When you think Q7, the first thing that comes to your mind is bulky, intimidating mammoth of an SUV, no? Well, thats about to change with the new Q7. This one is not as bulky as the previous one. In fact, wed not be entirely wrong to call it a big station wagon rather than a full-size SUV. Does it work? Well, honestly, the previous-gen Q7 had been around for a decade, and the bulk and the shape had gotten a bit monotonous, so its a good change. But on the downside, if you were thinking of buying the Q7 to announce “Im the boss” on the road, you might not like the new one so much.Anyway, in its quest for lightness, it has shed a good 325 kilograms. Up front, there's a huge-ass hexagonal grille that occupies most of the face. Its the biggest grille that weve seen in recent times – it gives it that unmistakable Audi look. The headlamps are now LED-matrix like in some other Audis. At the rear, there are plenty of cuts and creases. For us, it doesn't really work. We would've liked it if the back was a bit more curvaceous. Go through the gallery to see it for yourself.This Q7s newness is not only skin-deep. The big news is that it is based on the MLB-Evo platform. This is the first VW Group SUV to use this base. The list of the other SUVs to be underpinned by the same platform include the new VW Touareg, the next-gen Porsche Cayenne and the upcoming Bentley SUV. There are chances that the headed-for-production Lamborghini Urus, too, will be based on this platform.So, has the weight-shedding and a new platform helped make the new Q7 a drivers car? Well, not a drivers car as such, but it drives and handles better than the outgoing Q7. The steering is still devoid of communication or feedback, and there's still a fair bit of body roll. The wallowiness of the Q7 is curbed quite nicely, though.The motor that powers the new Q7 is the same as before, albeit with a bit of retuning. Internationally, a V6 petrol and a V6 diesel will be available – both 3.0-litre units – but only the diesel will make its way to India. Unfortunately, the 4.2-litre V8 has been killed off (damn\\!). The diesel that will come to India is good for 269bhp and a massive 600Nm of torque. With that sort of power, youll seldom feel the need for more go.The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that channels the power to all four wheels through the quattro system. Its quick in transferring power from the front to the back wheels, but when it comes to changing cogs quickly, it isnt at the top of the food chain.The new Q7 also gets all-wheel steering. Its a first in its segment, and makes parking easier in tight spaces, and around high-speed bends, blesses it with tidy handling. The ride in the new Q7 is nice. Though Swiss roads arent the best to test ride quality, we can say without a doubt that the new Q7 will soak up bumps better than the previous one.Though the Q7 has smaller dimensions from the outside, its actually roomier inside. It gets seven seats like the car it replaces. It also has flexi-seating, where you can fold the seats to create space for luggage. Lots of it. The interior look and feel, too, has improved. Everything is good quality, as usual, and you also get a lot of multimedia toys to play with. The overall dash design is modern and classy, with a thin strip of lights running across it. The new Q7 gets a lot of radar-guided driver assistance tools, but because of daft Indian laws, none of that will make it to India.We expect Audi to hike the price of the new Q7 by around Rs 5-7 lakh over the price of the outgoing Q7 when it lands in India in November this year. The previous-gen Q7 retailed at Rs 95 lakh, so this will be around Rs 1 crore for the 3.0-litre diesel (all prices, on-road, Mumbai). For that kind of money, youll get the Merc GL350 CDI, the BMW X5 or the new Volvo XC90. All of which are bigger in size, and some even drive better. The Q7 is worth your money if you're looking for a cutting-edge SUV that's brimming with creature comforts. The numbers3.0-litre turbo diesel, 269bhp, 600Nm, 8A, AWD, 0-100kph\: 6.3 seconds, Rs 1 crore (estimated, on-road, Mumbai), expected launch\: November 2015The verdictHas lost a fair bit of flab. Looks modern and fresh. Makes for a worthy alternative if you like your SUV loaded to the gills.