Audi’s do-everything, go-everywhere high-performance people mover.
With the low-speed grunt of a big-block muscle car and the fuel-sipping consumption of an eco-friendly four-cylinder ride, the ‘14 Audi Q7 quattro Tiptronic offers the best of both worlds. On a recent trip from Detroit to Watkins Glen, NY, we had the pleasure to climb behind the wheel of this very luxurious yet sporty seven passenger SUV. We saw for ourselves that a brawny powertrain wrapped around beautiful bodywork can peacefully coexist. So, with our camera gear packed, we headed down the highway and up through the Allegheny Mountains to Watkins Glen International Raceway.
Our destination was the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship for the annual “Six Hours of the Glen.” One of the top endurance races on the circuit; both prototype and production-based sports cars compete for bragging rights. This grueling race tests man and machine, and with a multitude of classes running on the track at the same time, the action is pretty intense. Here, the drivers put on a great show for the fans with their passing maneuvers. It’s also interesting to see the team strategies being played out while some very fast machinery is pushed to its limits on the winding curves and straightaways of this famous racetrack.
With the standard Quattro all-wheel drive feeding power to the massive 295/35 R21 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx performance tires and adaptive air suspension, that in Sport mode, lowers ride height and improves the center of gravity for better stability, the Q7 felt as surefooted as its A5 or A6 siblings rolling through the sweeping corners of the roads through upstate New York.
Inside the Q7, there was five-star treatment for seven, as everything was wrapped in leather and gleaming aluminum. But the Q7 retained a sporty look and feel inside and out; due to the S-Line package option. From the command center, the S-Line gives you a three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, brushed aluminum inlays, and on the outside, S-line badging on the door sills and throughout the interior.
On the outside, our Q7 was covered in Glacier White Metallic while clad in unique front and rear bumper and side valences and riding on five-segment, titanium-finished 21-inch wheels. The Q7 looked like a Saturn V rocket, and it sort of felt like one on lift-off as we stomped on the big pedal getting on the interstate and blasted up to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds.
Words & Photos: David Hakim
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