The ultimate Q7 has more power and torque than you will ever need but that's what adds to its appeal
There is satisfaction and then there is indulgence. The Audi Q7 6.0litre V12 TDI, a formidable beast of a car is an SUV that has probably the largest nose and bonnet around. Yet Audi claims that this is actually a compact V12. The crankcase is made up of a material that allows it to be strong, light and more compact at the same time. The crankshaft is made from chromium molybdenum steel and the pistons are aluminium.
Time to step in and see what 493bhp and, more importantly, 102kgm of torque feel like. But first, a quick glance around the cabin to see what's different, what's special. For all practical purposes, this looks like a regular Q7. Sure there are some special bits such as the alcantara and brushed aluminium trimmings, but some of the other zany extras offered with this car seem to be missing. You can order the car with a fully leather-wrapped cabin, complete with double stitching. You can even cover the insides with more carbon fibre than a F1 car.
The motor, once revved, smoothens out so beautifully; it's unreal. By the time you hit 1750rpm this engine has attained its peak torque output of 102kgm, and that makes it feel like there is a giant spring yanking you forward.
Remember, normal everyday cars have approximately 12-15kgm of torque. The Q7 feels like it weighs no more than 300kg. And keep the throttle nailed for more than three seconds and Q7 goes from seriously quick to warp speed in no time at all. Audi's claimed time for this car is an eyeball popping 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds and you only need a short stretch to allow this mammoth to punch up to its limited top speed of 250kph. And the further past 200 you go, the more impressive the sustained thrust gets. However, despite the smooth-running V12, and the general levels of overall sophistication, power delivery do not feel very refined, at times it's almost savage. And that's all part of its car-with-an-oversized-engine charm.
What's less than charming, however, is the suspension. Yes, Audi has stiffened it and it feels much sportier than the regular car, but drive the Q7 harder, putting all that twist into the equation, and suddenly it feels somewhat inadequate. Push harder still and you get bouts of radio silence from the steering wheel. Of course, the problem is that the motor is tossing this 2.6-tonne car around like a ragdoll and the Q7 has to fight hard just to keep its head above water.
Audi says this behemoth is headed to India with a price tag of around Rs. 1 crore.
For that money, you'll get the world's first production V12 diesel that churns out 493bhp, surprisingly good fuel economy and mega bragging rights — probably what some Indian customers would buy this for anyway.