Once I heard that Audi Wilsonville had a new 2017 Audi Q7 at the store, I knew I had to make it down there during my lunch break to check out the fully redesigned crossover before it went on to its next destination.
Equipped with only my smartphone, I managed to take a number of photos of the new beast and I had a chance to learn some of the new features and technology found inside the Q7; thanks to a regional Audi of America representative being in town and helping out Brand Specialists learn more and get some seat time in the new Q7.
One of the interior design elements that caught people’s attention was the long horizontal layout of the air vents on the dash. To control the air coming out of those vents are a brand new set of controls that include five touch-sensing switches between the two temperature control dials. As you run your finger on top of the switches, the icon above each switch changes to show the current setting and flick the switch up or down to make the change.
The MMI system in the Q7 combines the new media switch layout found in the MQB-based A3 and TT models; plus, there is a touch pad like the ones found in the current A6 and A7. In the new Q7, it is much larger and it has integrated preset, MENU, BACK and screen tab buttons.
The new Q7’s MMI system now supports Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. Since the car was paired up with an iPhone, we tested out the iOS Maps integration and Siri voice-to-text and text-to-voice feature to write out a text message.
Behind the MMI controls is the new gear selector knob that combines the more traditional selector shape with the “shift-by-wire” setup that has been used in the D4 A8 models. The new knob is also similar to, but not identical to, the one found in the brand new R8 that will be arriving in the new year.
Of course, one of the biggest new features in the 2017 Q7 is the optional Virtual Cockpit that was first introduced in the Mk3 Audi TT and is also found in the new R8. I was watching the Brand Specialist and the Audi rep flip through each of the options and modes in the Virtual Cockpit screen and it was all butter smooth and felt quite intuitive.
One thing to note is that the engine coolant temperature and the fuel level indicators are not part of the Virtual Cockpit display; instead, they flank the large display and have the segmented LED level lights as found in the A6, A7 and A8.
Unfortunately, due to limited time available, I couldn’t take up the offer to take a ride in (or maybe even drive) the new Q7. I’m hoping that I’ll have an opportunity to do so to get a feel of the driving dynamics and to see if Audi has fixed some of the user experience and MMI quirks that I have experienced in the current A6, A7 and A8 models.
Additional information about the new 2017 Audi Q7 can be found on Audi USA’s website, along with the model’s online configurator. Audi Wilsonville has also posted a digital copy of the order guide for the new Q7.
I have posted additional photos of the 2017 Audi Q7 can be found on Flickr.
I want to give Audi Wilsonville a shout out for letting me join in on one of the sessions with a Brand Specialist and getting to take a few shots of the new model.