The V12 Q7 is so out of step with its time, it exudes a charm unlike anything else on the road

What is it?

A fantasia-style options package for the Q7 V12 TDI based on the Coastline concept that appeared on a show stand back in 2008.

For a barely believable £44,350, Audi will outfit the SUV with an Exclusive concept package that includes a stupendous amount of Nappa leather and American Walnut, as well as gargantuan 21-inch polished alloys.

All there is for the customer to do is add that number to the V12’s six-figure starting price, tot up a few other optional extras (the Bang&Olufsen sound system is £4010 on its own) and then write a check that would cover the purchase of a Porsche 911 Carrera, a Land Rover Discovery 4 HSE and a Caterham Seven Supersport.

What’s it like?

Overboard. Few cars would be capable of tastefully accommodating the vast quantities of wood and animal skin that Audi has seen fit to include in the concept package, and the Q7 is certainly not among them.

Partly this is due to the age of the car – there’s simply no hiding the fact that the vast interior is well past its sell-by-date – which makes the expensive additions look about as out of place as a fur coat on a dead fox.

Not that being out of context is an unusual theme for Audi’s largest soft roader. Proportioned like a continental shelf and powered by the mammoth V12 TDI, the Q7 surges between traffic tidal flows with an extraordinary sense of urgency for a car weighing over two and a half tons.

So beguiling is the growling presence of perpetual thrust that after a while it’s difficult to resist the zaniness of the package. Almost nothing about the car makes sense, but after surfing your radiator-hot leather armchair home on a 737lb ft high wave of torque it almost feels appropriate that your solitary Tesco’s shopping bag sits on a boot floor made of solid walnut.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely not. The Q7 Exclusive concept package is overpriced, overengined and about as tasteful as a gold-plated oil barrel. If fast, massively expensive SUVs are your thing then the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Range Rover Sport are far superior in almost every regard - and are considerably cheaper.

However, if you get the opportunity to borrow one on a short-term basis, jump at the chance. Like a loaded shotgun in a playground, the V12 Q7 is so cataclysmically out of step with its time that it exudes a roguish charm quite unlike anything else on the road.

Audi Q7 V12 TDI with Exclusive concept package

Price: £154,175 (£44,350 for pack); Top speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 5.5 seconds; Economy: 25mpg; CO2: 298g/km; Kerbweight: 2635kg; Engine type, cc: Twelve-cylinder turbodiesel, 5934cc; Power: 493bhp; Torque: 737lb ft; Gearbox: Six-speed tiptronic

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justi 6 March 2012

Re: Audi Q7 V12 TDI Exclusive

Fidji wrote:
I'd have it over an Overfinch, put it that way.

The Overfinch is a fashion accessory. This is much more functional, and in my opinion, a much better car.

The Special One 3 March 2012

Re: Audi Q7 V12 TDI Exclusive

Grunt wrote:
Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour?
It's not as funny as the state of the British automotive industry! The joke's very much on you, "mate"! ;)

thebaldgit 3 March 2012

Re: Audi Q7 V12 TDI Exclusive

A crassly ugly car now comes with a crassly stupid price.