Mercedes has been printing money with the G-Class since the late 1970s but inexplicably, archrival Audi has refrained from coming out with a rugged SUV. It's particularly strange because the Four Rings are part of the Volkswagen Group with access to immense resources and yet all "Q" models have a unibody. With no go-anywhere vehicle from Ingolstadt, one owner of a first-generation Q7 from Kuwait took matters into his own hands.
If you're wondering how this high-riding SUV came to be, our friend Auditography told us the owner often enjoys having fun in the desert with his friends. However, he always had to step out of his Q7 and hop into a Jeep, Patrol, or a Land Cruiser since his Audi initially lacked the off-road capabilities. One day, he decided to take the plunge and convert his VR6-powered SUV into an overlanding vehicle with massive ground clearance courtesy of an extremely generous custom suspension lift.
Audi Q7 Overland
The full list of mods is available in the video description on YouTube, but we'll highlight the bespoke front and rear bumpers to improve approach and departure angles. You’ll immediately notice the quad exhaust system, numerous extra LEDs scattered all over the vehicle, and a flexible solar panel on the hood. It also happens to have a built-in shower and fridge to relax after a long day of playing in the desert.
As for the interior, it's mostly stock, save for the 10.5-inch screen on the center console and another display mounted to the driver’s left to control the numerous auxiliary LEDs. Of course, the shower and cool box we mentioned are in the cargo area.
There aren't any changes underneath the hood where the 2008 Audi Q7's naturally aspirated 3.6-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine continues to produce 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque delivered to the Quattro all-wheel drive system.
It wouldn't be too late for Audi to go after the G-Class and capitalize on the off-road craze, but in the meantime, we're just glad such extreme builds exist.