2010 Audi Q7: Styling, Diesel Tweaks

The 2010 Audi Q7 has debuted it's LED-bedazzled visage, but the main news is under the hood, the 3.0-liter V6 TDI gets clean diesel tech making it good for European sale through 2014.

2010 Audi Q7: Styling, Diesel Tweaks

2010 Audi Q7: Styling, Diesel Tweaks

2010 Audi Q7: Styling, Diesel Tweaks

2010 Audi Q7: Styling, Diesel Tweaks

Styling upgrades for the Q7 are limited to reshaping some of the moldings and the front bumper, a minor tweak to the grille and new LED's sprinkled about. Inside, things get massaged with ambient color tweaks, a revised gauge cluster and swtichgear, but not much else.

The biggest changes are under-hood with the "clean diesel" 3.0 liter V6, which is equipped with a system called Adblue, a urea injection system, and an "energy recuperation technology" which engages the alternator to generate electricity while coasting and braking and stores it in the battery to reduce the demand on the engine. The system helps push fuel economy all the way up to 26.4 MPG. Not too bad for a full-sized SUV. It's also clean enough to kill almost all nitrous oxide emissions and meet the Euro 6 emissions requirements through 2014.

AUDI COVERS NEW GROUND WITH 2010 Q7 SUV

Enhanced seven-seat SUV range benefits visually and mechanically and features the world's cleanest diesel technology

* Visually and mechanically improved evolution of Audi luxury all-terrain vehicle scheduled to open for UK order this week priced from £38,575 OTR to £94,850 OTR – first deliveries in July
* New 3.0 TDI ‘clean diesel' joins range alongside existing 3.0 TDI which, in common with 4.2 TDI, 4.2 FSI and 3.6 FSI engines benefits from improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 output
* Combines seven-seat practicality with quattro four-wheel-drive and variable height adaptive air suspension for genuine off-road capability
* 4.2 FSI V8 petrol (350PS) and 3.0 V6 TDI (233PS) engines

A visually and mechanically enhanced seven-seat Audi Q7 range which for the first time incorporates an ultra-low emission, EU6-compliant TDI model opens for UK order this week. Priced from £38,575 OTR, and due to reach its first customers in July, the new range combines subtle styling revisions and improved equipment for SE and S line models with advanced energy recuperation technology that brings improved fuel economy and reduced emissions for all versions.

The most important advances benefiting the latest Q7 range are arguably to be found beneath the reworked body, where a new 3.0-litre TDI engine incorporating the world's cleanest diesel technology uses an AdBlue additive to eradicate virtually all harmful nitrous oxides from emissions, and already meets stringent EU6 emissions applicable from 2014. Like the rest of the engine range, including 3.6 FSI V6 and 4.2 FSI V8 direct injection petrol units and mighty 4.2 TDI V8 and 6.0 TDI diesels, the new high-tech 3.0-litre TDI unit is backed up by a new energy recovery system which helps to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 5 g/km. During braking and coasting phases the system converts mechanical energy into electric energy via the alternator and stores it within the battery to reduce the load on the engine.

An advanced version of the common rail piezo injection system with 2,000 bar of pressure, new combustion chamber sensors and a high-performance exhaust recirculation system ensures a highly efficient combustion process in the new TDI clean diesel. An innovative DeNOx catalytic converter reduces the remaining nitrogen oxides. Just upstream of it, a pump injects an additive named AdBlue into the hot exhaust flow, where this solution decomposes into ammonia, which splits the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water. This additive is replenished by Audi Centres during routine servicing.

Significant economy improvements
In Q7 3.0 TDI quattro models equipped with the new TDI ‘clean diesel' unit backed up by the energy recuperation technology, a combined fuel economy figure of 31.7mpg is achievable. The benefits of recuperation are also particularly evident in the 4.2 TDI, which enjoys a fuel economy boost from 25.5mpg to 28.5mpg, despite an increase in power for the latest generation unit from 326PS to 340PS. The 6.0-litre, 500PS Audi Q7 V12 TDI continues to rank as the world's most powerful diesel-powered SUV, and yet manages a wholly respectable economy figure of 25.0mpg in the combined cycle test. In the petrol camp, the 3.6 FSI V6 registers 23.3mpg, and the 4.2 FSI 22.2mpg.

All engines transmit their power via a six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, and all of course work in conjunction with quattro permanent four-wheel-drive with the now familiar 40 per cent / 60 per cent front-to-rear torque split for optimum on-road balance. Both on and off the tarmac, the standard five-mode air suspension with its variable ground clearance of between 180mm and 240mm helps the Audi Q7 to iron out the most imperfect of surfaces. The off-road setting, with 205mm of clearance and adapted damper control, is the perfect setting for cross-country driving.

A redesigned front grille, restyled bumpers incorporating new integrated under-body protectors, new door mouldings and distinctive new LED rear lights embellish the distinctive Audi Q7 body in its latest incarnation. SE versions are further enhanced by larger 19-inch alloy wheels (previously 18-inch), and top specification S line models by LED indicators and new U-shaped ‘wraparound' LED daytime running lights built into standard xenon headlamps. These striking new light units can also be added at extra cost to SE and standard models.

Inside the latest Audi Q7, numerous detail enhancements, most notably to the instrument cluster and switchgear but also taking in lighting and interior colour schemes, have further improved the ambience. Three specification levels – standard, SE and S line - are offered for the V6 FSI and V6 TDI models, while the V8 petrol and V8 TDI versions are available exclusively in SE or S line form. The V12 TDI has an extensive, stand-alone specification. SE and S line versions in the latest generation benefit from equipment upgrades, the former including the new 19-inch alloy wheel design and Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, and the latter the addition of front seat heating, Bluetooth phone preparation and xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and indicators.

Among the new additions to the options list is the latest HDD navigation and entertainment system available for integration into the standard Multi Media Interface. The system uses a hard drive to store navigation mapping, music and telephone data, and displays its new 3D graphics on a high resolution colour monitor. Climate controlled comfort seats capable of heating or cooling their occupants are also newly available, as are long life, virtually fade-free carbon fibre ceramic brakes, which have been fitted as standard to the Audi Q7 V12 TDI since its launch and are now offered at extra cost for 4.2 FSI and 4.2 TDI versions.

An overall length of 5,086 millimetres and a wheelbase of 3,002 millimetres (width: 1,983 mm / height 1,737 mm) enable the Audi Q7 to offer exceptional interior space, and no less than 28 seating and loading configurations guaranteeing exceptional versatility.

Up to seven occupants can be accommodated in the three rows of seats that are included as standard. The seats in the second row are individually adjustable for fore/aft movement, and both rear seat rows can be folded flat to provide a load area of 2,035 litres if required, without the seats having to be removed. If used as a 5-seater the Q7 boasts an impressive load capacity of 775 litres.