Ahead of its Detroit Motor Show debut early next year, the next-generation Audi Q7 luxury crossover is out in the open. Images of Audi’s flagship luxury crossover have leaked onto the interweb. Based on the Volkswagen group’s MLB platform that it shares with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, the Bentley SUV and the next-generation Volkswagen Touareg, the 2016 Audi Q7 is lighter and more compact than ever before. While changes to the design at the front and rear are quite evident, the MPV like stance that puts the Audi Q7 more into crossover territory rather than a butch SUV space is evident from the looks of the latest version.
The long, wagon-like design o the outgoing Q7 has been retained on the incoming version. However, the new version sits lower than before and gets narrower too. This gives the 2016 Q7 a lower stance, ostensibly to improve handling dynamics. Though crossover fans will not complain, SUV nuts expecting butch lines could be left a little underwhelmed. In terms of visual changes, the front end gains matrix headlamps and a single frame grille, apart from a bumper revision. At the rear, the tail lamps get boxier than before with a rectangles dominating proceedings. The reprofiled rear bumper sits lower and adds to the appearance of increased girth, when the actual reality is far from that.
Exact dimensions and weights are not out yet. However, expect a big reduction in weight considering the extensive use of aluminium in the latest iteration of the MLB platform, which is particularly meant to shave off weight and improve performance of the Volkswagen group’s SUV brigade. In terms of engines and transmissions, the 2016 Audi Q7 will retain most of the 6 and 8 cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel motor on offer currently, albeit with tweaks to improve performance and efficiency. A hybrid version will be added to delight green thumbs and the frugal minded while the crossover will retain the signature Quattro all wheel drive system.
The seven seat layout of the Q7 continues to be offered in the latest iteration of the crossover. The interiors see major revisions with an all-new dashboard layout, a new steering wheel and other assorted paraphernalia. The current iteration of the Audi Q7 is one of the German automaker’s strong sellers in India, whose luxury car buyers prefer beefy SUVs to low slung sedans. The next generation model will make its international debut at Detroit 2015, going on sale in markets abroad by the middle of next year. Expect an Indian entry by the end of next year considering how aggressive Audi has been in terms of new car launches in the Indian market, which it currently leads but with a slim margin.
Images courtesy AutoPareri