After months of leading us by the hook in our gullet, Audi released official photos of its new Q7 SUV, naked to the world. Gone are the masked logos and false tail lamps, the spies have all gone on to deeper cover and the Audi PR gang is gearing up for the big Frankfurt carnival of cars (with apologies to AutoMuse). The Audi Q7 will be available to order starting the first day of its official launch, which coincides with the press unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show on September 12, 2005, with the first deliveries set to arrive during the (say what?) first quarter of 2006. (But hey, don't rush on our account.)
· European buyers get a choice of two engines, Audi's 350hp (324 ft/lbs) direct-injection 4.2-liter V8 FSI and its 233 hp (369 ft/lbs) 3.0 TDI common-rail six; both come with six-speed tiptronic.
· Quattro permanent four-wheel drive with Torsen center differential, with a front/rear torque split of 40/60
· Independent suspension with double wishbones front and rear. Steel-spring suspension and twin-tube shock absorbers are designed for sporty driving and superior comfort, even off-road.
· Eighteen-inch light alloy wheels with 235/60 tires (eight-cylinder: 255/55), with optional 19" and 20" wheels.
· Optional adaptive air suspension with electronically controlled damping and dynamic roll stabilization.
· Variable ground clearance with on-road and off-road settings, and can be lowered to assist in loading cargo.
· Optional driver assistance systems, such as Audi side assist with radar technology for lane-changing and parking system with optical/acoustic guidance and rear-view camera.
· The ESP system includes hill-descent assist, with an off-road mode for loose surfaces and trailer stabilization system that prevents fishtailing using targeted brake intervention.
· The base price for the Q7 3.0 TDI model in Germany is 48,900 ($60,000).