Audi has given its largest SUV, the three-row Q7, a refreshening to match the recently introduced, two-row “flagship” Q8 SUV. The new Q7 gets a new eight-sided grille, revised front and rear fascias to more closely resemble the Q8, and new LED headlamps and taillights. Many of the more substantial changes are on the inside, however.
The Q7 gets the latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment system, which has eliminated the console-mounted knob controller and instead uses two touch screens. When the MMI knob was first introduced, some critics said it was clunky and hard to use. Now that Audi has eliminated the knob, it’s not entirely certain that the haptic-feedback touch screens are a step in the right direction. The lower screen controls HVAC and vehicle settings, while the upper screen is responsible for navigation and the audio system.
The rest of the interior has had a major revision to match the new Q8's cabin. If you like the new Q8's passenger experience, you'll feel at home in the Q7.
We’ll have to wait for powertrain details pertaining the North American market, but for the time being, we know that in Europe the Q7 will offer two diesel powertrains that incorporate 48-volt mild hybrid systems. (In the U.S., the 48-volt system for the Q8 is, in practice, only used for the stop-start system.) Power and torque figures were not released. Audi promises gasoline and PHEV versions, as well. As has become commonplace in the industry, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will likely continue as the base powerplant, and it is expected that the new gasoline-powered turbo V-6 fitted to the Q8 will replace the supercharged V-6 in the outgoing Q7.
The Euro-spec Q7 features matrix LED headlights with incorporated lasers that don’t meet U.S. federal motor vehicle safety standards, but we might see the Q7's new all-wheel-steering system on this side of the Atlantic.
The new Q7 will launch in Europe in September as a 2020 model, with U.S. sales likely to start soon after that. No pricing information has been released as of yet. The current Q7 starts at $54,545, including destination charges.