Audi is hoping news of massive weight reduction in the all-new will be music to potential buyers’ ears. In fact, with a kerb weight of 1,995kg, the new Q7 3.0 TDI has shed 325kg – equivalent to a grand piano.
The weight reduction has been achieved mainly through innovative use of materials. A “multimaterial” design for the body has alone shed 71kg. High-strength steel is used for the passenger cell, while aluminium castings are used in the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as the superstructure. Alloy forms over 40 per cent of the body. Inside, the Q7 embraces the Audi Virtual Cockpit concept already seen on the TT sports car. The second-generation modular infotainment platform features a large touchpad and can also include a bespoke tablet for rear-seat occupants. The new platform allows for a greatly expanded range of driver-assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistant. The slimmed-down Q7 is slightly smaller on the outside but offers even more space for passengers and luggage on the inside. Lighter weight contributes to a 26 per cent improvement in fuel economy for the TDI model, but the ultimate in efficiency will come later with the Q7 e-tron quattro, the first plug-in hybrid from Audi with a diesel engine. A full charge takes it nearly 60km, yet combined system output is a healthy 700Nm for high-performance driving when required.