Last month we visited Germany to witness Audi’s new RS range – this is the sports division producing high-performance options of the Audi range – see next month’s Gulf Insider for a full report.
During our trip, Audi flew us to County Kerry in Ireland to test drive the new Q7, which has just had a major facelift. Upon landing at the airport we walked to the dedicated Audi conference center that had been erected in the airport’s car park, and over coffees and snacks, we were introduced to the Q7 before being lead to the waiting vehicles for us to test drive. The vehicles were all right-hand drive as Ireland drives on the left as we were reminded before getting into our cars. We were even given rubber bands to wear on our left wrists as an extra reminder – better safe than sorry. We then went on a long drive along an incredibly scenic coastal route of rolling hills, quaint villages, stunning beaches (they really were), and the Atlantic Ocean. The climate was wonderful; we experienced summer sunshine as well as storm clouds and rain during the few hours we spent driving.
This is a big car with a powerful engine, which works in conjunction with a mild-hybrid system that improves fuel consumption.
There’s an MMI navigation plus system that blends all sorts of connectivity and infotainment features such as LTE, Wi-FI hotspot, voice control, navigation with Google Earth, and Amazon Alexa. Safety features include adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist, active lane assist… and much more, including an emergency feature that allows the car to automatically stop and start rescue measures if it detects the driver is inactive while the car is in motion. Under the bonnet is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine tied to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard. This is a big car with a powerful engine, which works in conjunction with a mild-hybrid system that improves fuel consumption.
Driving along narrow country lanes there was plenty of power to be able to put the foot down and easily overtake slower moving vehicles before facing on-coming traffic. This is an impressive family SUV that will likely sell very well in Bahrain and beyond.
So, back to the car – what’s changed with the Q7? Well, in addition to being filled with more technology and growing 11 mm longer, the exterior lines have become sleeker, as has the shape of the headlights which can now be specified in HD Matrix LED technology with Audi laser light. The vehicle comes in a choice of five or seven-seat variations. There’s a new digital concept centered around two touchscreens. There’s four-zone automatic air conditioning, a power-assist function that closes the doors, a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, massaging front seats, and an air quality package with fragrance and ionizer.
Nicholas Cooksey, the author of this article is the publisher of Arabian Magazines, Gulf Insider Media, and a jury member with the Middle East Car of the Year Awards (MECOTY).