The Audi SQ7 has never been a car for shrinking violets. Anyone who drives a five-metre SUV with a grille bigger than most people’s garden and that sounds like a racing powerboat has to have a pretty high level of self-assurance. Buyers of the facelifted SQ7 will have to find even more.
Why? Because the new SQ7 has possibly the biggest grille Audi has ever created. New, smaller headlights have allowed Audi’s designers to stretch the ‘single-frame’ grille even further. Then they added toothy vertical strakes and seemingly bottomless vents at the lower corners of the front bumper. This is a car that looks like it would simpy hoover up any cars that dare get in its way in the outside lane.
There are other detail styling changes, as well – the rear lights, bumper, tailgate, side skirts, door mirror caps and 21in wheels are all new.
More inside, too, as the dashboard switches to Audi’s dual-touchscreen dashboard layout. The upper screen deals with infotainment while the lower screen houses the climate controls and other auxiliary functions.
Power comes from the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel engine, but it’s now assisted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to boost fuel economy and lower emissions. One of the turbos spools up electrically, as well, improving throttle response at low speed.
Output stands at 435hp and 664lb/ft of torque, marshalled to the road via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel-drive. 0-62mph is bludgeoned in 4.8secs (a 0.1secs improvement) and top speed is limited to 155mph.
Adaptive air suspension, active roll stabilisation and rear-wheel-steering (on the upscale Vorsprung model) deal with the massive cornering loads generated by 2.5 tons of SUV travelling extremely quickly. Gigantic 400mm front and 370mm rear brakes bring it to a halt.
The 2020 Audi SQ7 goes on sale in August, priced in the mid-£70,000 range.
By Graham King