Motoring expert Chris Walsh test drives the new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro SE…
Driven: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro SE
I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the majority of people might have put on a little weight over the festive period – and rightly so. But in the case of the new Audi Q7, it did not. In fact, the new Audi Q7 somehow managed to lose some weight over the winter months, to the tune of 240kg no less (which by my reckoning, is around the amount of roast potatoes and sprouts I consumed). And unlike my usual Christmas, these impressive returns are the result of an intensive weight optimisation programme that has shaved many, many kilograms from a car that was already considered to be very big and very bulky, to almost ridiculous proportions in the first place. But I can put that image to bed, because the new model not only weighs less but also actually looks slimmer, more lithe and way less aggressive on the eye.
Every single area of the new Q7, from the suspension and drivetrain components to the body panels, has been considered. The most notable savings were made in the multimaterial chassis, which is now around 71kg lighter than its predecessor, the allaluminium doors, which strip away a further 24kg and the new five-link suspension, which subtracts another 67kg. All these savings mean that the 268 bhp variant can utilise more of the 600 Nm of torque available to sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 6.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 146 mph. Combined fuel consumption is an incredible 47.8mpg, which equates to CO2 emissions of a mere 153 g/km. But if efficiency is your bag, later this year Audi will go further still, with the inclusion of an Q7 e-tron quattro option, which is the first plug in hybrid from Audi with a diesel engine. It impresses with 369 bhp, 700 Nm of torque and it returns the equivalent of up to 166.1mpg! On the road, the Q7 is still the capable SUV it always was, with space and seats a plenty. But the addition of ‘all-wheel steering’ is clearly a strategic one that helps the car to also feel that bit nimbler on its toes.
Model: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro SE
Price (As Driven): £49,475 (£59,145)
Powerplant: 3.0-litre V6
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic
Power: 268 bhp
Torque: 600 Nm
Weight: 2,060 kg
0-62 MPH: 6.3 seconds
Top Speed: 146 mph
Combined MPG: 47.8
CO2 Emission: 153 g/km
Images: Tristan Ware