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First look: At last, Audi lifts the lid on Q7!

Big and bold: Audi's first dedicated SUV will be the largest in its class.

Sixth-month slow-release campaign culminates in full reveal of Audi’s new Q7 SUV

22 Aug 2005

AUDI has released pictures and full details of its production-ready Q7 six months after the slow-release media reveal of its vital new luxury SUV began.

The Q7, due to arrive here around Sydney motor show time next October, has finally appeared in its entirety less than two weeks ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show.

Its September 15 global public premiere will be the culmination of a Ford Territory-style drip-feed pre-launch campaign that began in earnest with a brief appearance at the piazza of the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt in late February, but stretches back to its first showing as the Pikes Peak concept at Detroit in 2003.

In recent months Audi revealed shots of a Q7 development mule during testing and two weeks ago issued interior images.

Local Audi officials have also revealed to GoAuto the Q7 will be launched here with 4.2-litre V8 petrol and 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engines – both with a six-speed auto and quattro all-wheel drive as standard, along with the availability of seven seats.

Now Audi has revealed Q7’s vital statistics – including a 3002mm wheelbase that dwarfs X5, VW’s Touareg and the forthcoming second-generation M-class from Mercedes-Benz.

Similarly, at 5086mm in length, Q7 is more than 300mm longer than the new ML, as well as the widest in its class at 1983mm and almost as low as Touareg at 1737mm.

Of course, Audi claims Q7’s interior is "incomparably spacious", offering the greatest legroom in its class and no fewer than 28 seating and loading configurations.

Unlike its major German rivals, Q7 seats up to seven occupants in three rows, with the centre-row positions sliding fore/aft individually.

Both the second and third row of seats also fold flat to provide a total of 2035 litres of cargo space – or 775 litres as a five-seater. Audi claims these are best-in-class figures, with the X5 swallowing just 465 litres of luggage, or 1550 with the rear seats stowed.

Vital new engine details include confirmation Q7 will employ a new 4.2-litre V8 with FSI direct petrol injection to deliver 257kW/440Nm, while an updated 3.0-litre TDI V6 (with latest-generation common-rail piezo inline injection) will offer 171kW and 500Nm of torque – similar to the X5’s persuasive turbo-diesel.

As expected, power is transferred via a standard six-speed Tiptronic auto to a quatto AWD system which, like the RS4 performance flagship, employs the latest-generation Torsen differential with a standard torque split of 40/60 per cent front/rear.

7 center image Audi has confirmed Q7 will use aluminium double-wishbone suspension all round – with either standard steel springs or optional adaptive air suspension. The latter will extend Q7’s 180mm of ground clearance in standard trim to 205mm in off-road mode and a lofty 240mm in lift mode.

Eighteen-inch alloy wheels with 235/60-section tyres (V8: 255/55) will be standard, with 19 or even 20-inch hoops available as options.

Q7 will also comprise latest Audi technologies such as the A6 and A8’s MMI multimedia interface (with extended functions), Audi side assist with radar-assisted lane-changing function and an advanced parking system with rear-view camera-assisted optical/acoustic guidance.

Audi’s ESP stability control system will include hill descent assist in the Q7, along with dedicated off-road and trailer stabilisation programs. As previously announced, Q7 will deliver a best-in-class towing capacity of 3500kg, while 11 exterior paint colours have also been announced, including three unique to Q7.

Q7 will be available to order in Europe immediately after its September 12 Frankfurt debut - at a price of 48,900 Euros (about $A79,000) for the Q7 3.0 TDI in Germany – with deliveries beginning in the first quarter of 2006.

Audi Australia officials have told GoAuto local Q7 pricing will be "competitive" with both X5 and the new ML when it goes on sale here late next year.

However, Audi says Q7’s larger size, extra seating capacity and more extensive standard equipment list will represent better value.

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