If you’ve done something right, why change it up too much? That seems to be Audi’s approach to the 2020 Q7—the mild exterior changes give way to a hell of a lot of new interior technology that doesn’t mess with a good thing but makes the whole driving experience a hell of a lot better.
The biggest thing you’re likely going to notice about the exterior is the thicc-with-two-c’s grille, which Audi’s press release says should make the SUV look more powerful. Along with that come new headlight designs, chrome strips connecting previously disconnected aspects of the car, snd a sharper rear fascia. It is by no means a wild change—but you gotta appreciate the little things.
It’s the interior where the big changes happen. One of the smartest, in my opinion, is the changes to the touchscreen. Instead of being a floating screen in the middle of the dashboard, the 2020 Q7 has dual touchscreens that are embedded in the center console itself.
Possibly my favorite part of the press release is Audi’s insistence on the fact that it’s providing more interior space for passengers... a whole 11 millimeters (0.4 inches) of it! They have, however, apparently put it to good use:
A host of storage compartments, a new compartment in the instrument panel as well as the generous load capacity provide highly functional utility value. Depending on the position of the rear seat backs the luggage compartment on the five-seater version offers between 865 and 2,050 liters (30.5-72.4 cu ft) of capacity – the latter with a flat load area. An electric tailgate is standard; foot-activated gesture control is available as an option. Audi optionally supplies the rear seat bench plus; all three seats can be moved individually fore/aft and the backrest angle adjusted, as well as a third seat row with two electrically lowerable seats.
And finally, Audi has updated its MMI navigation and Audi connect systems to include LTE Advanced, a WiFi hotspot, voice control, and Amazon’s Alexa. It’s that last part that’s the big deal, along with a new thing Audi is calling “Car-to-X” that connects drivers to the city’s infrastructure:
The same applies to the Car-to-X service traffic light information, which is being rolled out in stages in selected European cities. Interconnection with the city’s infrastructure allows the vehicle to receive information from the central traffic light computer via a server, enabling the driver to select a speed to match the next green-light phase. The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit – and the optional head-up display – provide an individual speed recommendation as well as the remaining time until the next green-light phase if the driver is already waiting at a red light. The system thus contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic.
Honestly? I have to say that sounds pretty damn neat. My impatient ass would love to know exactly how long I have to sit at a red light (if only just to bitch about obscene wait times later).