New Audi Q7 focus on driver assistance

New Audi Q7 focus on driver assistance

Audi is launching its new Audi Q7 in Queenstown this week – revealing one engine in two specification levels for the lineup.

The two models are both powered by an all-new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel, putting out 200kW and 600Nm of torque. The only drivetrain option is an 8-speed automatic with ‘Quattro’ all-wheel-drive.

The Q7 with this engine can run to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, using 5.7 litres per 100km. It is Euro 6 and requires AdBlue catalyst.

A lower-powered version of the same engine – producing 160kW and 500Nm will follow later.

The big focus in the Q7 is driver assistance systems.

Audi New Zealand general manager Dean Sheed claims it is the vehicle with the most driver-assistance systems yet produced by a manufacturer.

This driver assistance system will continue in the Audi range, with the Audi A4, due for launch here later in the year, receiving the same.

The standard systems include a collision-avoiding autonomous braking system, and adaptive cruise control.

There is ‘traffic jam assist’ that can take control of the car at speeds up to 65km/h and follow the traffic in front.

Also available is a raft of other technology, including a lane keeping assist and warning system, and extensions to the collision avoidance system that helps the driver track a course around an obstacle.

Even when not using the Active Cruise Control the system will provide a warning if you are following too close to the vehicle in front based on a driver defined time-gap.

A parking assistance package allows the Q7 to assist parking in parallel and perpendicular spaces – both in forward and reverse gears.

A night vision assistant projects an infrared image of what is ahead in the dark on the cars LCD dashboard. Parking cameras cover 360-degrees around the car.

The vehicle is up to 325kg lighter than its predecessor – for the launch model, New Zealand spec models are 210-240kg lighter – the weight savings made in the body and drivetrain.

Overall the vehicle is marginally smaller – by millimetres, but overall interior space is up.

A total of 41% of the bodyshell is aluminium.

The weight saving means the standard V6 is only 0.1 seconds slower to 100km than the old V8 turbo-diesel.

Optional for the chassis is adaptive air suspension and rear wheel steering – the latter targeted at improving the vehicle’s agility in town, shaving a metre off the turning circle, meaning it can turn more tightly than a Q3.

Standard features include 19-inch allow wheels, electric heated and folding mirrors, electric truck and luggage cover and curb lighting.

Standard headlights are Xenon units, but LED units can be optioned, along with LED rear light units.

Inside, leather is standard, as is two-zone climate control, start-stop button, led lighting, electromechanical parking brake, reclining second row and Audi’s MMI media system and LCD command centre dash.

MMI now utilises a large touch controller between the front seats. Voice control is now more ‘natural speech’, in its use.

A ‘Phonebox’ can house two phones, has USB ports for charging, wireless charging using the Qi standard, and can wirelessly connect all phones to an exterior booster aerial.

Apple Carplay and Android Auto will become available later this year, and these functions will not retrofit into existing vehicles.

Seven seats are standard; the second row can be moved as separate seats while the third row are electrically folded.

Audi ‘Tablets’ can be fitted for entertainment in the rear rows as an option.

A towing package is standard, with a 3500kg-braked tow rating.

The S-Line adds some features but most notable being additional sports trim, sports leather seats with electric memory function.

The standard model launches at $129,990, the S-Line with a $10,000 premium.

Sheed calls the S-Line the sweet spot in the range a far as value goes and reckons it will account for 80% of sales post launch.

He is expecting sales of 250 units before the end of this year, with a further 350 sales next year.

Keep an eye on Carandsuv.co.nz for drive impressions over the next week.

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