Are we reaching peak grille? Lexus’s spindle often fills most of the front bumper. The BMW X7’s kidneys are almost as big the entire front end of some classic Beemer’s. Then there’s Audi’s single frame. Originally, it was quite modest. But now, on the latest Audi Q7, it’s become a gaping maw.
We can’t help but wonder where it’ll end. Perhaps when the grille stretches beyond the wheelarches.
Anyway, there’s a bit more to this new Q7 than that grille. New LED lights front and rear for a start, along with a smattering of new detail touches.
But the biggest change has occurred inside, where the Q7 now has the dual touchscreen arrangement seen in the A8 and Q8. The upper screen houses all the infotainment gubbins, while the lower screen deals with the climate controls. It looks mightily impressive, but will it be any easier to use than conventional buttons?
As you’d expect, the infotainment system is brimming with functionality and connectivity. It’s even compatible with Amazon Alexa and will communicate with the infrastructure around it wherever that’s possible.
Underneath, the SQ7’s active roll stabilisation and rear-wheel-steering becomes available as an option.
The expected selection of petrol and diesel engines live under the bonnet, but they’re now backed up by a mild-hybrid system. As per usual it adds a bit of power, improves fuel economy and allows engine-free coasting at speeds between 34mph and 99mph.
A plug-in hybrid Q7 e-tron will follow next year.
Audi hasn’t announced economy numbers or prices yet. We’ll find out before the Q7 is launched later this year.
By Graham King