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Detroit Motor Show

The new Audi Q7 is here

Published: 13 Jan 2015

325kg is a significant amount of blubber. It's roughly the weight of three baby elephants, and is precisely the amount of blubber cleaved from Audi's brand new Q7 SUV.

So here it is, revealed at this week's Detroit motor show and pencilled in for a summer 2015 UK launch. And first off... it's not utterly obnoxious, is it?

Sure, you're not going to make many friends at Greenpeace weaving a two-tonne full-size Audi SUV three inches from the rear bumper of the car in front, but the Q7 looks functional at least in comparison to the monstrous current version. We're told this new generation is 37mm shorter and 15mm narrower than before, with an additional 21mm between the first and second row of seats. Smaller footprint, more space inside.

For more space, you can option a third row of seats, or leave the space in the back for your Waitrose shopping instead. With three rows, you've got 295 litres of boot, with two, you're looking at 890 litres (and a whopping 2,075 litres with everything folded down).

When it lands in the UK, all Q7s will be powered by Audi's 3.0-litre, 270bhp V6 diesel, though with a raft of improvements to make it Euro 6 compliant. It's also torquey; there's 443lb ft on offer, meaning it'll sprint from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, before topping out at 146mph.

Audi reckons on this engine returning 47.8mpg, and emitting just 153g/km of CO2, both reasonable stats for a car like this. A lower-powered 215bhp version of this V6 will arrive later in the year, along with a plug-in hybrid Q7 e-tron Quattro late in 2015.

This hybrid will feature the same 3.0-litre V6, making 256bhp and boosted by an electric motor for a total system output of 370bhp and a huge 516lb ft of torque. 0-62mph? 6.1s, with a top speed of 139mph. Oh, and it'll also do around 166mpg, and emit just 50g/km of CO2. Yeah, us too.

Elsewhere there's a newly developed eight-speed auto ‘box on offer, with the latest iteration of Audi's signature four-wheel-drive that's lighter than before. The whole car also rides 50mm lower than its predecessor (a consequence of installing the engine lower), with five-link suspension replacing the double wishbones underneath, too. Audi has also been busy adding lightness to the chassis - the base is 100kg lighter than previously.

Then there's air suspension that varies the Q7's height - you can lower it by 30mm on the motorway, or raise it by 60mm for when you need to, y'know, mount the kerb or something.

The Q7 gets new electromechanical steering and the option of ‘all-wheel-steering', where the rear wheels will turn inward by as much as five degrees to ‘enhance vehicle stability'.

There are also no fewer than seven dynamic settings (efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic, individual, allroad, and lift/offroad), 19-inch wheels (with the option of 21s, yo), vented discs with six-piston calipers, a predictive efficiency assistance, night vision assistance, adaptive cruise control, a traffic jam assistant and lane assist. Phew.

There is internet on board. There is rear seat entertainment. There is 3D sound. There is computing power rivaling Interstellar's ‘Endurance' space ship. There's the rather natty ‘virtual cockpit' first seen in the new Audi TT. There's even speech control that understands pretty much whatever you tell it (not just predefined commands).

If you're down in Detroit, we'd recommend having a good old poke around the big thing. If not, click through the pics and tell us your thoughts.

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