Project Kahn remixes Audi Q7

July 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Audi’s Q7 isn’t exactly a new kid on the block, the full-size SUV has been around for six years already and is due for replacement soon. Despite this fact tuning companies are still having fun with the old girl with the latest bespoke Q7 coming from British firm Project Kahn.

Project Kahn is becoming an Audi specialist with TT and A5 packages already available, so it was only a matter of time before the tuning firm would get busy on the Q7.

The philosophy of Afzal Kahn, the firm’s founder, has been to combine mechanical perfection and exterior beauty but in a distinctly British way.

The reworked Q7 has received a wide-bodykit consisting of new wheel guards, custom bumpers and plenty of chrome detailing. Under the bonnet the Project Kahn Q7 has been fitted with a high-flow sports exhaust system, a stiffer suspension setup and wider tyres for more grip. Continue reading “Project Kahn remixes Audi Q7” »

Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro

December 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Driving footage

Audi Q7 Iron Man stunt – behind the scenes

December 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Interviews with the stunt men, actors and director detailing the difficulties of creating this stunt with the handling of the Q7

Interviews with the stunt men, actors and director detailing the difficulties of creating this stunt with the handling of the Q7

Audi brings world’s most powerful diesel SUV to NZ

December 19th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Audi Q7 V12 TDI fq

Audi is pushing its TDI technology hard with the Q7 V12 TDI quattro being the world’s most powerful diesel engine SUV. With a completely redeveloped common rail injection system the twelve-cylinder delivers a mighty 368 kW (500 hp) and 1,000 Nm of torque from a capacity of six litres — giving the big SUV the sports car performance.

The world’s first V12 diesel engine in a series-production vehicle moves this high-performance SUV very rapidly. On demand, the six-litre engine catapults the Audi Q7 from zero to 100 km/h  in 5.5 seconds. Speed is electronically capped at 250 km/h. The chassis of the Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro, developed and produced by Audi subsidiary quattro GmbH, is another indication of the vehicle’s dynamic potential. Modifications to the design and the range of luxurious standard equipment underline its status as the top dog of the Q-series.

The new Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro will be available in New Zealand around March 2009 and is priced at $275,000.  Audi TDI models have been very popular in New Zealand representing around 43% of the total new Audi vehicle sales.

Audi Q7 V12 quattro TDI

September 15th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Q7080044

German Audi customers are about to receive the Q7 V12 TDI – it’s grunty enough to give pretty much anything bar a Porsche Cayenne GTS or Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG an inferiority complex. We already road tested the 4.2-litre quattro S-Line diesel, and it was a superbly powerful beast (click here for the review).

Here are all the specs of the Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro:

Engine

V12 TDI with displacement of six liters, 368 kW (500 hp) output and 1,000 Nm torque (737.56 lb-ft)
Common rail injection with a maximum pressure of 2,000 bar for highly cultivated operation and smooth combustion
0 — 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 seconds, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph, electronically capped)

Transmission

Enhanced six-speed tiptronic with superior shifting comfort
quattro four-wheel drive with dynamic torque split

Chassis

adaptive air suspension and electronically controlled shock absorbers as standard
20-inch wheels, with option of 21-inch wheels
High-performance disk brakes made of carbon-fiber ceramic as standard

Design

Striking changes to exterior design
Leather-covered seats, carbon fiber inlays

Interiors

Sporty, luxurious equipment, seats electrically adjusted and heated, Bose sound system, electric tailgate

Fiat 500 vs. Audi Q7 in crash test (+video)

July 29th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Q7080044

While small cars like the Fiat 500 and MINI are tempting many people away from bigger, thirstier machines, a fact that is often unconsidered is what happens when a small car collides with a much larger vehicle?

Germany’s biggest car club, ADAC carried out this crash test to see what would happen when the 5-star Euro NCAP Fiat hit an Audi Q7 SUV.

Whether this video is indicative of a real crash scenario or not is up for argument.

Audi Q7 4.2 TDi Quattro S-line 2007 Review

December 8th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Audi Q7 2007 fq

I was glad I had Audi’s Q7 4.2 TDi Quattro S-line this weekend. Its voluminous carrying capacity was put to good use transporting our band’s equipment to a daytime gig in the Waitakeres. I wouldn’t usually use a $150,000+ car to do something as mundane as act as a workhorse for my musical obligations, but it made sense because it will carry a lot, and it gave me a chance to drive it on narrow, twisting roads. In everyday guise, the Q7 will seat seven people, five of them in absolute comfort, and the two right at the back in moderate comfort, as long as their legs aren’t too long. Fold the seats flat and it’s large enough to haul a lot of gear, though the boot aperture itself is not large because of the high floor.

A neat trick that the Q7 has up its ample sleeve is adaptive air suspension. Using a button in the boot you can make the car squat by 55mm to make loading easier. There are five suspension levels, and the car is able to be raised considerably to enable quite severe off-roading to be attempted. In fact, the suspension has 95mm of variation, though other than the loading mode, the lowest ones are only activated at sustained high speed (120+ and 160+kph).

Another great function for loading is the automatic tailgate — it will raise and lower at the push of a button.

With a mammoth 760Nm of torque and 240kW the 2450kg Q7 has a startling turn of speed, achieving 100kph in just 6.4 seconds. This goes some way towards hiding its large dimensions, but you’re still aware you are driving a car almost two metres wide and 5.1m long.

Our test car was fitted with the optional 21-inch alloys with 295/35 tyres. Push the Q7 hard and it understeers like you’d expect a large SUV to. But the Q7 is a car that is most pleasant to cruise in. It is supremely comfortable to drive or be a passenger. Leather seats all around have six-setting heaters and electric position and lumbar settings at the front. The second row of seats reclines. Dual climate control with sun and humidity sensors and multiple vents in the rear keep the cabin temperature just right, and there is a plethora of bottle and cup holders for all seats.

Audi has done a great job of ergonomically designing the controls for the Q7. While there are over 60 dials and switches within the driver’s reach, many of the more intricate functions are carried out using Audi’s MMI display in the dashboard, which warrants a manual of its own. A dial and buttons placed just in front of the central binnacle allow easy scrolling and selecting of options for audio and car settings visible on the screen.

The audio system itself has a fabulous sound. My usual test CD (Gladiator soundtrack) filled the cabin with the full range of deep ominous double bass through to sparkling and delicate dulcimers and windchimes. The test car’s optional Bose eight-speaker system will accept an iPod input and display track listings and other information on the MMI’s screen. This screen also can function as a TV display with the optional TV reception kit, it will integrate with your mobile if it’s Bluetooth-enabled, and it is the centre of Audi’s parking assistant.

A relatively distortion-free reversing camera displays what is behind you with two animated lines that react to steering inputs showing the driver where the Q7 is turning. There are proximity sensors both front and rear and a superimposed diagram of the Q7 shows whether you are getting close to obstacles. Individual sound boxes positioned around the car beep more and more frenetically to give you a spatial awareness of which corner’s pristine paint finish is in jeopardy. The system is good enough to manoeuvre in tight spaces without even looking outside of the car.

The screen allows you to see if children are standing behind you

The optional Lane Change Assistant is welcome on a long car like this. The system incorporates a small light on the inside of the wing mirrors. If a car is moving into your blind spot, the light illuminates softly. If you indicate to move into the lane it flashes brightly as a warning.

As well as that very obvious safety feature the Q7 features ESP (with an additional towing stabilisation mode that will attempt to correct an out-of-control trailer), the usual ABS, EBD and EBA, and a swag of airbags including a full length curtain airbag right to the back of the car.

So that covers just a small slice of what the Q7 does. The two manuals are an inch thick between them, and the options list is extensive. A new owner could be immersed in menus and settings for hours, fine tuning the parameters.

There really isn’t anything much to complain about with the Q7, as you would expect for a car in this price bracket. It has everything you would expect in terms of safety and performance and if you’re in the market for a large, plush SUV which will pull a heavy load (well over three tonnes if the trailer is braked), this ticks all the boxes.

Price: Q7 range from $122,900. Base for this model: $151,900. As tested $158,100

What we like

  • Power
  • Noise
  • Parking/reversing assistant (it’s essential with a car this size)
  • Lane change assistant (optional)
  • Towing ability
  • Comfort

What we don’t like

  • Small boot aperture (if loading matters to you)
  • Lose something down the side of the front seats and it’s almost impossible to extricate (minor, I know)

Words and photos Darren Cottingham