Audi’s route to Q7 success passes through aluminum county image

SUVs are increasingly popular all over the world, but that doesn’t mean that customers don’t expect better offers and the regulators are dormant. So, in order to make a full-size luxury crossover attractive, you need big assets.

Audi has seen great success for its SUV lineup so far that comprises the compact Q3 and Q5 offerings and the full-size Q7. The latter, unveiled way back almost a decade ago, in 2005, was the “father” of the family and was long overdue for a generational changeover. That’s being addressed right now, and the model – featuring Audi’s usual evolutionary approach to design – has undergone deep, unseen changes. That includes the decision of being more slim – all around, to cater for the changing tastes of customers in Europe, the US or China. The new Q7 is not only 37 mm shorter, and 15 mm narrower than the model it replaces, but it has also lost a lot of weight.

In a page taken out of Ford’s new F-150 book, Audi has constructed the second-generation model out of a mixture of high-strength steel and aluminum – and the seven-seater can say it’s almost a supermodel on the catwalk – after it lost 325kg (716 pounds). That’s going to help the model achieve a better fuel economy – needed as regulators around the world are tightening the fuel consumption belt, but also provide a more dynamic ride to the driver. Audi plans to also introduce a plug-in Hybrid version and while the “backbone” of the car is made out of ultra-high-strength steel, aluminum is used all around: front and back panels, doors, fenders, hood and rear hatch.

Via Automotive News Europe