For the first time, a V8-powered Q7 with the 'S' badge arrives on our shores. Prices start from S$500k
Say 'SQ7' and one might be inclined to think about Singapore Airlines' flight from Hong Kong to Singapore. Notwithstanding that flight SQ7 has not flown in awhile, Burnpavement is all about land-based vehicles, so let's stick with that.
Audi's jumbo SUV, the Q7 just got a V8 nestled into its engine bay. Yep, the same V8 that's found in RS models, but in its penultimate state of tune here with 500hp and (possibly?) a Boeing 777-towing 770Nm of torque courtesy of 4-litres of displacement and two turbos worth of forced induction. Keep in mind, Audi's all-electric RS e-tron GT has 830Nm of torque, so for the SQ7 to come in just 60Nm shy of it is fairly impressive.
The 0-100km/h sprint is claimed to be dispatched in a scant 4.1 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. Together, these numbers give rise to its model-designation, the S-badged Q7 or SQ7, again not to be confused with the aforementioned Honkers to Sinkie flight.
Power is sent to the road courtesy of an eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system, that normally sends 40% of drive torque to the front wheels and 60% rearward. When wheel-slip is encountered, up to 70% of torque can be shuffled to the front axle, or up to 85% to the back.
Tick the checkbox for the optional advanced suspension package, and the SQ7 can be equipped with a sport differential in the rear. During enthusiastic driving, two multi-plate clutches in the sport differential shuffle torque to the outside-wheel to help the rear-end of the SQ7 rotate in bends and corners, thereby minimizing understeer. Also helping things along is an all-wheel steering system.
This is further assisted by what Audi calls electromechanical active roll stabilization or EAWS, or in simple English, active anti-roll bars. They can slacken during normal driving and cruising to allow for a more pliant and comfortable ride, and tighten up during hard cornering to greatly reduce how much the SQ7 rolls in the twisties.
As Todd from Project Farm YouTube channel likes to say, "we're gonna test that!" Look out for our drive review to come later.
Anchoring duties fall upon massive 400mm-diameter brake rotors in front and 350mm items in the rear. For some extra moolah and by ticking the right option box, one can choose to upgrade to 420mm and 370mm carbon-fibre ceramic brake rotors front and rear respectively for more consistent fade-free stops and significantly less brake dust to clean during the weekend car wash.
Audi drive select includes allroad and off-road modes to turn off the beaten track
The inside of the SQ7 features sports seats in front as standard with side bolsters that are pneumatically adjustable to hold one snugly when attacking the bends. Upholstered in Valcona leather with the desirable rhombus pattern, these seats are available in Black, Rotor Gray or Arras Red (above). Splash the cash and further equip the front seats with ventilation and massage functions for that even greater premium feel - a must in this author's humble opinion.
Audi's MMI navigation plus infotainment system is standard in the SQ7 and consists of two touchscreens in the SQ7 - 10.8-inch and 8.6-inch respectively. One can also configure the upper display to follow multiple apps simultaneously. Behind the scenes is Audi's third-generation modular infotainment platform or MIB 3 which is said to be exploited fully by MMI navigation plus. Again, we'll know more during our test drive.
The Audi virtual cockpit plus features in the SQ7 and is complimented by a head-up display that lets the driver monitor important information while keeping eyes firmly on the road.
The Audi SQ7 TFSI is now available at Audi Singapore from S$500,951, including VES and COE. For the jet-set family that needs to get places in a hurry as though everyone's pants are constantly on fire, this may very well be the ideal sports-SUV.