Based on the Pikes Peak quattro concept revealed at the 2003 Detroit Motor Show Audi finally gets into the SUV arena although quite late in the game. Already we have seen the seeds being planted for crossover type vehicles to takeover when the overindulgent SUV loses its spark. Described by Audi as a 7 passenger "full-fledged off-road vehicle", the Q7 will debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September and go on sale in early 2006. The Q7 will be no slouch in the powertrain department starting with the base 3.2 liter V6. The highlighted engines will be the 4.2 liter FSI V8 which is found in the new RS 4 super sports saloon producing 420 hp and 317 lbs/ft of torque however the Q7 torque will be available lower in the rev range to compensate for the larger mass of the vehicle, towing and off-road capabilities.
Audi's German siblings Porsche and VW each have their own top-of-the-range super-utes with the Cayenne Turbo and Touareg W12 Sport. All three models share the same basic platform however the Q7 gets special treatment by receiving a segment busting top dog engine which will be no less than a 5.5L FSI V10 producing 550 hp and 413 lbs/ft of torque. Porsche's Cayenne Turbo with the Tequipment program engine upgrade "only" gives 500hp. Granted the Q7 will be larger in size but rumor has it that the Q7 makes up for it in weight savings. The Audi Q7 production will be in VW's Bratislava plant in Slovakia along side the Touareg and Cayenne.