By Mauricio Lezcano carsNtravel.com
The premier luxury SUV in the Audi lineup provides impressive carlike handling and functional utility for every day driving. New for the Audi Q7 for 2012 is the S line version of the TDI model. The new S line package includes enhanced design elements, such as lower bumper and door trim in contrast paints, exposed dual exhaust tailpipes with polished tips, and matte Black trim on roof rails and around side windows.
A powerful yet fuel efficient V6 turbocharged direct injection TDI clean diesel engine provides more than enough power for city or highway driving and has the ability to tow up to 5,500 lb (6,600 with the available tow hitch package). With 225 hp at 3,750 rpm and a whopping 406 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. Q7 truly combines power with refined driving dynamics.
Driver and passengers will appreciate the sense that the Q7 is sure footed as well, thanks to the latest generation quattro permanent all wheel drive system with asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution in a 40/60 split. The eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and dynamic shift program adapting to more than 200 shift programs and delivers smooth shifts and fuel efficient operation.
The exterior of the Q7 is athletic and muscular, from the single frame grille and unmistakable LED headlamps to the mirror mounted blinkers. The design, while visually appealing is practical as well, with a coefficient drag of between 0.35 and 0.37, depending on the suspension choice, to aid fuel efficiency.
For all of its power and utility, the Audi Q7 features a luxurious interior designed for a premium driving experience, as well as passenger functionality and comfort, from heated and available cooled, twelve-way power front seats, to the fore and aft adjustable rear middle seats for increased legroom as well as the foldable seats in the third row with individual cup holders and storage compartments, the Q7 boasts variability and pleasant cabin from all seating positions. This is even more pronounced with the available panoramic roof that gives the cabin a lighter, open feeling. Should the heat of the sun be too much to bear, pressing a button rolls the electric sunshade across the panoramic glass to provide shade and minimizing heat entry into the cabin.
The 2012 Audi Q7 offers the most advanced Audi technologies to make the motoring experience intuitive and connected. Audi connect enables first to market Google Earth integration, which redefines the navigation experience. The realistic panoramic views and high resolution 3D satellite and aerial imagery provide drivers with a better navigation experience, also improves visual orientation with a camera zoom feature that allows closer views of surroundings or destinations. Added to the high resolution of Google Earth imagery is an overlay of street mapping data provided through Audi MMI Navigation plus and real-time traffic information available through a SiriusXM Traffic subscription.
Audi connect also provides an industry first factory vehicle integration of Wi-Fi service. This unprecedented mobile hot spot capability for passengers allows connections for upto eight Wi-Fi capable devices and permits passengers to connect to work or other networks.
Google Voice Local Search is also a first in Audi connect and it enables more intuitive requests for destinations of interest, while also helping drivers to keep their focus on the road. With the 2012 Audi Q7 models, destination searches can be accomplished by voice command, using the innovative Audi MMI touch featuring the innovative touchpad interface, or by using the system dial.
The BOSE Surround Sound System or the optional Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System ensures that all audio is delivered with impeccable sound quality while the Audi
music interface with iPod / iPhone connectivity ensures user friendly perusing of play lists and song titles via the Audi MMI system.
Safety is a priority with Audi, and the Q7 provides a variety of technologies, such as ESC, which is engaged if a dangerous driving situation occurs. A full complement of airbags, including side guard head curtain airbags for all three rows of seats. Vehicle construction includes reinforced high strength steel / aluminum cross members, reinforced bumpers and rigid body occupant cell to help protect all passengers in the event of a collision.
The manufacturer’s suggested price as tested with the Prestige trim package, Bang and Olufsen Advance Sound System, Audi Adaptive Air Suspension and the S line plus package including destination charge $76,925.00. The EPA fuel economy estimates 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.