a liberal dose of Alcantara thrown in. Inlays in the dash are aluminium but you can option carbon, if making your performance SUV purposeful is on your agenda. The seats are sportier than what you’d get in a regular Q7, though you can option S Sport seats with integrated headrests and the S logo embossed on them. You also get stainless steel pedals and S logos on the door sills.
In terms of connectivity, the SQ7 now gets an integrated sim card, including navigation, traffic alerts, Amazon Alexa enabled and traffic light information. A lot of this information can be accessed through virtual cockpit. Also included is a Bang & Olufsen sound system, four zone climate control and fragrances for the cabin.
It is highly unlikely that the SQ7 will be sold in India, as the price would be stratospheric and the volumes too low. But it is interesting to see Audi still pushing performance diesel cars, despite the world weaning off diesels after the VW Group scandal. This update was announced following the Audi S4’s switch exclusively to diesel. It seems like an odd thing to do at this time, but there’s no denying the performance combined with the frugal nature of diesel engines.