|January 31, 2006
The Audi Q7: Equipment & Market
Sporty and luxurious
The Audi Q7 comes from the factory with all features that are standard for a high-end vehicle. In addition, there are a number of items that underline the sporty and versatile character of the performance SUV. With regard to optional equipment, the engineers have come up with a number of innovative solutions.
The drivetrain and suspension clearly demonstrate that the Audi Q7 is an exceptional and extremely dynamic vehicle. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI; the quattro drive provides asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution to the axles, where it reaches the road via 18-inch aluminium wheels. The stabilisation system ESP controls the vehicle with delicate precision, not only on-road but particularly off-road.
The halogen headlights with clear-glass covers, the fog lights, the aluminium anodised roof rails, the electrically folding, heated and adjustable exterior mirrors with their flashing LEDs and the twin-pipe exhaust system create a striking look. The acoustic parking aid Audi parking system makes parking easier. A remote control for the central locking system, which also opens the windows, and entry and footwell lights at the front ensure convenient access.
Inside, the performance SUV features four power windows, a light/rain sensor and deluxe automatic air conditioning, which can be individually adjusted for the left and right-hand side and which takes the angle of the sun into account when performing its control function. The operating system MMI basic with a monochrome screen includes a single CD drive, which is integrated into the instrument panel.
In the second seat row passengers can adjust their backrests individually or use the centre section as an armrest or through-loading facility. The outer seats are fitted with the Isofix child seat mounting system.
Four large bottle holders, six cup holders and four 12-volt sockets enhance the on-board convenience and utility value of the Audi Q7 even further. A roller cover protects the luggage area, under which there is a double load-area floor. Vehicles without a full-size spare wheel have a dirt-resistant tray in its lower compartment.
Six large airbags serve to ensure passive safety. The full-size airbags for driver and front passenger are triggered in two stages. The side airbags at the front are integrated in the seat backs and the head-level airbag system sideguard inflates over the entire side window area, from the A-pillar to the D-pillar.
A sample of the optional equipment underlines the fact that the Audi Q7 is a new kind of performance SUV. Various items can give the exterior of the car an even more individual look, e.g. 19-inch or 20-inch aluminium wheels, special off-road tyres, black roof rails, metallic paintwork, tinted rear windows, a high-gloss package for window frames and an off-road package. For those who drive with trailers there is a choice of two towing brackets – one mechanically and one electrically operated.
Xenon plus headlights and the cornering light system adaptive light are available for perfect vision at night. Innovative assistance systems enhance driving convenience: the parking aid Audi parking system advanced including rear-view camera, the lane-changing system Audi side assist and, at a later date, adaptive cruise control using radar technology.
Access to the vehicle is particularly convenient with the access and authorisation system advanced key. The driver merely has to carry the key on his person. The door handles open and close with just a touch; a button in the centre console switches on the ignition and starts the engine.
More items of equipment are available for the cockpit of the Audi Q7. These are the driver information system (standard on the 4.2 FSI), two versions of the MMI operating system and a system of high-tech modules in the area of infotainment.
Highlights of these include the navigation system with DVD drive and map display, speech dialogue system and the Bose surround sound system. There is also a wide choice of steering wheels – the majority with control buttons for infotainment.
Audi has provided three configurations for the inherently versatile seating system – the Audi Q7 is available as a 5-seater, a 7-seater with two additional seats in the third row and a 6-seater with two exceptionally comfortable individual seats in the second row. Many luxury features can be ordered if desired. Electrical adjustment can be requested for the driver and front passenger seats – and for the steering wheel. Sports seats can of course be provided. The front seats and the outer seats in the second row can be ordered as heated seats on request. The optional fore/aft adjustment for the seats in the second row provides luxurious legroom.
For the load area, a rail system, a large removable ski bag, a reversible mat and a variable storage box are available. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically if desired – with this feature, the ideal opening angle can be programmed by the Audi Q7 owner himself. In the interior, a stowage package and a high-comfort centre armrest accommodate everyday items.
The large, three-part sliding roof open sky system, deluxe automatic air conditioning with four-zone control and auxiliary heating with a ventilation function create an interior climate to the standards of the luxury class. Manual roller blinds are available for the rear windows. With the lighting package, special inlays and one of the five design packages the ambience will become even more exclusive. Side airbags for the seats in the second row and an anti-theft system provide enhanced safety.
Market: No compromises
Audi is entering new market territory with the Q7 performance SUV. Thanks to uncompromising vehicle technology and equipment, the brand is in an outstanding position to do so. As a third-generation SUV the Audi Q7 is a vehicle with innovative qualities.
Audi has always pursued one goal: to combine excellence and uniqueness in its products. The brand is just as unlikely to compromise on this as would prospective customers of the Audi Q7 performance SUV.
Whereas the automotive market as a whole has been stagnating for years internationally, the SUV segment is growing worldwide. The German market is a striking example of this. In Germany, only 50,127 sport utility vehicles were sold in the year 2000 and this rose to 148,754 in 2004 – almost three times as many. 52,046 were premium-segment vehicles – this too is almost 300 per cent up on the figure for 2000 (18,993 units).
The Audi Q7 uncompromisingly combines on-road and off-road qualities. It is therefore not the rustic off-roader of the first-generation SUVs and also not a premium second-generation SUV, which sacrificed off-road capability in favour of comfort. As a third-generation performance SUV the Audi Q7 perfectly covers all areas of operation. It is therefore quite distinct from the large, purely road-going saloons with four-wheel drive, as currently envisaged by some competitors.