The Audi SQ7 is the German company’s latest niche-filler – a seven-seater SUV with the ability to out-run some of the quickest hot hatchbacks in a straight line. It’s the most powerful Q7 yet, and its closest rivals are the Mercedes GLS 63 AMG, which is also a seven-seater, the BMW X5M and Range Rover Sport SVR although those two cars can only seat five.
As with any S model from Audi, the biggest upgrade over the standard model lies under the bonnet. The twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine is helped by an electric system that improves throttle response – a world first in a production car – and it really steals the show out on the road thanks to mind-blowing acceleration.
Also a world first is a clever electrical system that controls the SQ7’s active suspension, which in turn keeps this 2.3-tonne leviathan under control in fast corners.
The rest of the car is more or less a regular top-spec Q7, which means you get one of the best interiors in class and a spacious boot, too.
The SQ7 feels like a Q7 with a solid-fuel rocket shoved up its bottom
As with other expensive Audis, to really get the best out of the SQ7 you need to spec up some pricey options such as the clever adaptive suspension. Nevertheless it comes as standard with LED headlights, huge 20 inch wheels, a sporty bodykit with four exhaust pipes and air suspension.
Just like the regular Q7, the SQ7 ticks all the boxes of a successful premium SUV such as a classy interior, balanced ride and seven seats, but also adds impressive handling, sports-car acceleration and the pulling power to rival a small lorry. It also looks more modern next to a BMW X5M and is more agile in corners than the Mercedes GLS 63 AMG, and its diesel engine will use a smidgen less fuel than those petrol-drinking competitors.
If you’re in the market for a quick seven-seater SUV, the Audi SQ7 should be near the top of your list.
For a more detailed review of the SQ7, look through the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see how much you can save on an SQ7, just click through to the deals page.