You can now have a brand new seven-seat luxury SUV for less than the cost of a new BMW 5 Series.
One very important segment of the market is the nether regions of the SUV lineup. Consumers are obsessed with the small entry level picks as much as they are with the larger and more opulent luxury choices, and to incentivize customers to move up a rung on the ladder, Audi has just lowered the price of its largest SUV, the Q7. For the paltry sum of $49,000, an aspiring Q7 owner can now join the club for less money than it costs to buy a new BMW 5 Series.
Enabling the thrift is a new engine, which does more to add to the Q7's luxury appeal than it does to invoke feelings of frugality. The engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which might sound like it's too small to power a large range topping SUV. That is until you remember that the Q7 lost nearly 500 pounds thanks to new lightweight construction. It's so much lighter that the new engine rockets the SUV from 0-60 mph a half second faster than the turbo 3.0-liter from the 2015 Q7. Even with power going to all four wheels thanks to Quattro, the engine is 22% more efficient than the V6, attaining an EPA estimated 22 mpg combined. Help managing torque, important when hauling up to 4,400 pounds, comes from an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.
Some of the robust technologies that help the engine reach 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque include a revised exhaust manifold, thermal management, and a valve lift system that help make the four cylinder an acceptable motivator for the seven-passenger all terrain vehicle. With the EPA and European test cycles cracking down on CO2 emissions, it's easy to see why Audi went with a high performing four-cylinder engine, however the price drop may have another motive. Given that Audi is hurting for cash thanks to its parent company's brainless move to cheat on emissions tests, the company needs to move product. Lowering the price to move more families into the mini mansion is one way to do this. Good luck Audi.