2006 Audi Q7.
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Audi is about to unveil a vehicle that marks a superlative new development in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. The Audi Q7 ingeniously combines sportiness and versatility, sophisticated technology and the luxury of a premium-class vehicle. On the road it excels with the driving performance and dynamism of a sports car; off-road it redefines the benchmark in its category. A vehicle that outwardly makes no secret of its qualities and whose technology delivers on its promise, on any road and in all conditions. The Audi Q7, the performance SUV from the creator of quattro.
As a third-generation SUV the Audi Q7 has been clearly moulded by the most diverse genes: its styling is not only an expression of sheer sportiness but also evidence of its suitability for challenging terrain. The interior possesses the ambience of the luxury class.
The Audi Q7 sets new trends through its design alone. Characteristic Audi dynamism is reflected in the broad curve of the roof and the high body surface in relation to the flat window area. The dynamic sweep of the front section and the powerful rear end with its sharply sloping D-posts fashion a coup?-like silhouette.
Equally typical of the current Audi formal idiom are the shoulder line and dynamic line, which define the side section. The paintwork option of two contrasting body colours creates a striking look. Eleven basic colours are available, three of which are reserved exclusively for the Q7.
Seen from the front, the single-frame grille and the wide headlight units with visible light tubes behind clear-glass covers identify the Q7 as a latest-generation Audi model.
The V-shape of the engine compartment lid sets a dynamic, pioneering trend in front design, a clear indication of the power of the engines.
The shoulder line meets the clearly curved rear end at the top edge of the light units. These are drawn far into the side, emphasising the horizontal design of the area and its low centre of gravity, an impression underlined by the lower part of the tailgate, which likewise reaches far into the side section.
Typical for a vehicle with the genes of an off-roader are the high ground clearance of 200 millimetres (with steel-spring suspension) and the 18-inch wheels (up to 20-inch on request) in the striking, broad curve of the wheel arches. Off-road capability is also enhanced by a distinctly short overhang at the front and the sturdy underride protection at the front and rear.
Clear architecture and ergonomic perfection, combined with the finest materials and excellent craftsmanship: these are the first and lasting impressions conveyed by the interior of the Q7. The feeling of generous spaciousness from every seat is due in no small measure to the colours chosen for the materials. Large surfaces in the same colour and material dominate, accommodating the functional units which are embedded like islands. In addition to aluminium and high-quality plastic, three different wood options are available for the horizontal trims in the instrument panel and doors.
This ambience serves to reveal the vehicle?s kinship with the Audi A6 and A8 saloons. The styling of the controls was clearly inspired by the interior of the A6, as was the driving area with teardrop-shaped frames for the instruments.
The driver-integrating cockpit with the MMI multimedia interface impresses with the ergonomic qualities of Audi''s current interior design. Broadly curved and encompassing the upper part of the centre console, the controls and switches form a central operating and information unit designed with the driver in mind.
The high, wide centre console, where use of the foot-operated parking brake renders the handbrake lever superfluous, proves to be as uncluttered and functional as in the A6 and A8.
Numerous storage compartments and up to six cup holders enhance travelling comfort for every passenger. The door pockets are fitted with brackets that will even take 1.5-litre bottles.
The seats in the Q7 are of a new design and ensure excellent comfort on long journeys and a relaxed seated position throughout. Depending on the configuration chosen, up to seven people can be accommodated in three rows of seats. Exceptional head, shoulder and, most notably, leg room is provided by the middle seat row, which can be adjusted forward and back by up to 100 millimetres, here the Q7 offers the maximum in its class.
The Audi Q7 is equipped as standard with backrest angle adjustment over three seats in the second row and a load-through hatch with ski bag. As an alternative, two comfort seats can be ordered for the second row in conjunction with a large centre console. Here, under the fold-up, adjustable centre armrest is a large storage compartment; two cup holders provide an additional stowage option.
In addition, a third seat row can be ordered for the Q7, which can accommodate passengers up to 1.60 m tall. Thanks to the easy-entry feature for the rear seats, access to the third row is simple and convenient.
The seats in the second and third row can be folded flat, providing, along with up to 28 different loading configurations, a load area with a maximum volume of 2,035 litres, without the seats having to be removed. If the third seat row is omitted the Q7 has a load area of 775 litres, the best in its class. Even if all three seat rows are in use, a load capacity of 330 litres remains.
The broad, wide-opening tailgate of the Q7 can be operated electrically if desired. Naturally for an Audi, the finest materials finished to the highest standards are found in the load area too, as well as numerous types of fastening and securing elements.
Another useful convenience feature is the trailer hitch with detachable, electrically controlled ball end, which is user-friendly and easy to operate if required.
Body and safety.
In contrast to earlier SUV generations that were based on a ladder-type chassis frame in the tradition of an all-terrain vehicle, the Audi Q7 has a self-supporting body of lightweight steel construction. The drag coefficient of only 0.34 is the best in its class and is evidence of the aerodynamic qualities of the lines.
With regard to occupant safety, too, the body of the Audi Q7 provides a standard that lives up to the high claim of the brand. Zones of defined deformation in all sections direct the impact energy specifically away from the high-strength passenger cell which offers maximum survival space.
In the event of a frontal collision, front sensors behind the radiator grille, in conjunction with other sensors and control units, register a crash within the space of a few thousandths of a second. A few milliseconds later, the belt tensioners are triggered to minimise any possible belt slack.
A belt-force limiter yields at a particular load threshold to allow occupants to sink into the inflated airbag. The full-size front airbag functions in two stages: during the first stage, when it ignites in low-speed accidents, there is less load on the occupant. At higher speeds, the deployment of the second stage fully utilises the protective potential of the front airbag.
The Audi Q7 is also equipped as standard with side airbags at the front as well as the sideguard head-protection airbag system, which virtually covers the entire side window area up to the third seat row.
Sensors in doors and C-pillars ensure reliable and fast deployment in the event of a side or oblique collision.
The Audi Q7 also affords occupants excellent protection against the consequences of a rear-end collision. It already meets the requirements of future standards, i.e. it withstands an impact against a deformable barrier at 80 km/h and with 70 per cent overlap.
The engines of the new Audi Q7 ensure a level of performance promised by the vehicle's outward appearance. Torques of 440 and 500 Newton-metres deliver tractive power in all speed ranges to masterfully fulfil every driver's wish.
Two power plants are available for the debut of the new SUV with the four-ring badge: a new 4.2 litre V8 with FSI direct petrol injection and the powerful yet quiet 3.0 TDI with common rail system using piezo inline injectors. Other engines will be added to the range.
The V8 is a close relative of the equally large power plant that drives the currently most dynamic Audi, the RS 4. The engine belongs to the present V engine family of the brand, notable for a 90 degree cylinder angle and a distance of 90 millimetres between cylinders. An additional distinguishing feature: the four camshafts are activated by a two-stage chain drive system at the rear of the engine.
Like the RS 4 engine, the V8 in the Q7 has FSI direct petrol injection, which, following five victories in the Audi R8 Le Mans racing car, is now being introduced in a production eight-cylinder model.
FSI engines deliver more power and dynamism than the conventional power plant with manifold injection, and they do so with outstanding fuel economy. With this remarkable achievement, Audi is opening up a new dimension in the efficiency of standard petrol engines, demonstrating once again the brand's proverbial "Vorsprung durch Technik".
The V8 has been retuned for use in the Audi Q7. A fuller torque curve up to nominal speed and spontaneous response, these are the characteristics of this new engine.
The engine excels not only with its dominant power output (257 kW/350 bhp) at 6,800 rpm and a maximum torque of 440 Nm at 3,500 rpm. The resultant driving performance is excellent, even in the face of tough competition.
In just 7.4 seconds the new Audi Q7 4.2 quattro sprints from zero to 100 km/h and accelerates superbly up to a top speed of 248 km/h. Fuel consumption: only 13.8 litres of premium plus fuel per 100 kilometres (overall / provisional figure).
With piezo injectors: 3.0 TDI.
Another power pack is being introduced in the Audi Q7 in the form of the six-cylinder 3.0 TDI. Compared with competitor models, this engine offers more than impressive power and torque potential: 233 bhp and 500 Newton-metres. Maximum torque is available just above idle speed, from 1,400 rpm, giving the driver powerful acceleration in all speed ranges.
Despite having a torque-converter transmission, this delivers a driving performance that is hard to find elsewhere among SUVs with V6 engines: the speedometer needle passes the 100 km/h mark a mere 9.1 seconds after driving off; the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro goes on to reach a top speed of 216 kilometres per hour.
Fuel consumption: the 3.0 TDI requires no more than 10.4 litres of diesel (provisional figure) on average per 100 kilometres. This equates to a range of almost 1,000 kilometres. At the same time, exemplary noise quality and compliance with the strict EU4 emissions standards are truly convincing achievements. The Q7 3.0 TDI quattro is fitted as standard with a diesel particulate filter.
The V6 four-valve engine with turbocharger technology and map-controlled, cooled exhaust gas recirculation also belongs to Audi's new family of V engines and features a chain drive for camshafts and oil pump.
Mixture preparation is performed by a latest-generation common rail system. It has a high-pressure pump and an injection rail for each cylinder bank, increasing maximum injection pressure to 1,600 bar. The high injection pressure ensures even finer atomisation of the fuel and therefore better mixture preparation and more efficient combustion.
The piezo injectors are undoubtedly the most important innovation of the present common rail system. The injection process utilises the piezo effect: an electric voltage is applied to ceramic, altering its crystal structures. The minimal expansion resulting from this, supported by a hydraulic element, mechanically triggers the opening of the injector needle.
With piezo injectors, the number of injection processes per cycle can be varied almost at will. The Audi TDI development engineers have opted for up to five injection processes for the 3.0 V6: in addition to the main injection process, double pilot injection takes places in the lower speed range and single pilot injection takes places in the medium range. In addition to this, simple post-injection takes place up to around 2,500 rpm and under partial load.
This strategy ensures both a reduction in emissions and a smoother combustion process, which primarily benefits the engine's acoustic behaviour. In this area the 3.0 TDI engine undeniably sets the benchmark in its class.
Both engines are combined as standard with a 6-speed tiptronic. This transmission allows the engines' power potential to be converted into a masterly synthesis of dynamism and operating convenience.
New quattro generation.
A typical feature of all high-performance Audi vehicles is quattro permanent four-wheel drive, a drive principle that is now celebrating 25 years of success in motor sport and standard production. More than two million Audi quattro models have left the assembly line so far, a number that speaks for itself.
Quattro ensures excellent traction and lateral stability and minimises the effect of propulsive power on the vehicle's self-steering properties. This is the prerequisite for high cornering speeds and a high degree of driving stability, on and off-road.
A Torsen differential in the new Audi Q7, with its longitudinally installed engines, automatically ensures optimum power distribution to all four wheels. The name Torsen is a combination of the terms, torque, and "sensing". The Torsen differential is a self-locking worm gear.
Like the RS 4 most recently, the Q7 is equipped with the latest-generation quattro drive technology. Here the torque split between front and rear axle is 40 : 60. This provides the basis for even more agility, most notably when steering into bends ? with practically no perceivable torque steer.
Together with direct servotronic steering, standard in all Q7s, this means that the driver enjoys a level of steering precision and clearly defined handling that up to now has been unimaginable in an SUV and which has only rarely been experienced in a sports car.
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.
Equipment: high tech for safety and comfort.
The Audi Q7 sets trends not only with its powertrain and driving dynamics but also as a technology carrier. It introduces electronic systems in standard production that provide the driver with important information with a view to enhancing active safety.
-- adaptive cruise control with collision warning system.
A new generation of the radar-assisted distance control system, adaptive cruise control plus, is being introduced in the new Audi Q7. As an extension of conventional adaptive cruise control, the system now controls distance and speed from 0 to 200 km/h. It is therefore able to brake the vehicle to a standstill behind the vehicle ahead. The benefits of this sensitive control function, particularly in slow-moving traffic, are quite clear.
The sensor for the system is located out of sight behind the licence plate trim. By taking continuous differential measurements it determines whether distance and speed in relation to the car in front have changed, and adjusts the vehicle?s own speed by manipulating the accelerator or brakes accordingly.
Audi development engineers have deliberately designed the system, in respect of possible acceleration and deceleration, as a convenience system.
In addition, the driver can alter vehicle acceleration and control response via the MMI, opting either for a dynamic or more comfort-oriented emphasis.
The collision warning system is being introduced for the first time on the Q7. It uses the sensors of the adaptive cruise control function and has a range of up to 180 metres. If there is the risk of a collision with the car in front, the system alerts the driver in two stages: first a warning tone is issued, with an optical signal appearing on the instrument panel at the same time. If the driver does not react, the system triggers a clearly noticeable warning jolt, produced by a fast build-up of pressure in the brake system. The purpose of the jolt is to draw the driver's attention immediately to what is happening on the road in front of the vehicle.
The collision warning system is the first example of a new generation of assistance systems that provide extra protection for the driver by monitoring the surrounding area.
Audi side assist.
Incorporating radar sensors, Audi side assist monitors the area next to and behind the vehicle to warn the driver, additionally to the image in the rear-view mirror, of any approaching vehicles. The driver is alerted by a warning light on the outside mirror, followed by an additional acoustic signal should he/she nevertheless switch on the direction indicator.
The sensors have a range behind the vehicle of 50 metres and have also been designed to monitor the blind spot next to the vehicle. The system can be switched on and off at the touch of a button and operates from a speed of 60 km/h. Audi side assist does not intervene in the driving and control functions.
MMI and Infotainment.
Still a benchmark with regard to intuitive operation, the integrated user interface MMI, the multi-media interface in the new Audi Q7. Already established in the Audi A8 and A6, the infotainment platform is notable for its ease of operation, perfect positioning and consistent inherent operating logic.
The system is available in three configurations: the standard MMI basic, the MMI basic plus and the MMI.
Even the standard equipment version of the Q7 is equipped with MMI basic comprising a terminal, monochrome display as well as an integrated radio and single-disc CD player. Music output is via a 4x20-Watt amplifier and four speakers in the doors. As well as the radio system and broadcasting of traffic information, numerous vehicle functions such as the air conditioning and interior light configuration can be controlled by the MMI basic.
The option MMI basic plus offers additional functions such as TP memory, a digital sound system with a total of 11 speakers and a CD-based navigation system.
In the optional version with the full range of features, the MMI comes with a 7-inch colour monitor, a double tuner and a 6-disc CD changer. On request the MMI can be rounded off with a DVD navigation system.
A further extra, which can be combined with the MMI and the MMI basic plus, is the all-new BOSE surround sound system.
Cornering lights and daytime running lights.
Already featured on the A8 and A6, some highly innovative technology will be found under the clear-glass covers of the Q7's front headlights: the combination of the dynamic cornering light system adaptive light, energy-saving daytime running lights and xenon plus technology, an offer unequalled by competitors.
The headlights of the new Q7 are available in three versions: standard free-form halogen lights, xenon plus lights with daytime running lights or additionally in conjunction with adaptive light dynamic cornering lights. The ellipsoidal module for dipped and main-beam headlights swivels according to the angle of each road and bend. This distinctly improves illumination of the road in the direction of travel and of the side area, making predictive driving even simpler.
Parking system plus and advanced.
Three parking assistance systems are available as options on the Audi Q7. The Audi parking system aids the driver when approaching obstacles, using four sensors at the rear and an acoustic warning signal. The parking system plus monitors both front and rear areas around the vehicle and alerts the driver to a potential collision during parking manoeuvres also by means of a bar chart in the MMI display.
In addition to these options, the Audi parking system advanced features a rear-view camera; the images captured appear on the MMI screen. Parking lines projected on to the camera image provide extra support for the driver when manoeuvring into parking spaces. Audi is introducing this option in its programme for the production launch of the Q7.
Access and authorisation system: advanced key.
Drivers of the new Audi Q7 with an automatic transmission will seldom have to use their car key: "advanced key" is the name of the optional system that functions as an electronic access and authorisation system.
The key, which can remain safely in the pocket, has an electronic pulse transmitter and its signal is registered and verified by a proximity sensor in the door. If identified, the doors are unlocked as soon as the driver pulls the door handle.
The central locking system can be activated and deactivated at every door on the vehicle. The driver merely has to have the key on his/her person within a range of around 1.5 metres of the vehicle and pull the door handle. If required, the passengers can also open the door first. Via the MMI you can choose whether the central locking should release only the door opened manually or whether all doors should be unlocked.
Before starting out, the steering and ignition are released electronically with advanced key, through wireless remote control. Provided the driver has the key on his or her person inside the vehicle, the steering is released by lightly pressing the starter button. At the same time, the ignition is turned on and the electronic immobiliser released.
The engine is then started by pressing the starter switch in the centre console once again. For safety reasons the automatic selector lever must be in position P or N, while the driver operates the foot brake at the same time.
Air and light: open sky system and 4-zone climate control.
The open sky system, available as an option, gives all occupants a feeling of generous spaciousness and ensures an excellent supply of fresh air, along with a high level of versatility. The large panorama glass sunroof extends in three segments, reaching virtually from the front roof edge to the third seat row. The front segment of the 1.6 square metre open sky system can be raised and moved to the rear electrically. The rear segment is designed as a tilting roof.
Two roller blinds provide sun protection whenever required. Each element can be operated by occupants seated in the first and second row. The acoustic qualities of the open sky system are also exemplary; the drumming noise typical of many a sliding/tilting roof during a journey remains absent in the Audi Q7 thanks to precision work undertaken in the wind tunnel.
The well-being of all occupants can be enhanced with automatic high-comfort 2-zone climate control. In addition to separate air distribution and temperature control for the driver and front passenger, it also offers draught-free indirect ventilation and an air quality sensor. Other features: the residual heat function, automatic air recirculation and additional ventilation at the rear via the door pillars.
In addition, the Audi Q7 can be ordered with automatic high-comfort 4-zone climate control, an option that provides individual climate zones for rear-seat passengers. Temperature, air distribution and air volume can be adjusted separately for the left and right side. On top of this, an additional evaporator, located behind the luggage area trim, ensures consistent and steady cooling, even in the third row of seats.
(source: Audi AG)
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