The dynamic suspension of the Audi Q7 uses proven sports technology with double wishbones at the front and rear as well as standard steel springs and twin-tube shock absorbers. Long spring travel, a ground clearance of 205 millimetres and robust components take into account the application spectrum of off-road driving. All this results in a driving performance that bears any comparison in respect of dynamism and which sets the standard with regard to ease of control, even on rough terrain.
The double wishbones at the front axle are made of aluminium, a clear advantage in terms of reducing unsprung masses: ride comfort and driving dynamics are thus enhanced. The lower wishbone and anti-roll bar are attached to a subframe of high-strength steel, on which the steering is mounted.
All Q7 models are equipped as standard with speed-dependent servotronic steering. This helps the driver to manoeuvre in or out of a parking space with minimum steering effort, and its directness and precision ensure good road contact and clear feedback at high speeds.
At the rear axle, the upper wishbone and the spring strut cross bar are made of forged aluminium. The tie bar on the other hand is made of weight-optimised tailored rolled blanks, which thanks to steel plates of varying thicknesses combine low weight with high rigidity for sections under particular loads and strain. All control arms are attached to a subframe which also supports the final drive. The tilted position of the spring and shock absorber unit reduces overall height and creates more room in the vehicle interior.
The use of rubber-bonded metal mounts with low torsional rigidity at the front and rear axle means that occupants can enjoy exceptional ride comfort.
The Audi Q7 is fitted with 18-inch aluminium wheels as standard, with 235/60 tyres (eight-cylinder: 255/55). As an alternative, other wheels (sizes 18, 19 and 20-inch) can be ordered on request. An optical highlight is unquestionably the new 20-inch 5-arm double-spoke cast aluminium wheel with the bicolor design. If the Q7 is configured as a 5-seater with 18-inch wheels, a full-size spare wheel is available.
Option: adaptive air suspension
The latest-generation adaptive air suspension is available as an option on the Audi Q7. The combination of air suspension and an electronically controlled damping system produces the perfect synthesis of truly sporty handling and supreme ride comfort. An important feature for an automobile with off-road capability: ground clearance is variable between the minimum dynamic level of 165 mm and a maximum of 240 mm (lift mode).
For normal driving, a choice of three different characteristics can be selected via the central multimedia interface (MMI) control panel, ranging from very sporty to comfortable, namely dynamic, automatic and comfort. The system control unit varies the spring and damping characteristics according to the mode selected and vehicle speed.
In parallel with this, the trim is lowered by up to 35 millimetres (dynamic mode at high speeds), optimising drag and lateral dynamics at the same time.
Driving dynamics also benefit from the dynamic roll stabilisation function of the adaptive air suspension system - an innovation in the Q7: the system actively responds to steering movements and thus counteracts body roll.
In addition, the driver can activate two additional modes off-road: 25 millimetres higher than at normal level, the Audi Q7 can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h in the off-road mode. In lift mode, with 60 millimetres of extra ground clearance (absolute value 240 mm), even major obstacles can be negotiated. The automatic function's control mechanism intervenes to lower the vehicle's centre of gravity to achieve ride comfort and driving dynamics at higher speeds.
A new feature in the Q7 is the facility to lower the body at the touch of a button via the rear axle only. The loading lip is lowered significantly, making it much easier to load items into the luggage area.
The fully-supporting air springs at the front and rear axle keep the body level constant, regardless of the load situation.
Added to this is a quality specific to this air suspension concept: the occupants benefit from a smooth ride at all times, regardless of the load the vehicle is carrying. The firmness of the springs always adapts to the weight of the vehicle.
All driving modes and height levels can be read off the MMI screen. The ride height also appears in the central driver information display.
New ESP generation
All Audi Q7 models are equipped with a latest-generation electronic stabilisation programme. This includes the antilock brake system ABS with electronic brake force distribution EBD and hydraulic brake assist which automatically increases brake power when the driver applies the brakes in an emergency. The traction control system ASR and the electronic differential lock EDL, in conjunction with yaw control, form the basis of the ESP safety concept.
Important for other road users: if the driver brakes hard in extreme situations the ESP warns following traffic accordingly by switching on the hazard warning lights. If the driver activates the off-road mode with the ESP button, the traction of the Q7 is substantially enhanced by means of modified control settings.
Also important - particularly for off-road operation, is the hill descent assist feature. It automatically keeps the speed constant when driving slowly on steep downhill stretches, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle. The roll stability program (RSP) intervenes during critical driving manoeuvres that could cause the vehicle to overturn and takes the necessary corrective braking action.
Large vehicles are not infrequently used to tow trailers - with a trailer weight of up to 3,500 kg the Q7 is clearly destined to be used this way.
With this is mind, another function is an indispensable safety feature - the trailer stabilisation system. Often at cruising speed, and even when driving straight ahead, minor lateral movements build up, causing the trailer to sway dangerously as a result. The ESP trailer stabilisation function identifies this situation and effectively stabilises the outfit by means of automatic brake intervention.