From £13,420
Audi's gigantic Q7 has been given some serious urge by the installation of a V12 twin-turbo diesel.

Our Verdict

Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 is exactly the high-class execution of the big SUV you would expect from the brand

Audi Q7 is accomplished, but doesn’t feel at home on UK roads

What is it?

This is Audi's range-topping Q7 V12 TDI, driven in the UK for the first time.

Powered by a mammoth 6.0-litre V12 diesel engine, producing 493bhp and a truly colossal 737lb ft of torque, the V12 is the Q7 for those who struggle with the concept of self-constraint and have very deep pockets.

At just shy of six figures, the 12-cylinder Q7 is nearly twice the price of any other model.

What's it like?

A guilty pleasure. Even the most humble of Q7s is a pretty conspicuous way to travel, but with 20in wheels, daylight running lights, V12 badges, wheel arch extensions and a chrome plated grille, this particular Q7 is about as conspicuous as it gets.

And yet I have to admit that on the road, the big Q7 is remarkably satisfying. Far from being a party piece powerplant shoehorned into an unlikely bodyshell, the V12 TDI is impressively well resolved; not only does it start and rev smoothly, but it also does so with a not-unpleasant voice.

Moreover, the Q7 is happy trundling along at slow speeds without feeling like it's being constrainted. And then when you do want to add a little speed, the throttle progression is such that you can do so accurately.

Which is a good job, because if you summon the V12's full muster the Q7 accelerates at a pace not far off that of a BMW M5. It'll race to 62mph in 5.5sec, an odd experience in something that weighs 2635kg.

Wisely, Audi has tuned the suspension and braking to cope with the extra performance. With the adjustable air suspension set to dynamic, the V12 Q7 rides lower and more stiffly than any of its siblings, and that helps to control (if not entirely hide) the masses involved.

The brakes are now carbon-ceramic, measuring 420mm at the front and 370mm at the rear. But try to rely on the Q7 too heavily and its limitations are easily exposed; it's better to knock the suspension back to comfort - where it copes rather well with our pitted roads - and be more measured with the power.

Should I buy one?

So expensive is the V12 Q7 there really is only one reason you would - because you can. However monster the performance, it canít justify the additional £44k over the already very competent and brisk 4.2 TDI.

And you wouldn't choose it for its efficiency; 25mpg isn't exactly a disaster, given its pace, but it isn't going to offset the purchase cost.

Finally, if you want the absolute star of quick SUVs then the (cheaper) Porsche Cayenne Turbo is more accomplished. Still, however irrational it may be, the Q7 V12 does hold appeal - for its technical achievements, if nothing else.

Jamie Corstorphine

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Comments
30

16 September 2008

£96000!!!!

Jeezuz

I can think of better things to do with that much money. BMW M3/Merc AMG/Audi RS4 etc plus an X5 3.0d! Before I got shot down I do think that paying 911 GT3 RS money for a 4x4 indicates more money than taste.

16 September 2008

An embarassing "car" for a crazy price. Good for Dubai only...

16 September 2008

Available SOON upside down in a ditch near YOU!

Free premier league footballer and not so pretty (now) page 3 girl with everyone!

"move along everyone, nothing to see here"

16 September 2008

Well got to say, finally Audi have completely lost the plot.

They used to be the sensible ones of the German car makers, but they have really lost the plot....

493bhp, 12.3mpg and 96k!!!

Why?

Why would you choose this over a Porsche Cayenne Turbo or ML63 AMG or the rumoured M version of the X5?

They seem obessesed with power and more power. What happened to handling?- the only good handling Audi's of recent times are the RS4 and R8 and only one of them is on sale any longer!.

Audi- sort yourselves out- turning into the car du jour for a bunch of bankers....

16 September 2008

I think it's fantastic!

The green nazis have obviously won with you lot! You do know this is a car magazine don't you? I can let you have a link for a bicycle magazine - might be more appropriate?

And its 25 mpg!? Much better, cheaper and more practical than a bus - and it'll average higher passenger numbers.

Put me down for two

17 September 2008

Nah, just the 'taste and decency fascists' perhaps ;-) It is big, it's probably quite clever, but headline power output aside it doesn't really move the automobile on, does it? Whatever you make of the 'green' issue, something like this is only ever going to be a nail in the coffin of the car and ammunition for those who oppose it. Just think what that engine could do in a lighter car.

If they can come up with a 1600kg SUV which seats 7, handles well and does 40+ mpg I'll be impressed. (Such a thing may already exist, I can't be bothered to check so feel free to correct me).

Of course if you've got £96k burning a hole in your pocket, none of this is likely to matter.

17 September 2008

Maj1c, don't you mean a wunch of bankers...?

17 September 2008

[quote happygolucki]

The green nazis have obviously won with you lot! You do know this is a car magazine don't you? I can let you have a link for a bicycle magazine - might be more appropriate?

[/quote]

So flying A320's everyday and having 3 Subaru's on my drive makes me green? Ha! I can assure you I am not anti 4x4 (there is a 3.6 litre petrol Tribeca outside at the moment) and I actually don't mind the Rangies, Merc's, X5/X6, Porsche Cayennes, but even 24 hours on I am still struggling to see how one could spend 96 grand (!) on a diesel 4x4, especially since VW do a 'slightly' bonkers Tourag (can't remember how to spell it) with a V10 diesel for much much less.

And finally the reason why I come on autocar.co.uk everyday is because I am passionate about cars (as most people who come here are), and have been for as long as I can remember!

17 September 2008

Everything Audi isn't (or wasn't) about...What a pointless behemoth.

Skoda became the new Volvo when Volvo got pretentious. Who's going to be the new Audi?

17 September 2008

Seat (well, more the old Audi given what they're doing with the rebadging).

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