Getting to grips with the Audi SQ7

In Audi, Car Reviews by Steve Grant

The UK’s fastest diesel SUV. You might not think the world needs an all-weather seven-seater supercar, but Audi has done your thinking for you and created one anyway.

Steve Grant gets to grips with the Audi SQ7 4.0 TDI quattro 435 PS tiptronic.
And, it has done a lot of thinking. Rarely has ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ or ‘Advancement through Technology’ been as literally interpreted.

..a sport differential actively controlling torque distribution between the rear wheels can also be specified. If there is grip, says Audi, it will help find it.
Priced from £70,970 on-the-road, the SQ7 TDI is not only the first ‘S’ version of Audi’s Q7 luxury SUV, but also the first series production car to incorporate new electric powered compressor (EPC) technology which consigns so-called turbo lag to history.

Put very simply; the EPC is an electrically driven turbo which augments two conventional turbochargers to generate unparalleled pulling power for a car in this class.

More clever technology – electromechanical active roll stabilisation – helps keep the V8-powered 2.3-tonne behemoth on the straight and narrow.

The new super Q7 derives its pace from a mighty 4.0 bi-turbo V8 TDI engine boosted by the revolutionary EPC from the second the accelerator pedal is depressed.

Now developing 435PS between 3,750rpm and 5,000rpm and with a phenomenal 900 Nm of torque available from just 1,000rpm, the SUV quattro rushes from 0-62mph in under five seconds.

Top speed is limited to 155mph, and remarkably, the SQ7 TDI is said to officially return up to 39.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 190 g/km. All accompanied by an enchanting bellow from the four-pipe exhaust system.

On major roads and with the standard adaptive air suspension set to Comfort mode, the SQ7 is a refined, sumptuous and accomplished cruiser on its 20-inch alloys, with barely a whisper from the V8.

The eight-speed auto gearbox shifts smoothly and quickly when you want it to but, like Audi’s R8 supercar, is equally relaxed in everyday traffic.

Making such a huge SUV lightning quick in a straight line is relatively easy – well, for Audi it is – but to be an all-round supercar, it needs to corner well too. Which is where the optional £5,700 Driving Dynamics Sports Pack comes in handy. It encompasses the aforementioned active anti-roll system which virtually eliminates the body roll so often encountered with such high vehicles. Because it makes the Audi supremely stable in fast bends, it gives you the confidence to tackle twisty country roads quickly.

Of course, the SQ7 is an all-wheel drive SUV so should you feel the need for a little soft-roading there’s also an off-road mode for the air suspension, which raises the car up by 60mm to help deal with the rutted tracks you may come across.

The roomy yet still aerodynamic body combined with the smart use of lightweight materials, houses all this technology.

To stand out, the SQ7 boasts a unique radiator grille design, side air inlets, mirror housings and door inlays all with an aluminium finish. The LED headlights present a striking double-arrow light signature.

Inside the SUV, seven comfortable seats across three rows are upholstered in the highest-quality Valcona leather. The 235 litres of luggage space can easily be increased to up to 1,890 litres helped by the electrically folding third seat row.

Among the more indulgent options available are alloy wheels of up to 22 inches. The Matrix LED headlamps are capable of diverting their beam around oncoming and leading traffic. The car also features not one, but two ‘3D’ surround sound systems from Bose and Bang & Olufsen.

Buyers are offered the choice from 24 optional driver assistance systems. Audi pre sense city – an anticipatory warning and emergency braking function for avoiding accidents and protecting pedestrians – comes as standard.

For the first time in the Q7 series, a sport differential actively controlling torque distribution between the rear wheels can also be specified. If there is grip, says Audi, it will help find it. All-wheel-steering is also available to promote even greater stability at higher speeds by turning the front and rear wheels in the same direction, and to aid low-speed manoeuvrability in urban situations by turning them in opposing directions.

Vorsprung durch Technik indeed…

Car reviewed: Audi SQ7 4.0 TDI quattro 435 PS tiptronic – price as tested £95,160.00 on the road 0-62mph 4.9 secs Top speed 155mph Combined Fuel Economy combined39.2mpg CO2 emissions 190g/km Engine V8, 3956cc, biturbo with (EPC) electric powered compressor (EPC) Max Power 435PS@3750-5000rpm Torque 900Nm@1000-3250rpm Transmission quattro permanent all-wheel drive, 8-speed auto tiptronic

  • Massive Performance

  • Audi build quality

  • Immense torque

  • There must be something

About the author

Steve Grant

One of the West Country's leading motoring writers, Steve Grant has been working as a senior news journalist for nearly 30 years, and has been News & Motoring Editor of the Western Morning News, Chief Reporter of Bristol Evening Post, and held the posts of Business Editor and Local Government Correspondent at the Evening Herald, Plymouth. Currently secretary of the Western Group of Motoring Writers. Steve's been a committed petrolhead since he was a small boy, constantly pestering local dealerships for posters, brochures and anything else car-related.

No items found, please search again.