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New Audi Q7 shows subtle SUV style, innovative driver interface (pictures)

The Q7 is the second model to get Audi's new Virtual Cockpit infotainment interface, putting navigation and other electronics functions right in front of the driver.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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Audi redesigns its Q7 SUV from the ground up for its second generation, which comes out as a 2017 model year car.

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Styling changes include a more sculpted grille than previously.

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LED headlights are available as an option.

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Audi went for a sporting design over a brawny SUV look.

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With radar sensors at every corner and a surround-view camera system, Audi gives the Q7 many active safety features.

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Quattro all-wheel-drive helps handling and traction in slippery conditions.

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An optional air suspension adjusts from firm to soft, and provides a little lift for offroading.

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The Q7 comes with this supercharged 3-liter V-6 engine, good for 333 horsepower.

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Audi designers call this side trim piece, imprinted with the Quattro logo, a "blade".

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Among the interior leather choices is this rich brown.

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The second row seats are designed so a middle passenger can be as comfortable as those on the sides.

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Tumble-down seats give you access to the third row.

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There isn't much cargo space with the third row of seats up.

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Power-folding third row seats come standard, making it easy to open up more cargo room.

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Audi gives its dashboard a horizontal design to increase the sense of lateral space.

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Electric power steering changes its feel depending on the DriveSelect setting.

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Audi calls the shifter for the eight-speed automatic a "yacht lever."

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This touchpad lets you trace letters for destination searches in the navigation system.

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You control the optional Virtual Cockpit instrument panel with buttons on the steering wheel spokes.

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You can change the size of the virtual gauges.

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Album art and track information become easily visible on the Virtual Cockpit.

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The center LCD shows a surround view of the car.

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The main menu uses an elliptical format.

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Google Earth imagery enriches the navigation system look.

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Audi offers a number of active safety features for the Q7, which can be set up from here.

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The destination entry screen is simplified, with a single box for business searches and address look-ups.

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Audi Connect includes a wealth of external data, from news to weather to parking availability.

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You can look up parking garages and see which have open slots.

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The center screen duplicates the Virtual Cockpit functionality.

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The Q7 supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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Apple CarPlay includes third-party apps, available on subsequent screens.

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Instead of using Audi's navigation, you can use your phone's.

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Apple CarPlay includes its own music app.

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