Audi has thrown down the gauntlet to its German rivals Mercedes and BMW with its new, range topping Audi SQ7. The SQ7 is the latest addition to the Audi lineup and has its sights firmly set on taking a large chunk out of X5M and ML63 AMG sales in 2017. The Q7 is the largest variant in Audi’s off road family and this is the first time that a Q7 has been adorned with the coveted ‘S’ badge- which means it better be good.
The central focus in the SQ7 is the all-new motor that Audi has developed specifically for the SQ7. The twin-turbo 4.0L TDI V8 produces a mammoth 320kW/900Nm that propels the 2.1 tonne tank to 100km/h in a scarcely believable 4.8sec. Whilst the acceleration times are impressive, they don’t tell the full story; the SQ7’s 900Nm of torque, (accessible from just 1000RPM thanks to the help of electric powered compressor) is what makes the SQ7 preposterously fast in everyday driving conditions. From a rolling start, where the big Audi doesn’t have to work against its own weight deficit, you would be hard pressed to find many cars that would match the level of grunt and mid-range pull of the big diesel.
Despite weighing the same as a small mountain and its absurd performance, the SQ7 is as frugal as many hatchbacks, sipping just 7.4L/100km. The SQ7 comes with all the tech that you would expect from Audi’s most expensive luxury SUV including a locking rear-differential that makes the 5.07-metre SUV a surprisingly capable performer through the bends.
Here’s how the Audi SQ7 stacks up against its rivals:
|Audi SQ7||BMW X5M||Mercedes AMG GLE 63||Range Rover Sport V8|
|Estimated at $170,000||$185,900||$189,990||$218,500|
|Seats||5 (7 Optional)||5||5||5|
|4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Diesel
|4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Petrol 423kW/ 750Nm||5.5L Bi-Turbo V8 Petrol
|5.0L Supercharged V8
With an expected RRP in the region of $170,000 before on roads, the SQ7 undercuts its rivals Mercedes and BMW by more than $20,000 and almost $60,000 off the Range Rover. The SQ7 is a consistent performer across all categories, but comes into its own in two critical areas- class leading torque and fuel consumption makes the SQ7 a more practical ownership proposition than its German counterparts.
The SQ7 is expected to arrive in Australia showrooms in September with first deliveries to follow shortly after.