© Motor1.com 2020 Audi SQ7 Feature
Back in the beatific canicule afore turbocharging, supercharging, and all added replacements for displacement, Audi alien its aboriginal SUV. The three-row Q7 accustomed in the US in 2007 armed with one of Volkswagen’s acclaimed VR6 engines, a 3.6-liter, or a alternative of the near-legendary 4.2-liter V8, which had already acclaimed itself in the S4, RS4, and R8. As powertrain lineups went, this was a acceptable one.
And like all acceptable things, it didn’t last. 2011 apparent the end of the 4.2-liter’s run in the Q7, and aback then, this crossover has been predominantly a six-cylinder affair, aboriginal with supercharged V6s and again turbocharged engines (a four-cylinder turbo is additionally available, but we don’t acclaim tasking a 248-horsepower agent with managing 4,800 pounds).
The 2020 Audi SQ7, then, marks not alone a acknowledgment to anatomy but a alliance of old and new – there’s a 4.0-liter V8 that’s in amalgamation with a brace of turbochargers to aftermath 500 hp and 568 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 155 hp and 253 lb-ft over the soulful 4.2-liter engine. The SQ7 not alone captures the appearance of its ancient antecedent but is an advance in every important way.
Of course, we apperceive this agent well. Volkswagen Group’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 already serves in a array of Audi’s beyond achievement products, from the S6 all the way up to the RS Q8. The agent is additionally a key aspect in the hotter versions of the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera, as able-bodied as the Bentley Continental GT and Bentayga, and the Lamborghini Urus.
Combine that ability with the actuality that the SQ7 shares its MLB Evo architectonics with the Cayenne, Bentayga, and Urus (among others), and you ability anticipate to abolish the SQ7 as little added than a four-ringed adaptation of those cartage with an added row of seats. But this adaptation of the modular belvedere and the tweaked 4.0-liter angle out from VW Group’s added products.
The SQ7’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 already serves in a array of Audi’s beyond achievement products, from the S6 all the way up to the RS Q8.
For a start, the SQ7’s 4.0-liter is like the average adolescent in the family. It’s added almighty than the 443-hp Cayenne GTS, but beneath than the 541-hp Cayenne Turbo and Bentayga V8, not to acknowledgment the 591-hp RS Q8 or 641-hp Lamborghini Urus. Still, with 500 hp and 568 lb-ft, the V8 feels altogether ill-fitted to managing the 5,291-pound Audi, acceptance it to bolt to 60 afar per hour in a alive 4.3 seconds. That’s two-tenths bottomward on the added able BMW X5 M50i, although the SQ7 is about a abounding added quicker to 60 than the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 – neither of those vehicles, though, can bout the Audi’s accepted third-row bench. We’ll alarm that a W.
It’s a champ on the road, too. The twin-turbo V8 is acquisitive to rev and acceptable in its ability delivery, acceptance the SQ7 to billow off the line. Audi’s 4.3-second appraisal absolutely seems reasonable. That said, if you’re adorable for an agent with assuming or that’s happiest aloft a assertive agent acceleration this isn’t it – the SQ7’s agent consistently feels smooth, yet alive and alive.
And aback application one of the added advancing alive modes, it sounds analgesic too, with the V8 singing a little added acutely out the bifold pipes at the aback (yes, there are four tips, but there’s no concrete affiliation to the dual-exhaust system). And if you aren’t absorbed in noise, alive in Normal or Comfort approach allows the bland bark to achromatize into the accomplishments and serve as a attenuate admonition that you didn’t achieve for a V6.
As with Volkswagen Group’s added 4.0-liter vehicles, the SQ7’s twin-turbo V8 works alongside an eight-speed automated transmission, and it’s a accomplished allotment of machinery. In airy driving, the gearbox is bland and mostly invisible. It does adhere a bit on wide-open burke upshifts, although selecting the Activating alive approach armament quicker, bluff shifts.
Manual approach is a hoot, alike with the Audi’s about baby wheel-mounted paddle shifters – our alone complaint is that about-face shock is rather astringent aback application (or misusing, one could argue) to abbreviate shift. Hey, sometimes we aloof didn’t anticipate to aperture aback into abounding automated and change the drive mode.
Keeping the 500-hp SQ7’s agleam ancillary up is the job of a four-corner air suspension. Clashing the alternative air springs on the accepted Q7 though, engineers acquainted the SQ7 for added advancing behavior. The alleged “S-tuned” abeyance boasts firmer dampers and air springs, while the absolute car allowances from accepted four-wheel steering. There are stiffer bushings too, which accommodate added absolute council behavior, and if you advantage the $5,900 Activity pack, alive anti-roll confined that annihilate anatomy cycle and accommodate alike bluff responses from the tiller.
With those enhancements, the SQ7’s administration appearance is absolutely aces of the S brand on the nose. Our tester lacked the Activity backpack and alive anti-roll bars, but clashing some bigger, added products, we aren’t abiding they’re absolutely that all-important on the SQ7 – the ancient amplitude confined and the revised abeyance accommodate flat, neutral, and absolute deeply controlled boy motions. This big three-rower feels decidedly alive aback pushed hard. If this is what a accepted SQ7 is like, we can’t brainstorm how acceptable a Activity pack-equipped car is (although it’s apparently not $5,900 better…).
The SQ7’s administration appearance is absolutely aces of the S brand on the nose.
The council improvements are decidedly encouraging. Cartage that can administer so abounding cartage don’t commonly feel so agreeable in the bends. Alike if the absolute akin of acknowledgment on activity was low, the admiration of the council and the way the SQ7’s abeyance afflicted administration fabricated it feel appropriately enthusiastic.
Naturally, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive arrangement is on duke to accomplish abiding the V8’s ability arrives at the ground, although snagging the Activity backpack for its activity cogwheel would acceptable aid matters. That said, alike in activating situations, the abject SQ7’s behavior aback announcement out of corners is faultless. Aloof coffin the pedal and assurance the absence forty-sixty torque breach to do its affair and rocket this big three-row ahead.
In your author’s apprehensive opinion, Audi’s S models acquire consistently been the best adorable of the bunch, convalescent on the amiable (but attractive) administration of the A and Q models after activity to the aforementioned antic extremes as the RS variants. That’s accurate of the SQ7 – this is the better-looking alternative of a rather airedale car. Its contempo facelift accursed the fascia with a derpy set of headlights – the LED projectors accord the attending of beady pupils. We do dig the new LED alive lights, as able-bodied as the ablaze appearance the SQ7 puts on at the aback of the car aback unlocking.
There are the accepted S touches on this new body, too. Accepted 21-inch, two-color admixture auto set the tone, while the hardly lower ride acme and flared caster arches accord the SQ7 a added adorable stance.
The berth is a adept chic in affected and calm design.
Audi additionally revised the advanced fascia, tweaking the splitter and finishing the grille surrounds and slats in a platinum shade. S-signature “Alu-optic” mirror caps are on duke too, while out back, four arresting bankrupt outlets and a revised diffuser do as abundant to acquaint added motorists of what aloof anesthetized them as the “SQ7” brand on the tailgate. A Black Optic amalgamation replaces abundant of the brightwork with gloss-black elements, if you adopt that array of thing.
The berth is a adept chic in affected and calm design, with checky covering seats and the best of blatant carbon-fiber trimmings. Alcantara aperture panels accommodate an added amount of sportiness, while an S-specific council caster is on duke (pun intended) to put the disciplinarian in the mood. We aloof ambition Audi would acquire accepted the SQ7 with a bigger set of wheel-mounted paddles – the tiny artificial units acquire a nice action, but the blow of the berth is a big cut aloft what you’ll acquisition absorbed to the caster (which is additionally accurate of Audi’s added S and RS offerings).
On the tech front, the SQ7 (and Audi’s broader ambit of ample vehicles) offers the best affiliation of a two-screen infotainment system. A 12.3-inch agenda array alive Audi’s latest adaptation of Virtual Cockpit complements the 10.1-inch high affectation and 8.6-inch lower touchscreen, the closing of which offers up quick responses and a absolute akin of haptic feedback.
Of course, accepting all this added achievement and best of the added appearance comes at a price. In the case of the SQ7, it’s $84,800 for the Premium Plus trim. If you appetite the Prestige, like our tester, plan on plunking bottomward $90,400 and scoring accessory such as a head-up display, an aluminum accomplishment for some of the autogenous buttons, and two bales that annual for $2,000 and $1,750, respectively, on the Premium Plus.
The above is the Executive pack, which adds aerial seats, a acrimonious wheel, ambient LED lighting, and acrimonious rear seats, while the closing introduces a aggressive set of alive assurance nannies, none of which are aberrant on added ample Audis.
Even at $90,400, this three-row achievement SUV feels like a arrangement we’d appropriately accept
Considering area the SQ7 avalanche in the broader Volkswagen Group hierarchy, alike the Prestige feels like a acceptable deal. This car badly undercuts every added performance-focused account agent on VW’s MLB Evo belvedere – the abutting accessory that can bout its amount and achievement is the $107,300 Porsche Cayenne GTS. At the aforementioned time, though, the big, fast Audi acreage neatly amid the beneath able Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 ($72,350 to start) and the fire-breathing GLE63 S ($113,950).
In added words, alike at $90,400, this three-row achievement SUV feels like a arrangement we’d appropriately acquire if acceleration and dynamics mattered as abundant as amount in our following of a adventurous six-passenger SUV.
Gallery: The better cars anytime fabricated (Cheapism)