The Audi Q7 has shed a whopping 325 kilograms, says our car tester Reinhold Deisenhofer. And we're going to find out how it was done and what advantages it has. Also new with the Q7 are the engines, the exterior, and above all the interior.
The Q7 is 5 meters, 5 centimeters long. Few other cars feel as big.
That's noticeable in the interior, with the multi-function speedometer.
But with this new generation, Audi wants to make the heavyweight handle like a bantamweight - more like an agile sportscar than a big offroad vehicle.
The suspension has been substantially altered, too.
Our car tester says the Q7 is still more than 5 meters long and weighs about two tons, but it maneuvers like a much smaller vehicle. Low weight helps, but so does all-wheel steering, which reduces the Q7's turning radius by a meter. That pays off when parallel parking in town as well as on mountain serpentines.
Here's how all-wheel steering works: If you're driving slower than 50 kilometers an hour, the rear wheels point up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction from the front wheels. That makes for tighter turns and less shunting back and forth.
Our test car is equipped with 3-point-zero liter, turbo-fuel stratified injection engine. The diesel version sells more, but the TFSI is attractive for its high torque and decent fuel consumption of 7-point-7 liters per 100 kilometers on the new European driving norm.
Reinhold says Audi has sold more than 530 thousand Q7s over the past 10 years. Now it's lighter, more agile, and more efficient, with a luxurious interior, state-of-the-art assistant systems, and a range of good engines. But Reinhold thinks Audi could have been more daring with the exterior.