Audi is offering its latest 48-volt mild hybrid engine technology with the revised version of this second generation Q7. That sees an integrated 'BAS' belt alternator starter-generator powering a 48-volt main electrical set-up in which a compact lithium-ion battery in the boot stores energy harvested via a 'KERS' kinetic energy recovery system. That additional electricity might be used either to boost the engine while accelerating, or to restart it when the stop/start system kicks in at low speeds. The technology's seamless and now features right across the range, which kicks off with two 3.0-litre V6 TDI options, either the base 45 TDI variant (which has 231PS) or the 50 TDI powerplant we tried (which offers 286PS). This engine is one of Audi's best, creamy smooth, superbly refined and generally torquey, equipped with 600Nm of pulling power.
As before, this isn't a large SUV that particularly likes being hurried, but there's plenty of cornering traction, courtesy of torque vectoring and quattro 4WD, plus a 4-Wheel Steering set-up adds extra manoeuvrability to top 'Vorsprung'-spec models. Adaptive air suspension is now standard across the range, which helps you cruise over tarmac tears and speed humps, plus it lowers the car at highway speeds and can be raised for the greater degrees of off road prowess you'll probably never need.