Audi Q7: The performance SUV
Date: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 @ 20:17:32 GMT
Author: audioc
Topic: Q7
The new Audi Q7 sets new standards in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. It ingeniously combines sportiness and versatility, sophisticated technology and the luxury of a premium-class vehicle. On the road it excels with sporty driving performance and dynamism; off-road its uncompromising propulsion is dazzling. The Audi Q7 is the performance SUV from the creator of quattro. The very design epitomises the character of the Audi Q7. The broad, fluent curve of the roof and the distinctive high lateral body surface in relation to the flat window area reflect the characteristic dynamism of the brand.

The pronounced tapering of the front section and the powerful rear end with its sharply sloping D-posts fashion a coupe-like silhouette. Other typical elements of the Audi formal idiom are the shoulder line and the dynamic line, which define the side section. The paintwork option of two contrasting colours - Silver, matt and Platinum Grey, matt - creates an elegant look. Eleven basic colours are available.

Body design

The Audi Q7 measures 5,086 millimetres in length and has a wheelbase of 3,002 mm. These dimensions give it the lead in the SUV contest. Some 1,983 mm wide and 1,737 mm high, it provides incomparable spaciousness for its passengers. It also offers a new dimension in versatility: no less than 28 seating and loading configurations are possible in the Audi Q7.

Up to seven people can be accommodated in three rows of seats. The seats in the second row can be individually adjusted for fore/aft movement if desired; here passengers will find the longest legroom in this class. Both rear seat rows can be folded flat to provide a luggage area of 2,035 litres if required, without the seats having to be removed. As a 5-seater version the Audi Q7 boasts a load capacity of 775 litres - the best in its class. The 6-seater is fitted with two luxurious individual seats in the second row.

Engine range

When the Audi Q7 is launched, customers will have the choice of two powerful engines: the new 4.2-litre V8 with FSI petrol direct injection develops 257 kW (350 bhp) and achieves a maximum torque of 440 Newton-metres, available at 3,500 rpm.

The 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engine uses a latest-generation common rail injection system with piezo inline injectors. In this way it combines its high performance of 171 kW (233 bhp) and powerful torque of 500 Nm - available from just 1,750 rpm - with high refinement and excellent economy.

Also new is the 3.6-litre FSI, a V6 petrol engine, developing 206 kW/280 bhp and 360 Nm of torque, the latter remaining constant from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. This engine can be ordered for the Audi Q7 starting from the second half of the year. Power transmission for all three engine versions comes from a 6-speed tiptronic with manual shift option.

For the Audi Q7 to be equipped as standard with quattro permanent four-wheel drive is naturally a matter of honour. Its centre differential conveys power to all four wheels - both on-road and off-road. With its immediate demand-based distribution of torque, quattro technology provides maximum traction and lateral stability - the prerequisites for optimum driving dynamics and motoring safety. This drive concept has proven its qualities for more than 25 years: over two million production Audi models have left the assembly line with this technology and countless victories have been notched up on the racetrack and in rallies by virtue of this system.

Like the Audi RS 4 and the Audi S8, the Audi Q7 features the latest-generation self-locking differential with asymmetric/dynamic torque split. The standard split between front and rear axle is 40 : 60. Also thanks to virtually balanced axle load distribution, this technology engenders slightly sporty, tail-heavy characteristics, even better agility and steering precision that remains practically free of torque steer.

Suspension

The chassis of the Audi Q7 excels with its sophisticated all-round qualities. All four wheels are suspended independently in an elaborate double wishbone construction. Most of the axle components are made of aluminium. The steel-spring suspension and twin-tube shock absorbers are designed for sporty driving and superior comfort, even off-road. The tilted position of the rear spring and shock absorber unit reduces overall height and creates more room at the rear.

The Audi Q7 is equipped as standard with 235/60 tyres on 18-inch alloy wheels; tyres on the 4.2 FSI are 255/55 in size. All versions of the performance SUV can be fitted optionally with 19-inch or 20-inch wheels.

The electronic stabilisation program ESP includes numerous new functions. One of these is hill descent assist, an additional special off-road mode that optimises brake performance and traction especially on loose ground. Last but not least, if the Audi Q7 is fitted with the optional towing bracket, the trailer stabilisation system reduces the risk of a fishtailing trailer by means of targeted brake intervention.

Available as an option is adaptive air suspension. The combination of air suspension and an electronically controlled damping system represents the perfect synthesis of sporty handling and supreme ride comfort. The standard dynamic roll stabilisation system reduces body sway about the longitudinal axis to a minimum.

With adaptive air suspension ground clearance is variable, starting at 180 millimetres and extending to 240 mm in lift mode. The off-road mode, with 205 mm ground clearance and suitably adapted damper control, allows travel on challenging terrain. The loading sill has a particularly convenient feature: it can be lowered to enable heavy objects to be loaded effortlessly into the luggage area.

Operation and assistance systems

High-tech components in the new Audi Q7 are by no means restricted to drivetrain and suspension - they also feature in the controls.

The Audi Q7 is equipped as standard with the innovative MMI operating concept - much praised on the A8 and A6. It can be extended in two stages to include a variety of additional functions.

A number of innovative driver assistance systems, introduced for the first time in standard production, are available on request. These include Audi side assist with radar technology for lane-changing manoeuvres, the Audi parking system advanced with optical and acoustic guidance and rear-view camera and the latest-generation Audi cruise control with braking guard, which decelerates the Audi Q7 and brings it to a standstill if required.

Delivery of the new Audi Q7 will commence in the first quarter of 2006. The basic price of the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI in Germany is 48,900 euros; the list price of the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI is 64,900 euros.

At a glance: The Audi Q7

Body
- Powerful yet elegant exterior and interior design
- Dimensions: L 5.09 m, W 1.98 m, H 1.74 m, wheelbase 3.00 m
- Luxurious spaciousness for all passengers
- Five, six or seven seats available
- Luggage capacity up to 2,035 litres, double load-area floor

Engines
- 4.2 V8 FSI developing 257 kW (350 bhp), 440 Nm at 3,500 rpm
- 3.6 V6 FSI developing 206 kW (280 bhp), 360 Nm from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm (starting from second half of the year)
- 3.0 V6 TDI developing 171 kW (233 bhp), 500 Nm at 1,750 rpm

Drive/transmission
- 6-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro permanent four-wheel drive with asymmetric/dynamic torque split

Suspension
- Audi dynamic chassis with double wishbone suspension featuring aluminium and 18 to 20-inch aluminium wheels
- Optional adaptive air suspension with adjustable ride height and dynamic roll stabilisation
- Speed-dependent servotronic steering

Equipment
- Standard: Multi Media interface MMI basic
- Standard: deluxe automatic air conditioning
- Option: xenon plus and adaptive light
- Option: panorama glass sunroof open sky system
- Option: access and authorisation system advanced key
- Option: warning system for lane-changing manoeuvres Audi side assist
- Option: radar-based distance control system adaptive cruise control

Exterior design: Power and presence

The Audi Q7 brings the new design line of the Audi brand to the premium SUV segment. Its elegant styling represents power and presence and impresses with its dynamism and sportiness. Flowing forms create a body of moving surfaces, which appears sculpture-like even when standing still.

The Audi Q7 is a new breed of SUV. The first representatives of this vehicle category were angular beasts with a strictly off-road character. These were followed by the first premium SUVs, with a design clearly oriented towards on-road capabilities. In contrast, the Audi Q7 is a third-generation performance SUV. It combines the best features from both worlds and reflects this in its design. Its exterior is as much a reflection of superior sportiness as it is of the robustness required of a powerful off-roader.

A strong personality such as the Audi Q7 convinces with its attention to detail. The front is dominated by the striking, practically vertical single-frame grille - a clear indication of the powerful engines installed behind. With its slim chrome frame and rib structure, the grille has a marked three-dimensional effect - the horizontal ribs protrude slightly to emphasise the horizontal lines, the vertical lines are set back slightly. On either side of the grille, wide headlights reach far into the wing, their light tubes visible behind clear-glass covers. In addition to the standard halogen lights, xenon plus headlights and the dynamic cornering light adaptive light are available.

Sporty and robust

The engine compartment lid has a distinctive V-shape to underline the sporty character of the Audi Q7, whereas the dominant shape of the bumper emphasises its robustness and stability. The lower section is colour-contrasted. This visual differentiation - further accentuated by the contrasting paintwork option - clearly highlights the versatility of the vehicle.

The Audi Q7 looks powerful and elongated: with regard to its ratio of length to width to height it boasts the sportiest proportions in its class. These proportions are harmonious and at the same time striking. High side panels lend the vehicle body a muscular appearance, contrasting with the flat sporty window area.

The free-flowing surfaces create the impression of a sculpture. Broad curves, swage lines and seams intensify this effect as does the play of light and shade on the concave and convex surfaces. The elegante dynamic line running above the wheel arches and the strong high shoulder section lend the design an athletic character.

Bullish front end

The Audi Q7 seems to forge ahead even when standing still. Its overhang at the front is markedly short at only 965 millimetres, the sill line rises dynamically towards the rear, passing round the distinctly contoured wheel arches. The A-pillar, optically accelerated by its flat angle of projection, forms a harmonious transition area from the engine compartment lid to the roof. The roofline starts to drop again just in front of the B-pillar and finally ends in a coupé-like curve at the sporty flat, sturdy D-pillar. A spoiler carrying the third brake light lends a final touch.

The rear of the Audi Q7 has an unusually dynamic and innovative design. The sweeping wrap-around tailgate with the S-shaped shut line has an optically stabilising effect while at the same time expressing the urge to push forward. The tailgate does not interrupt the bumper with the embedded light strip and itself carries single-piece lights with an expressive design, extending to the body flanks and accentuating the horizontal lines at the rear. The shoulder line of the body ends at the top edge of the lights. Both exhaust tailpipes are arranged symmetrically. On vehicles with the V6 engine they are 80 millimetres in diameter and with the V8 4.2 FSI 100 mm.

A number of impressive details round off the sporty appearance of the Audi Q7. The large wheels of up to 20 inches in diameter symbolise maximum performance and safety on and off-road.

The exterior mirrors, like all add-on parts, they have been optimised to achieve minimum air resistance, low noise levels, dirt-resistance and good drainage in wet weather. Horizontal turn signals featuring LED fibre optic technology are harmoniously integrated.

The drag coefficient of the Audi Q7 on models with steel suspension is 0.37. If air suspension is fitted, it is even lower due to the lowered body at higher speeds, reaching 0.34 on the V6 FSI, for example. These figures are the best in the SUV segment.

A range of eleven exterior colours

All eleven exterior colours are perfectly matched with the sporty yet elegant character of the design. The colours are Silver, metallic, Quartz Grey, metallic, Condor Grey, metallic, Lava Grey, pearl effect, Night Black, Phantom Black, pearl effect, Cobalt Blue, metallic, Garnet Red, pearl effect, Calla White, Bahia Beige, metallic and Sycamore Green, metallic.

The lower sections of the bumper and door cover strips, coordinated with these paint colours as standard by Audi, are available in Black and Dark Grey. The contrasting colours Platinum Grey, matt and Silver, matt are available on request.

Body: Strong and safe

The dimensions of the Audi Q7 are not its only impressive feature - its spacious body is extremely rigid, robust and safe. State-of-the-art restraint systems protect passengers in the event of an accident.

The Audi Q7 is a vehicle of prestigious proportions even in the premium SUV category. It is 5,086 millimetres long and has a wheelbase of 3,002 mm - figures that put it ahead of the competition. The width of 1,983 mm and the height of 1,737 mm (with steel chassis) are an indication of the superb spaciousness offered by the interior.

A primary development goal was to achieve maximum static and dynamic rigidity for the unitised body. Audi engineers have accomplished this with an elaborate lightweight steel construction. 26 per cent of all components are of high-strength steel and 32 per cent are even made of the very high and ultra-high-strength varieties. In some areas such as the floor cover, ultra-modern tailored blanks are used, the various strengths of which are created in the rolling process. Six per cent of the body components are made of aluminium - these are the wings, the engine compartment lid and the tailgate. Compared with conventional components made of steel panels, Audi has achieved a weight saving of 22 kilograms. In order to produce this unusually flowing design for the tailgate the expertise in lightweight aluminium construction - gained by the brand over many years - was required. The aluminium tailgate alone reduced the weight by around 7.5 kilograms, another advantage of this being that the customer requires less force to open and close it. With the V8 petrol engine the Audi Q7 tips the scales at 2,165 kilograms.

Bonding, laser welding and laser soldering

During assembly of the performance SUV, cutting edge procedures and joining techniques - such as laser welding and laser soldering - are applied. Evidence of this high standard of quality can be seen from the body surface and its precise and narrow seams.

Areas subject to the greatest load were joined over a length of almost 80 metres using spot-welding technology; laser welds of 2.2 m in length will be found on the roof frame.

High body rigidity is a prerequisite for dynamic on-road handling and diverse off-road qualities. At the same time it ensures good vibrational behaviour, making the Audi Q7 an exceptionally quiet and comfortable vehicle.

Crash protection of the highest standard

With regard to occupant safety too, the body of the Audi Q7 offers a standard in line with the high claim of the brand. Zones with precisely defined deformation behaviour in all sections reduce the impact energy in a controlled way so that the high-strength occupant cell can provide maximum survival space.

In the event of a frontal collision, front sensors near the headlights, in conjunction with other sensors on the B- and C-pillars, register a crash within the space of a few thousandths of a second. A few milliseconds later, the control unit triggers the belt tensioners to minimise any possible belt slack. A belt-force limiter yields at a particular load threshold to allow occupants to sink into the inflated airbag. Belt-force limiters are also standard on the outer seats of the second row. The full-size front airbags function in two stages.

Padding absorbs energy

To a large extent, the steering wheel and the driver's airbag retain their position during a collision thanks to a sliding mechanism incorporating a damping function which is connected to the steering column. Energy-absorbing padding under the instrument panel, in the footwell and carpet protects the legs and feet; a device in the foot controls decouples the pedals.

With regard to the vehicle body, a system of supports in the front section, some of which are made of ultra-high-strength steel, absorb the impact impulse.

The bumper beam distributes the forces evenly and directs them specifically to the side members, which are matched in terms of behaviour to the bulkhead and the vehicle floor. The sills including inner reinforcement tubes, the columns of high-strength steel and the roof frame profile extending from the A- to the D-pillar distribute the remaining forces in such a way that the load to which the passenger cell is subjected is kept low.

In the event of a side collision other protective components in the body come into play. The doors overlap with the sidewall frame, their panels are extremely deformable in particular areas. The front seat frames remain rigid thanks to particularly stiff cross braces.

sideguard head airbags for all three seat rows

The occupant cell of the Audi Q7 is naturally equipped as standard with side airbags at the front, which protect the chest and pelvis of the occupants. As an option, these airbags are also available for the outer seats in the second row. Standard on the other hand is the head-protection airbag system sideguard, which completely covers the entire side window area up to the third seat row. The airbags are filled by a hybrid gas generator. Once triggered they do not deflate immediately - this longer period of use offers protection in the event of a secondary collision.

The new Audi Q7 also affords its passengers excellent protection against the consequences of a rear-end collision. It already meets the requirements of future standards, i.e. it withstands an impact against a deformable barrier at 80 km/h and with 70 per cent overlap.

The compact assemblies with the resulting deformation area under the Q7's high engine compartment lid have a beneficial effect in terms of pedestrian protection.

Interior: Elegant and extremely versatile

The interior of the Audi Q7 is sporty and at the same time elegantly functional. The uncompromising quality standards of the brand are to be found once again in the Audi Q7 performance SUV, combined with a level of practicality and versatility that sets standards.

Clear architecture and the finest materials and craftsmanship throughout: these are the lasting impressions conveyed by the interior of the Audi Q7. The elegant forms and the high-quality surfaces are both robust and luxurious. The instrument panel is covered as standard in a soft, so-called slush skin, pleasing to the eye and to the touch; typically for Audi, the gaps are exceptionally even and narrow.

In respect of the visual impression, calm surfaces in the same material and colour dominate, accommodating the functional units which are embedded like islands. The *****pit is colour-contrasted with the instrument panel; its hood is in black or beige and the armrests in the doors are trimmed in Fine Nappa leather in conjunction with the Leather plus design package. The standard decorative inlays are finished in black.

Inlays in aluminium and three fine woods

The elegant impression is enhanced by the optional inlays. They are available either in Aluminium Marlin silver or in one of the three fine wood options burr walnut, olive ash and tamo - a dark wood from Japan. Air outlets, optionally in aluminium look, aluminium inlays in the wood trims, discreet decorative rings and strips on covers and switches, as well as an exquisitely designed lighting package including footwell lights using LED technology, can be ordered if desired to add yet more finesse to the ambience.

Additional options including Alcantara trim for the headlining and roof pillars as well as various leather trims complete the overall impression of elegance and style.

The heavily grained Cricket leather, the sumptuous quality of Verano and the standard Cosmo cloth are available for selection. The electrically adjustable sports seats can be ordered in Verano leather or in a combination of Alcantara and leather.

As well as the basic version, Audi Q7 customers can choose one of five design packages - with seats, seat covers, carpet, floor mats, inlays and air vent trims all designed to match perfectly. The leather package comes as standard for the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI. It comprises trims in Cricket leather, a selection of inlays and special carpeting. In addition, versions with the V8 engine also feature heating for the front seats as standard.

*****pit based on the Audi A6

The interior architecture reveals the Audi Q7's kinship with the Audi A6 and A8 saloons. Powerful taut lines lend the door trims a dynamic look. The styling of the controls and *****pit, with its generous layout and sleek design, was inspired by the Audi A6. The centre console is organically integrated into the *****pit; the main instruments - speedometer and rev counter - feature dropped-shaped surrounds.

The broad and high centre tunnel is also a perfectly uncluttered and functional operating area, undisturbed by the presence of a handbrake - instead there is a foot-operated parking brake. The MMI Multi Media Interface located on the tunnel is highly impressive for its ergonomic qualities. Independent comparative tests have once again underscored the superiority of this Audi technology, even compared with new designs from the competition.

The MMI basic version with a monochrome display is standard and can be extended in two stages. The first version features the addition of a sound system with eleven speakers and a total output of 180 watts, the second version a double tuner and colour display.

Bose sound system with 14 speakers

Other modules include a Bose surround sound system with a digital sound processor and 14 speakers together with a large subwoofer, a digital audio tuner, an analogue/digital TV tuner and two different navigation systems with CD and DVD drives. A car telephone, a mobile phone preparation with Bluetooth interface and a speech dialogue system to simplify system operation are further technologies that ensure luxurious and relaxed travel.

Even the standard operating system comes with an audio system featuring eight speakers and a single CD drive. The standard specification for the Audi Q7 also includes a sensor package with light/rain sensor, automatic headlight activation and a coming/leaving home lighting function. In addition, the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI has a number of top-class features on board: the driver information system, cruise control and a leather-covered multifunction steering wheel, which the driver can use to operate the audio system, the MMI and optionally the speech input system and phone.

Indirect air supply for automatic air conditioning

The deluxe automatic air conditioning, which comes as standard, is exceptionally quiet and almost completely draught-free. Its special feature is an air outlet grille in the centre of the instrument panel that ensures indirect ventilation. The air flow and temperature can be adjusted separately for the driver's and front passenger's sides. The automatic control operates based on the angle of the sun; an air purity sensor activates the air recirculation function if necessary.

As an option, Audi supplies the Q7 with a four-zone automatic air conditioning system, which provides even more cooling and heating power and even more precise air-flow regulation. The four-zone system has a separate air conditioner unit in the left side panel of the luggage compartment and a separate operating panel for the rear passengers. This air conditioning system comprises ten sensors, which register the temperature in the passenger compartment, additional air outlets in the C-pillars and a total of 19 electric motors.

All Audi Q7 models are equipped with an electric auxiliary water pump, which at the push of a button utilises the residual heat from the coolant to adjust the temperature of the interior. The Audi Q7 3.0 TDI also has an auxiliary heater on board with an output of 5 kW. The optional auxiliary heating including auxiliary ventilation can be activated by remote control, via the MMI or with a timer.

open sky system panorama sunroof over 170 cm long

The large-area panorama sunroof, known as the open sky system, is a very special extra for the performance SUV. It creates a light-flooded sense of spaciousness and a fresh and airy interior for a rewarding driving experience. The open sky system is around 1,700 millimetres long and comprises three glass elements. The front section can be tilted electrically by means of a rotary switch or opened by 490 millimetres; the rear section is tilted. Two slightly transparent roller blinds - the front blind electric, the rear operated by hand - prevent the interior from overheating.

The Audi Q7's panorama sunroof generates very little noise when open. A mesh wind deflector reduces noise levels and draughts.

Heated wipers

The wiper motors are further evidence of how well thought-out the controls in the Audi Q7 really are: they reverse electronically the wipers' direction of rotation. The right arm also executes an additional lifting movement to provide the widest possible field of clear vision. In the rest position both wiper arms are invisible to the driver, lying in the slipstream of the engine compartment lid where they cannot produce any unpleasant air flow noise. To prevent the rubber lips from deteriorating, the wiper blades are placed in a different direction after each use. At temperatures of below 4 degrees the motor lifts the wipers slightly - in this way they are heated by the air vents in the interior and do not become frozen to the windscreen.

Numerous storage compartments enhance travelling comfort for every passenger. Brackets suitable for 1.5-litre bottles will be found in all four door pockets; there are also six cup holders. Additional stowage areas are incorporated in the centre console and the centre armrest. Nets are to be found in the footwell on the front passenger side, on the luggage compartment trim and on the back of the front seats; a compartment for glasses, for example, is integrated in the roof module. As an option, Audi Q7 customers can order a spacious deluxe centre armrest with separate sections for the driver and front passenger.

Completely new seating system

The seats in the Audi Q7 have been redesigned from scratch and provide excellent comfort on long journeys and a relaxed seated position throughout. The driver's seat is height-adjustable and the steering column can be adjusted for height and angle. The prospective customer can generally choose between three seat configurations: the performance SUV is available as a 5-seater, 7-seater or 6-seater.

The standard Audi Q7 will leave the assembly line as a 5-seater. In this case the seat bench in the second row is divided 60 : 40; as an option both elements can be moved back by 100 millimetres - in this way passengers can enjoy the most generous legroom in this vehicle category. The rear seat split is 40 : 20 : 40; an armrest with pop-up cup holders is corporated in the centre section. This element can be folded down completely to create a through-loading width of 30 centimetres.

If all three backrests are folded down - it is not necessary to remove the head restraints - a flat loading area is created, flush with the level of the luggage compartment. For even greater seating comfort, all backrests in the second row of seats can be tilted by 10 degrees.

The 7-seat version has two seats in the third row suitable for persons of up to 1.6 metres tall. They can be folded flat on the loading floor if necessary.

The mechanism for this is particularly user-friendly - by pushing the backrests (divided 50 : 50) slightly, the head restraints are retracted automatically. Cup holders are integrated in the luggage compartment side trim panels.

Convenient access thanks to easy entry

The seats in the second row of a 7-seater Audi Q7 are adjustable for fore/aft movement as standard. They are equipped with a new and convenient adjustment mechanism for carefree access to the rear: if the backrests are folded forward by an angle of around 50 degrees, the entire seat slides forward by around 21 centimetres from the rearmost position.

On the 6-seater Audi Q7, the individual fore/aft adjustable seats in the second row have a particularly comfortable design, based on the sports seats. The thigh support has more padding, is broader and longer, and has slightly higher side sections. At shoulder level the backrests are wider and softer. Between the comfort seats there is a separate centre console with two cup holders and a large storage compartment as well as a folding armrest.

To supplement the range of functions for the second row of seats, the Audi Q7 can be fitted on request with folding tables on the backs of the front seats and manually operated roller sunblinds at the rear doors and tailgate. Tinted glass is available to prevent the interior from heating up and can be ordered optionally as sound-insulating double-glazing. Isofix attachments for child seats are standard in the second row and in the optional third row. They can be added as an option to the front passenger seat. In this case the front passenger airbag can be deactivated and instead of a mechanical feature an electric function locks the rear doors to prevent them from being opened inadvertently.

Up to 28 configurations

The functional seating concept of the Audi Q7 allows up to 28 different loading configurations. The maximum load volume is an ample 2,035 litres, without the seats having to be removed. As a 5-seater the Audi Q7 has a standard luggage area of 775 litres - the best in its class.

Even if all three seat rows are used, a very respectable luggage capacity of 330 litres remains. The innovative styling of the tailgate - its handle released electrically - provides exceptionally large access to the load area: it is no less than 1,221 mm wide.

As an option - and standard on the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI - the tailgate can be fitted with electric motors, which are activated by a switch in the driver's door, the remote control and via buttons on the tailgate itself. Two transversally mounted motors in the vehicle operate via a bracket directly at the hinges. A programming function allows the driver to determine the upper end position of the tailgate according to his preference. With the adaptive air suspension option, loading is even more convenient: the rear is lowered by 71 millimetres at the touch of a button, lowering the loading sill to 765 millimetres.

116-centimetre-wide through-loading facility

Standard on the Audi Q7 is a robust loading sill made of high-grade steel, which seamlessly joins the loading floor. The through-loading facility is an impressive 1159 mm wide, sufficient for large golf bags. A luggage compartment cover, which can be conveniently operated with one hand, is also part of the standard package; with two additional roller covers, it compensates for the various positions of the backrests in the second seat row. Standard lashing eyes hold retaining straps or ropes. A load guard and roof rails are also provided as standard.

A full-size 18-inch spare wheel or a space-saving spare wheel are available for the performance SUV as options. A tyre sealant is supplied as standard by Audi. Sufficient space remains above in the double load-area floor to accommodate a removable, waterproof dirt-resistant tray. This can be used for soiled or wet items such as ski boots and for all types of small utensils. On the 5-seater there is an additional large storage compartment behind the second seat row.

Rails and a variable storage box

Customers who are particularly sporty and active can order the Audi Q7 with various practical features.

These include a removable bag for up to four pairs of skis or two snowboards, a reversible mat for the luggage compartment that also protects the loading sill and a rail system with adjustable lashing eyes, telescopic rods and straps, similar to the Audi A6 Avant.

At a later date the rails will also be enhanced by a storage box that utilises the entire width of the luggage compartment. It can be loaded from the interior through the folded centre armrest and tilted by 90 degrees - it then serves as a practical stowage facility for items of shopping.

Another useful convenience feature is the trailer tow hitch on the Q7. It is available as an option with electrical operation, which is swung in and out via a button in the load area. It would even be possible to hitch a good-sized boat to the 4.2 FSI and the 3.0 TDI - they can each tow a weight of 3.5 tonnes braked and 750 kg unbraked. And with the high nose weights and roof loads (140 and 100 kg respectively) they should be well-prepared for any situation.

Drivetrain: Powerful and cultivated

The Audi Q7 is available on its debut with a petrol engine and a diesel engine. A second petrol engine will follow in the second half of 2006. Typically for Audi, all three power plants work with performance-enhancing, efficient direct-injection technologies.

The engines of the new Audi Q7 deliver a level of performance promised by the vehicle's powerful outward appearance. Torques of up to 500 Newton-metres deliver superior tractive power in all speed ranges. Two power plants are available for the launch of the new SUV with the four-ring badge: a new 4.2 litre V8 with FSI petrol direct injection and the powerful yet quiet 3.0 TDI with common rail system using piezo inline injectors. In the second half of the year a 3.6 litre V6 petrol engine, also with FSI technology, will be added.

With a displacement of 4,163 cc, the V8 is a close relative of the engine used in the new Audi RS 4. In the Audi Q7, in line with the character of the performance SUV, it develops 257 kW/350 bhp at 6,800 rpm. But its torque curve is even beefier than in the RS 4: it achieves 440 Nm. This power output is the best in its class and is available at 3,500 rpm - 85 per cent is unleashed from as low as 2000 rpm. The engine has a sonorous tone and is highly cultivated throughout the entire speed range.

Three chains for the four camshafts

The powerful V8 belongs to the present V engine family of the brand, notable for a 90° cylinder angle and a distance of 90 millimetres between cylinders. A maintenance-friendly two-stage chain drive system, comprising three single roller chains, activates the four camshafts; it is located at the rear of the engine to save space. A fourth chain drives the ancillaries.

The cylinder housing of the V8 engine is cast from an aluminium-silicon alloy; the pistons and rings glide in the liners on the hard silicon crystals.

Separate liner inserts are not necessary: this permits a narrow bridge width of only 5.5 millimetres and saves weight accordingly. Modifications to the sump and the oil pump ensure adequate lubrication even on challenging terrain - in a similar form, these measures will also benefit other engines in the Audi Q7.

The V8 draws its fuel through a newly designed two-stage variable intake manifold made of magnesium. Electric motors control the manifold length and tumble, and therefore the charge movement, by means of flaps. Two high-pressure pumps, driven by the intake camshafts, deliver the fuel to two interconnected chambers made of stainless steel. One of the most modern engine management systems on the world market controls the whole process - the Motronic MED 9.1.1.

Direct injection with a lambda value of 1

Like the engine in the RS 4, the V8 in the Audi Q7 uses FSI petrol direct injection technology. Here the petrol is not delivered to the intake manifold but injected directly into the combustion chamber, where an even air/fuel mixture to the value of lambda 1 is produced. Thanks to the cooling effect of the directly injected fuel, Audi's development engineers have at the same time been able to increase the engine's compression ratio.

The result is a more efficient combustion process and consequently greater power output - this is demonstrated most effectively by the spontaneous response. FSI engines deliver more power than the conventional power plant with manifold injection - and they do so with outstanding fuel economy. A significant strong point of the V8 FSI is demonstrated in the frequently used part-load range, where it uses five to seven per cent less fuel than an engine with manifold injection.

A sprint in 7.4 seconds

The figures confirm the impressive power potential of the eight-cylinder engine. The performance SUV with the V8 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in just 7.4 seconds. Top speed is 244 km/h. Versions with adaptive air suspension, by virtue of the lowered body and less aerodynamic drag, can achieve a further 4 km/h.

Thanks to FSI technology, consumption amounts to only 13.6 litres of premium plus fuel per 100 km; the V8 will also run on premium fuel, but with a slight drop in performance. It goes without saying that the V8, with its FSI technology, complies with the Euro 4 standard. Two upstream pre-catalytic converters and two downstream catalytic converters are integrated into the exhaust system. Air-gap insulated sheet-metal manifolds ensure that the emission control system quickly reaches the optimal operating temperature.

The V6 musters up 206 kW/280 bhp

The second petrol engine available in the second half of 2006 will be a V6 with a displacement of 3.6 litres. It is derived from the six-cylinder engine that powers the top versions of the Audi A3 and the TT. By enlarging the bore, displacement has increased from 3,189 cc to 3,597 cc. Its torque is available across a wide range: 360 Nm from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. With a power output of 206 kW/280 bhp at 6,200 rpm, the V6 represents yet another impressive power pack for the performance SUV.

With an included angle between cylinder banks of 10.6 degrees the V6 is unusually compact. Its engine block is fashioned from grey cast iron; the valves are actuated by low-friction roller cam follows with hydraulic clearance adjustment. Intake and exhaust camshafts, which are chain-driven, are continuously adjustable to reduce emissions and further improve fuel economy. The variable intake manifold also contributes towards an improvement in cylinder charging. Like the V8, the V6 uses FSI, the direct injection technology developed by Audi engineers, which enhances performance and efficiency.

The performance figures are correspondingly impressive: the Audi Q7 3.6 FSI accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds; its top speed is 220 km/h (provisional value).

500 Nm: the 3.0 TDI

A further power pack will be introduced in the Audi Q7 from launch in the form of the V6 3.0 TDI. With a displacement of 2,967 cc, this engine achieves outstanding power and torque potential of 171 kW/233 bhp and 500 Nm. The peak torque is available from as low as 1,750 rpm - giving the driver powerful acceleration in all speed ranges.

Like the V8, the V6 four-valve engine with turbocharger technology belongs to Audi's new family of compact V engines. It measures only 440 millimetres in length. Its cylinder housing is made of high-strength vermicular graphite cast iron, which is 15 per cent lighter in weight compared with grey cast iron. Despite maximum rigidity the engine weighs a mere 226 kilograms.

Like the V8 FSI, the V6 FSI has chain-driven ancilliaries and camshafts. Low-friction roller cam followers with hydraulic valve-clearance compensation work in the cylinder head. The quick-start heater plugs are armed for extremely cold temperatures - they heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius within the space of two seconds.

Common rail system with pressure of 1,600 bar

Mixture preparation is performed by a latest-generation common rail system. It has a high-pressure pump and an injection rail for each cylinder bank. The high injection pressure of up to 1,600 bar permits even finer atomisation of the fuel and therefore better mixture preparation and more efficient combustion.

The piezo inline injectors supplied by Bosch are the most important innovation of the current common rail system. They utilise the piezo effect, by which an electric voltage is applied to ceramic, altering its crystal structures. This results in a certain degree of expansion, which is transferred directly (inline) by the TDI injectors to the injector needle without any intermediate mechanism.

With piezo injectors, the number of injection processes per cycle can be varied and optimised almost at will.

The Audi TDI development engineers have opted for up to five injection processes for the 3.0 V6. In addition to the main injection process, double pilot injection takes place in the lower speed range and single pilot injection takes place in the medium range. Simple post-injection takes place up to around 2,500 rpm and under partial load.

This strategy reduces emissions and ensures a smoother combustion process, which primarily benefits the engine's acoustic behaviour. In this area the 3.0 TDI engine undeniably sets the current benchmark in its class.

Powerful performance from the diesel engine

The Audi Q7 3.0 TDI delivers a driving performance that is hard to find elsewhere among SUVs with V6 engines. The speedo needle passes the 100 km/h mark a mere 9.1 seconds after driving off. The Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro reaches a top speed of 210 kilometres per hour and 216 km/h with adaptive air suspension.

The V6 diesel engine requires no more than 10.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. This equates to a range of almost 1,000 kilometres; the fuel tank has a capacity of 100 litres. The TDI is equipped with an exhaust gas recirculation system, complies with the strict Euro 4 emissions standard and comes from the factory with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter.

Six-speed automatic transmission

To optimally convert the high performance of the engines into forward propulsion, the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI have the tiptronic automatic transmission on board as standard. Depending on the engine version, two technically different versions are employed, both of which have the same dynamic character.

The six gears of the tiptronic are wide-spaced and ideally exploit the torque potential of the engines - on the road and on difficult terrain, where the torque converter with its damping action and torque multiplication is particularly well suited for driving off; it also replaces a reduction gear.

Thanks to its enormous efficiency and ability to transmit up to 750 Nm of torque, the tiptronic is perfectly equipped for any situation. Typically for Audi, it is compact and light - the version for the V6 3.6 FSI weighs only 80 kilograms.

Transmission management is taken care of by the dynamic shift program DSP. It adapts to suit the individual style of the driver and the prevailing road conditions and responds to any changes. DSP controls a wide range; the shifts are precise, spontaneous, fast and smooth.

Faster shifts with the sports program

A special sports program - the S position - promotes a particularly dynamic driving style: in this mode, gear changes are delayed and performed faster. The Motronic double-declutches during downshifts in overrun. The driver can intervene in the process at any time, either via the special shift gate on the selector lever or via optional paddles on the steering wheel. Manual shifts too are particularly fast and sporty.

A number of changes were made to the tiptronic for use off-road on the Audi Q7. The transmission shafts, their mountings and the parking mechanism were reinforced; modifications to the oil sump and intake filter guarantee oil supply even under extreme conditions.

Four-wheel drive equals quattro, quattro equals over 25 years of experience

The classic technology for all high-performance Audi vehicles is quattro permanent four-wheel drive - a concept that has been celebrating victories in motorsport and in standard production vehicles for 25 years now. More than two million Audi quattro vehicles have come off the assembly line to date. quattro technology ensures excellent traction and lateral stability and minimises the effect of propulsive power on the vehicle's self-steering properties. This provides the basis for dynamic handling and driving stability - on and off-road.

A self-locking centre differential in the drivetrain of the new Audi Q7 - with its longitudinally installed engines - automatically ensures optimum power distribution to all four wheels. The centre differential is a self-locking worm gear that is purely mechanical and so reacts instantly. Its locking action only takes effect under power, while allowing speed differences when the brakes are applied or when cornering.

Like the RS 4 and the S8, the Audi Q7 features the latest-generation self-locking centre differential. It has an asymmetric/dynamic torque split of 40 : 60 between front and rear wheels. In particular off-road situations or if the prevailing road conditions change, the differential can direct up to 65 per cent of the power to the front or up to 85 per cent to the rear. If a wheel at one axle starts to spin, the electronic different lock EDL takes control by means of appropriate brake intervention.

Superior agility and steering precision

The slightly tail-heavy basic characteristics of the quattro drive in the Audi Q7 signify even more agility. This is mainly noticeable when driving into bends - when the steering is virtually free of any noticeable torque steer. Thanks to direct servotronic control, which is standard on all Audi Q7 models, the driver enjoys a level of steering precision and clearly defined handling that up to now has been unimaginable in an SUV and which has only rarely been experienced in a sports car.

The transfer box on the Audi Q7 is installed directly next to the automatic transmission. A hollow shaft in the case delivers torque to the self-locking centre differential. It is then distributed - the somewhat larger proportion flows via the ring gear and the coaxial output shaft to the cardan shaft and from there to the rear. The smaller share is supplied to the sun gear, from where it travels by chain to a second cardan shaft, which leads past the transmission to the front axle.

Suspension: Dynamic and safe

The dynamic suspension of the Audi Q7 uses sports technologies such as double wishbone suspension all round. At the same time, long spring travel, a ground clearance of 205 millimetres and robust components take into account the demands of off-road driving. In respect of dynamism, the driving performance of the Audi Q7 bears any comparison; and in terms of driving safety, it also sets the benchmark - on the road and on rough terrain. In addition to the standard steel chassis, adaptive air suspension is available.

The Audi Q7 is a classic illustration of Audi's claim to offer optimum technical solutions in every model. As a performance SUV it harmoniously combines excellent driving comfort with a level of dynamism that is quite new for this category of vehicle. Even the slightly tail-heavy axle load distribution of 40 : 60 per cent between front and rear is a clear sign of its agile nature.

Audi supplies the Q7 with a conventional steel-spring suspension and hydraulic twin-tube shock absorbers as standard. Ground clearance here is around 205 millimetres to ensure good off-road handling. Spring travel is correspondingly long and comfortable. The long wheelbase of 3,002 millimetres guarantees straight-line stability at high speeds.

Wishbones of aluminium

To enhance ride comfort and driving dynamics, the double wishbones at the front of the Audi Q7 are made of aluminium. The upper triangular wishbone is a cast part, the lower is forged. The large gap between both wishbones guarantees precise wheel control. The mounting for the spring strut and upper wishbone is also made of aluminium.

The lower wishbone and anti-roll bar, made of high-strength steel tubing, are attached to a subframe of high-strength steel, on which the steering is mounted. The mounts are hydraulically damped - this minimises rolling noise and improves comfort even more.

servotronic with variable assistance

All Audi Q7 models are equipped as standard with speed-dependent servotronic steering. The purely hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering helps the driver to manoeuvre in or out of a parking space, and its directness and precision ensure good road contact and clear feedback at high speeds.

The servotronic is generally tuned for direct sporty response: depending on steering wheel angle, its ratio varies from around 10.0:1 to 16.5:1. When steering out of the central position, the steering responds more indirectly - this guards against nervous vehicle reactions at high speeds and makes minor corrections to maintain straight-line stability. If the steering wheel is at a greater angle, the control action is more direct and agile with a view to an active driving feel.

At the rear axle, the upper wishbone and the spring strut cross bar are made of forged aluminium. The tie bar is made of weight-optimised tailored rolled blanks, which thanks to steel plates of varying thicknesses, combine low weight with high rigidity for sections under particular load and strain.

All control arms are attached to a subframe which also supports the final drive. The spring struts are cardan-mounted on a separate wishbone of cast aluminium, which is attached to the body. Their marked inwardly tilted position reduces overall height and creates more room in the vehicle interior to accommodate the third row of seats.

The rubber-bonded metal mounts at the rear axle have been specially optimised to perform their respective purpose. Where loads occur in a longitudinal direction, their torsional rigidity is low to enhance ride comfort. Lateral forces on the other hand are firmly absorbed in the interests of driving stability.

Large wheels but extremely light

The Audi Q7 is fitted with 18-inch aluminium wheels as standard, with 235/60 tyres - on the eight-cylinder version with 255/55 tyres. The rims underneath are 7.5 inches wide (for the V6 engines) and 8 inches (for the V8).

Each can bear a wheel load of 900 kilograms while weighing only 11.3 and 12.0 kg respectively.

Wheels in other sizes (18, 19 and 20-inch) can be ordered as options. An optical highlight is the new 20-inch 5 twin-spoke cast aluminium wheel of two-colour design - with spoke flanks in anthracite and polished design elements. If the Audi Q7 is ordered as a 5-seater with 18-inch wheels, a full-size spare wheel is available. The initial equipment version comes from the assembly line with summer tyres suitable for on and off-road driving. Special 18-inch off-road tyres are available as an option.

Driving on air

The latest-generation adaptive air suspension is available as an option on the Audi Q7. The combination of air suspension and an electronically controlled damping system produces the perfect synthesis of sporty handling and supreme ride comfort.

The air suspension essentially comprises a compressor, two ac*****ulators each with a capacity of around 10 litres and four electronically controlled dampers, integrated into the suspension struts. To ensure sensitive response the externally-guided bellows are made of a particularly thin material.

More sportiness in dynamic mode

The Automatic mode is designed to offer the best handling performance in every situation. Alternatively, drivers requiring more comfort can select the Comfort mode, which has a particularly soft damping action. In both cases the body is at normal ride height up to 120 km/h, offering 180 mm ground clearance. In the Dynamic mode the suspension is lowered by 15 mm from the start - the lower centre of gravity ensures a more dynamic driving experience.

Irrespective of the mode selected, the body is automatically lowered on motorways to a ground clearance of 165 mm if the Audi Q7 travels for longer than 30 seconds at a speed of at least 120 km/h. From a speed of 160 km/h - maintained constantly for over 20 seconds - the body is lowered by another 15 mm to further optimise stability and aerodynamic drag. If the vehicle slows down, the air suspension lifts the body in two stages to restore the normal ride height - the thresholds for this being 130 and 70 km/h.

Particularly on country roads, the dynamics also benefit from an important innovative feature of adaptive air suspension - the dynamic roll stabilisation function. The system, using information provided by four sensors at the wheels and three additional sensors on the body, actively responds to steering input and body roll. By deliberately increasing the damping forces, it counteracts the rolling motion of the vehicle. In fast cornering manoeuvres, for example, the body remains horizontally stable.

Off-road mode up to 100 km/h

Off-road, the Audi Q7 driver can activate two additional modes: the off-road mode is 25 millimetres above normal ride height and can be used up to a speed of 100 km/h. The lift mode is even higher - with 35 millimetres of extra ground clearance (absolute value 240 mm), even major obstacles can be negotiated at moderate speeds.

Finally, two functions round off the range of options: via a button in the luggage compartment the driver can lower the loading lip by 71 millimetres, making it much easier to load heavy objects into the vehicle. There is even a special suspension mode for driving with a trailer.

The air suspension of the Audi Q7 also functions as a high-tech self-levelling suspension - it keeps the body at the ideal height, regardless of the load situation. Passengers benefit from a very smooth ride at all times.

New ESP with off-road expertise

The Audi Q7 is equipped with latest-generation stabilisation control technologies. The ESP incorporates a number of components - the anti-lock brake system ABS with electronic brake-force distribution EBD and hydraulic brake assist, the traction control system ASR and the electronic differential lock EDL.

To allow for the far-reaching scope of the performance SUV, the ESP has new features such as an off-road mode that can be activated by a switch. In this mode the system tolerates a certain amount of slip when braking or accelerating, which can often be of help on loose surfaces. Fluid control thresholds apply at lower speeds, whereas more and more priority is attached to driving stability as the speed increases.

For downhill driving there is a special assist function. Below 20 km/h it keeps the speed constant on steep downhill stretches, allowing the driver to fully concentrate on steering the vehicle. In addition to this, the rollover stabilisation program intervenes in the event of critical driving situations that might cause the vehicle to overturn and takes the necessary corrective braking action.

Fording depth of over 53 centimetres

With all these technologies - quattro permanent four-wheel drive, high-torque engines, long spring travel and high ground clearance - the Audi Q7 offers superior off-road capability. Its maximum possible climbing capacity is 31 degrees.

The ramp angle measures 21 degrees for vehicles with steel-spring suspension, 24 degrees for the Audi Q7 with air suspension. There is a similar difference in the angle of slope (23/25 degrees). If driving through water the Audi performance SUV can plunge in up to a depth of 500 (air suspension: 535) millimetres.

An off-road package for fans of a more cross-country look will be available at a later date. This includes painted front guards, underride protection plates of brushed stainless steel at front and rear, flared wheel arches and rocker panels.

More safety with the car-trailer combination

There is now a further additional function for the ESP in conjunction with the optional towing bracket. The trailer stabilisation system represents an invaluable safety bonus for driving with a trailer. It detects hazardous trailer vibration and sway from the start and stabilises the outfit by means of automatic brake intervention. Depending on how risky the situation is, the ESP brakes the front wheels only or all four wheels of the Audi Q7. Following drivers are warned accordingly by the brake lights.

The ESP is not the only system on the Audi Q7 to feature state-of-the-art technology - the hydraulic brake system also gives a strong performance. Even under extreme load it always guarantees exceptional deceleration. The four discs are internally ventilated and generous in size - those at the front axle are 350 millimetres in diameter and 34 millimetres thick; at the rear axle 358 mm on the 4.2 FSI and 330 mm on the TDI. The front brake calipers are cast from black anodised aluminium and feature a six-piston design.

Air ducts in the vehicle floor help to improve brake cooling. The smooth-finished discs are dirt-resistant - important for off-road driving. Here deflector shields protect the brake lines from damage caused by gravel impact.

The optional tyre pressure monitoring system makes another important contribution to driving safety. It constantly monitors the temperature and pressure of all four tyres. In the event of pressure loss it sends warning messages, varying in priority according to pressure levels, to the MMI screen.

The driver can call up the current tyre pressures on the screen at any time. The system serves as an early warning system to guard against accidents - 85 per cent of all burst tyres start off as unidentified slow punctures.

Assistance systems

Masterful and convenient

The Audi Q7 is a technology demonstrator in the SUV segment - not only with regard to its drivetrain and suspension. A number of optional innovative assistance systems are available to make the driver's task even easier and more convenient.

adaptive cruise control

A new stage in the development of the radar-assisted cruise control system including automatic distance control - named adaptive cruise control - is to make its debut on the Audi Q7. The new system controls distance and speed from 0 to 200 km/h. It is therefore able to brake the vehicle to a standstill behind the vehicle ahead. The Audi Q7 is the first Audi and the first SUV worldwide to feature this technology, which takes a lot of the unpleasantness out of driving on congested roads.

The new system offers substantially more comfort particularly in slow-moving traffic, jams and bumper-to-bumper urban traffic, as extensive tests in major cities and on very busy main routes have shown. Often the driver does not need to stop entirely and can keep moving at a crawling speed. If he should have to stop, however, he only needs to release the brake and tap the cruise control lever on the steering column to drive off again.

Four driving programs available

The Audi Q7 driver enters his desired speed on the left steering column lever. Via the MMI terminal he can select one of four driving programs which determine the time interval from the vehicle in front - between 1.0 and 2.3 seconds - and the dynamics of the control function - from sporty to comfortable.

The distances are shown on the screen of the driver information system.

The radar sensor for the system is discreetly mounted in the area of the licence plate trim. Compared with the first generation, it has several new features. During the journey it transmits waves at a frequency of 76.5 gigahertz - they cover a distance of 180 metres (previously 150 m) and an angle of 8 degrees (previously four degrees). From the differences between the consecutive measurements the system can determine whether and how much the distance from the car in front changes; it registers the angle of the vehicle ahead in relation to the vehicle's own direction of travel.

The radar system is integrated in the CAN network, which covers the entire vehicle, and communicates within a few thousandths of a second with the control units for engine, transmission and brakes. The system adapts the speed of the Audi Q7 by manipulating the accelerator or brakes, whereby in both cases the main emphasis is on comfort and convenience. The braking action initiated by the system has also been deliberately limited to 4 m/s2 - adaptive cruise control is designed as a convenience system.

Warning in two stages

In hazardous situations, for example if the driver in front suddenly brakes hard, a new technology takes intervening action - braking guard. If the Audi Q7 driver does not react within a specified time, a two-stage warning is issued. Stage one consists of an acoustic signal accompanied by a prominent red flashing signal on the instrument panel.

In the second stage, if there is still no response from the driver, the system triggers a short but clearly noticeable jolt, generated by a fast build-up of pressure in the brake system. At this point there is no permanent deceleration but the system shakes the driver awake with this jolt and urges him to brake hard. At the same time the brake system is automatically supplied with pressure so that full braking performance can be attained without delay when the driver applies the brake pedal.

Audi engineers have identified this as the most effective solution - after evaluating numerous road tests in which test persons were confronted with the most diverse warning messages. There is a very serious side to this new technology. According to a study conducted by the German Insurance Association, not paying due attention and delayed reactions - even falling asleep at the wheel for a few fractions of a second - are the cause of 25 per cent of all road accidents.

Audi side assist

Even with all the sophisticated active driver assistance systems such as ESP, the primary objective of Audi research work is to prevent dangerous situations from arising in the first place. For this reason a designated department, the “Audi Accident Research Unit” analyses accidents. Their aim is to analyse those areas in which people often make mistakes and to lessen the impact of these by providing high-tech solut

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