SOLID DRIVE: Onroad or Offroad

autotalk-jan-13-2

With an impressive lashing of technology and safety features backed by the legendary quattro drive, you need to think twice before you get into an Audi Q7 because you may never want to get out of it, writes Visvas Paul D Karra after an extensive test drive in the mountains and motorways of the Sultanate.

If looks can be deceptive, then the Audi Q7 fits the bill. With its smooth lines and long length, you could be thinking that this is one fine car for urban drive. But it is only when you get behind the wheel and experience the drive that you really get a feel of this awesome vehicle as it offers an ideal combination of a classic urban beauty and a gentle offroad beast as well.

The design of the Audi Q7 sets new standards as it creates a high-quality overall appearance by means of a synthesis of robustness and sporty, elegant vehicle lines. The dynamic roof line and high shoulder section borrow the sporty form of a coupé while the powerful front with distinctive, chrome-framed Audi Singleframe, and vertical chrome struts arouses self-confidence and radiates a sense of presence. With the strong, V-shaped pointed bonnet, the bumpers with standard contrasting paint and the drawn-back headlights with daytime running lights, the Audi Q7 is always striving to push forward, even when at a standstill. The concise sills and high ground clearance emphasise its strong drive side.

Quottro-safe
To take you on further, the Audi Q7 skillfully uses all of its power. Its innovative quattro drive concept – a permanent all-wheel drive – distributes the drive forces variably to the front and rear axle just as it is required for that particular driving situation. This enables superb traction, good grip and impressive propulsion, both on and off road. The Electronic Stabilisation Programme ESP supports quattro in the Audi Q7 and was especially extended to include a selectable offroad mode for the Audi Q7. With this, the ESP ensures even more traction and braking power when off-road.

The Q7 has minimal car body movements like rolling or pitching motions even when cornering at high speeds or braking thus ensuring a comfortable driving feeling and better grip. The adaptive air suspension combines the sporty driving character of a coupé with the excellent suspension comfort of a Saloon, by enabling damping and vehicle height to be variably regulated.
We got the Audi Q7 3-litre TFSI 272 bhp V6 variant for our test drive and boy what a ride it was. Thanks to the motor racing-tested TFSI technology, the Audi Q7 deploys its tremendous power and dynamism over practically the entire speed range consisting of 8 automatic gears (tiptronic). Consuming hundreds of kilometers within no time is as smooth as a hot knife in a butter but could drain a hole in the pocket as you burn rubber on the smooth highways that Oman is famous for.

The interiors are as luxurious as those of a sedan and hardly any outside noise is heard inside the cabin allowing you to soak in some good music on the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. More than 1,000 watts and 14 separate loudspeakers provide an outstanding sound experience. We couldn’t find any USB drive socket even though it had two slots for SD cards. You also need to buy a separate kit for Ipod docking.

All in all, the Q7 will give the rivals in its class a run for their money while having utter disregard for the feelings of others on the road.


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