2021 Audi SQ7 first drive: 500-hp family-friendly hooligan
Audi Q7 have always been easy recommendations for buyers looking at three real luxury crossovers.
They're very refined, they're techie, they're safe and they've never looked like they're trying too hard.
But they've also been a bit meh.
Which, in fairness, is kind of par for the course for this segment.
But that changes with this new Audi SQ7.
This isn't just a more powerful or sportier Q7, and not just any V-8.
This one has 500 horsepower and 568 pound feet of torque.
So whether you want to haul kids or something else, this guy looks up to the job.
For 2020 all Q7 received a slight facelift, but this SQ7 is a new offering.
Even if you missed the badges on this one, you can still spot a Q7 on the street by its unique single frame grille with Platinum double slats.
It kinda looks like a mask and there's even a more aggressive bumper with a unique front splitter.
Along the sides, there are 21 inch twin v spoke wheels and brushed metal look mirror caps.
Outback, there's four round exhaust outlets plus a rework diffuser.
It's pretty subtle stuff overall, but I really do like the 15 millimeter lower ride height because it adds a little aggression.
Let's go for a drive.
Like I said, the Q seven is a pretty well known quantity at this point.
It's one of Audi's best selling models.
And this second gen model has been on sale since 2016.
It's a great all around vehicle if you need three rows, but it doesn't have a ton of emotion in its standard form, which is why it's nice to have so much extra power and finesse from this SQ7 Previous to this if you wanted a little bit more oomph, you were probably better off going to a BMW or Mercedes dealer.
This Sq seven, it changes that Audi hasn't just shoehorned in a four liter turbo V eight and called it good.
They've comprehensively updated the Sq sevens drive lines, suspension and steering to cope with 165 more horsepower.
And most importantly, nearly 200 pound feet of torque more than you could get with a three liter turbo.
That's been the cue sevens big engine to this point.
As you'd expect out he hasn't just dropped a big old Viet under the hood and gone for beers.
The retune quattro all wheel drive since 60% of its torque rearward as standard and can sling it to all four corners as necessary.
In addition, there's a new adaptive air suspension which is firmer.
The brakes which are larger upfront, and it's also rejigger the transmission for quicker shifts.
Anything you can do to make this 5300 pound boy dance is good news in my book Hey, if you doubt that something this big can hustler on corners as well as straights, remember this Sq seven is built atop the same modular architecture as Porsches, Cayenne and Lamborghinis euros and those SUVs well they can flat out belt.
The SQ7 is no different hitting 60 in just 4.3 seconds, which makes it quicker than a Cayenne GTs.
Top speed is limited to 155 on standard summer tires, or 130 if you opt for all seasons and if you need a bit more handling prowess Audi will sell you a sport pack that as a 48 volt active roll stabilization system, and a rear quatro sport differential to help you power out of quarters clicker at 5900 bucks it's indulgent.
But then again, so is this whole thing.
And thanks to its killer, optional banging Olsen three audio system and laser headlights.
This high end prestige model is knocking on 100 grand
Speaking [UNKNOWN] the SQ7 gets a few updates to its cabin too, including a perforated 3 folk string wheel and heated in cold coated leather sports seats.
That last bit is a bigger deal than you might think.
For ages now, if you wanted outies, groupy or sports seats, you couldn't get ventilation
Yes, I know seat coolers add weight, and weight is the enemy of performance.
But let's be real here for just a second.
This is a three row SUV with over 70 cubic feet of cargo space.
It is not a Miata.
So anything that Audi can do to keep my **** in place and cool, calm, and collected So that I can slay the winding road ahead of me.
Well that is what I wanted to do.
[SOUND] The rest of the cabin is pure modern outtie meaning very nicely put together and top notch when it comes to Kevin tech out he's got the only two touchscreen infotainment system I've ever liked.
And while it takes a while to become familiar, it's snappy, configurable, and incredibly powerful, as is its virtual cockpit gauge cluster
Of course with great power comes great consumption.
EPA estimates call for 15 miles per gallon city, 21 Highway and 17 combined.
Alright, let's talk engine noise for just a second.
Audi has wisely fitted this V8 with a switchable exhaust so that it can be loud or quiet when you need it to.
What I like is [SOUND] that it's nice and throaty.
Unfortunately, it sounds like it's muffled underneath a blanket.
See, Audi doesn't quite understand what Jag does and AMG does, which is that Americans like their cars really, really loud sometimes.
[SOUND] I wish there was another mode that really cranked it up to 11.
As it is this well, it's probably an eight.
Now, I mentioned that this thing is good for towing, but I do want to be clear, it can handle up to 7700 pounds which is generous, but it's actually the same rating as the three litre q seven No matter I still think with more power and bigger brakes, this is the tow rig of choice.
So that's the new SQ7.
It's way more powerful, and thankfully, it's got significantly more soul than a standard Q7.
At 100 grand, you'd expect for it to be a lot more vehicle, and thankfully it delivers.
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