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When you are behind the wheel of the most powerful diesel SUV in the country, your ego tends to behave differently. The meaning of speed limit suddenly disappears from your mental dictionary, typical cruising speeds now mean something like a 150km/h and your left hand gets busy in flashing the massive headlamps to get other miniscule machines out of your lane on the highway. Though in most cases, just the sight of Audi’s massive Q7 in the rearview mirrors of road users is enough for them to give way.

When a company spends millions developing one of the finest diesel V8 motors in the world, it is obvious they will look at making use of it in various models including the Q7 until and unless they are looking at an economic suicide. With eight cylinders firing under the hood, what you get are 340 ponnies to play around with. Most importantly, it is the engine’s veritable mountain of torque that gives the 4.2 TDI the edge. The monstrous 760Nm of torque on avail is what lends the Q7 an agility of sorts that can put to shame quite a few so-called performance sedans out there. I don’t remember the last time I felt a force so strong pushing me into the seat so hard every time I went pedal to metal. The Q7 truly believes itself to be a petrol powered sports coupe and when you look at the performance figures, you ought to think the same way. Naught to hundred in less than seven seconds for a vehicle that weighs more than 2500 kilos with two passengers on board is shockingly impressive. A couple of kilometers down the empty highway and the speedometer needle almost kisses the 240km/h mark. Gulp! The engine is also very smooth and refined, though its oil-burning origins are obvious at idle and under heavy acceleration but just about.

The fantastic Quattro system also ensures that the huge SUV behaves well incase its owners become over enthusiastic, which in most probability they will sometimes.  Of course you can’t really throw it into corners with reckless abandon the way you can, say its younger sibling, the Q5. But at the same time, its road manners are exceptionally fine for such a huge vehicle. That is also where its electronically controlled air suspension comes into play, accessible via the simple MMI interface. Raise the Q7 and it will negotiate bad surfaces as well. If you are in the mood to play and need a vice like grip, the dynamic mode will lower the suspension down as much as possible, which does reflect tremendously on the road. This mode also delivers more decisive body control and a noticeably sterner ride. In normal day-to-day driving, the suspension feels just about right and in the comfort mode, there is a confident plushness over bumps. However, flowing undulations at high speeds makes the vehicle move around and wallow a little.

SUVs like the Q7 do justice to speedometer markings like these! The 4.2-litre mill gives this 2450 kilo beast devastating performance. At the same time, drive it gently and it hardly makes its presence felt


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