The 2017 Audi Q7 3.0T SUV weighs around 474 pounds lesser than the outgoing model. One of the reasons behind this weight loss is that the former Q7 was kind of overbuilt and it shared major bits with various other off-road SUVs like Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. These are its cousins in the Volkswagen group.
However, car designers call this unwanted history of platform sharing as ‘scar tissue’. The new Audi Q7 has pumped up the lightness using lots of aluminum chassis, aluminum castings along with aluminum in all the doors and body panels. If you didn’t know it already, Aluminum is 30% lighter than that of steel. The literature indicates that the Q7 is not more than 12% high strength steel.
There was another big SUV project which comes with the same style and size and priced in the same range, the Volvo XC90 team chose to build theirs in steel. Meanwhile, what cars are being made of is currently surpassing interest right now. The Global vehicle emission standards are rising and with that, the crash-test standards keep getting stricter in nature.
In that aspect, the common enemy in fuel economy or crash tests is of course, weight. In automakers continuous search for efficiency, it was expected that steel would be completely surpassed by aluminum. This should be done completely except in few crash critical areas like side beam and B-pillar. However, steel comes with many big advantages like.
Cost is a big advantage, but formability, fastening, tailoring, and pinpoint strength is also equally important. Moreover, we all know that a steel box can be made up of thinner walls compared to that of an aluminum box in order to do the same job.
In packaging, aluminum takes up space as well. To this purpose, we can compare the all-steel Volvo XC90 with the aluminum flavored Q7. When the two rows of rear seats are lowered in the Q7, the unobstructed cargo hold looks quite vast with 71.6cubic feet located behind the front seats. The Audi’s five seats in the rear two rows fold and disappear at the same time.
This causes a flat load floor around 79.5inches long. At the same time, the molded door trim is closely profiled and at the same time, the interior doors of the B-pillars are minimal. The door swing angles and the door openings are pretty generous in nature.
Meanwhile, the steel-ribbed XC90 looks more like a shuttlecraft bay. 85.7 cubic feet in a three-row SUV which is, in fact nose-to-tail, about five inches shorter than the German. The XC90 is lighter than the Audi Q7 by around 300 pounds. The Audi Q7 comes with loads of interesting facilities like the optional full-color high-def 12.3-inch TFT “Virtual Cockpit.”
The infotainment and telematics package has a big hunk of silicon running through it. Other features include 4G LTE data, smartphone connectivity, and blazing Wi-Fi to service two (optional) entertainment tablets which are intended for the rear cabin. The Q7 also has a host of driver assistance mitigation technologies.
For example, the Vehicle Exit Assist warns the occupants in case a bicycle is approaching. There is also a collision avoidance system which engages steering assist actively in order to help maneuver around an obstacle. There is also a full-color head’s up display, with graphics for navi and status, including vehicle speed included digitally.
People who really wish to turn up the beats should opt for the Bang and Olufsen sound system which comes with 23 speakers and 1920 watts. The technocratic grille in the Audi gets a powerful and exquisite gourmet range treatment and there is chrome-like bling on the lower air intakes and lower doors.