The Q7 will take on the BMW X5, Mercedes M-Class and Porsche Cayenne. It is immediately recognisable as an Ingolstadt product as it features all the typical Audi design cues such as the trapezoidal single frame grille and high shoulder line.
The dynamic sweep of the front section and the powerful rear end with its sharply sloping D-posts fashion a low-slung silhouette. Equally typical of the current Audi formal idiom are the high shoulder line and dynamic line, which define the side section.
Audi claims the Q7's wheelbase of 3 002 mm is the longest in its class. The vehicle has an overall length of 5 086 mm, width of 1 983 mm and a height 1 737 mm.
The Q7 comes with three rows of seats to accommodate seven passengers.
The seats in the second row are individually adjustable for fore/aft movement; in addition to this, passengers can enjoy the largest legroom in this class.
Both rear seat rows can be folded flat to provide a load area of 2 035 litres if required, without the seats having to be removed.
If used as a 5-seater the Q7 boasts a load capacity of 775 litres - the best in its class.
When the Q7 is launched, customers will have the choice of two powerful engines: a completely new 4.2-litre V8 with FSI petrol direct injection develops 257 kW and achieves a maximum torque of 440 Nm.
The 3.0 TDI six-cylinder kicks out 171 kW and substantial torque of 500 Nm.
Power transmission for both engine versions comes from the 6-speed tiptronic. More transmission options will be available at a later stage.
The Audi Q7 is naturally equipped as standard with quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Its Torsen centre differential conveys power to all four wheels, on-road and off-road, achieving maximum traction and lateral stability - the prerequisites for optimum driving dynamics and safety.
The tilted position of the rear spring and shock absorber unit reduces overall height and creates more room at the rear.
18-inch light alloy wheels with 235/60 tyres (eight-cylinder: 255/55) are fitted as standard. All Q7 versions can be fitted optionally with 19-inch or 20-inch wheels.
Also available as an option is adaptive air suspension. The combination of air suspension and an electronically controlled damping system represents the perfect synthesis of decidedly sporty handling and supreme ride comfort.
The standard dynamic roll stabilisation system reduces body movements about the longitudinal axis to a minimum.
Variable ground clearance - starting at 180 mm and extending to 240 mm in lift mode - means that even challenging terrain can be negotiated.
The off-road mode, with 205 mm ground clearance and adapted damper control, allows cross-country driving. The loading sill has a particularly convenient feature: it can be lowered to enable heavy objects to be loaded effortlessly into the luggage area.
Audi will launch the Q7 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and European sales will start later this year.
According to Audi of South Africa the Q7 will be here in the latter half of 2006.