What is it?
It’s our first UK drive of yet another physics-bender from Audi, this time allying the five-metre, 2.4-tonne heft of the seven-seat Q7 SUV with the accelerative promise of the ‘S’ sub-brand. The well-received SQ5 - powered by a 322bhp, 3.0-litre bi-turbo diesel V6 - is a scorcher at 5.1sec to 62mph, but its big brother is quicker still at an arguably unnecessary 4.9sec.
It's all thanks to a new 4.0-litre V8 engine with a pair of sequential turbos and a 48V blower officially called an electric power compressor (EPC). A new variable valve system orchestrates how the three turbines interact. This hardware conspires to make a fulsome 429bhp and - brace yourself - 664lb ft of torque that’s available from a barely awake 1000rpm.
The pioneering, 48V lithium-ion electricity supply also powers the active anti-roll bars that are packaged with all-wheel steering and - for the first time in a Q7 - a torque-vectoring rear differential in the optional £5700 Driving Dynamics Sports Pack, as fitted to our test car.
Air springs and adaptive Sport dampers come as part of the £70,970 base price, however, as does an active exhaust, 20in alloys, Audi’s widescreen 12.3in high-res LCD driver's display, upgraded leather and a reversing camera. All this comes on top of the already convincing S line kit list.