How often have you thought that things would be better if everyone took a moment to think before they acted? Or at the very least, used more of their common sense in everyday life?
If these thoughts resonate with you, then you are someone who makes decisions based on logic and reason. You have a very practical nature as well.
When it comes to automobiles, the Germans are well-known for their engineering focus. You want more design flair? Look elsewhere, because being sensible comes first.
But being logical isn’t always the norm. There are times when German engineers are allowed to let their hair down, don ripped jeans and quaff a few beers during lunch. When engineers have fun, a car like the Audi SQ7 emerges from the factory.
It resembles a regular Q7 from afar, but the SQ7 is actually Audi’s most powerful seven-seater SUV. Indeed, it is more than a Q7 on steroids.
Keen-eyed observers will notice the car’s huge 21-inch wheels (standard) and equally large brake discs lurking behind them. These measure 400mm in front and 350mm in the rear.
If these cues are still too “tame”, then the quad-exhausts should certainly raise some eyebrows.
In Audi’s world, the S variants sit between the brand’s regular cars and its fiery RS models. But calling the SQ7 a “high-performance Q7” is putting it mildly.
“Mild” is not how you’d describe something with a twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 that kicks out 500bhp and a mountain-flattening 770Nm. By the way, the full torque is available from just 2000rpm.
Paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the 2265kg SQ7 can crush the century sprint in 4.1 seconds. This is a tank with the acceleration of a sports car.
And it sounds good, too. Though subdued, the V8 motor and exhaust emit enough audible burbles and throaty notes to put a smile on the driver’s face.
A RELATIVELY NIMBLE EXPERIENCE
On paper, the SQ7 seems like an unwieldy car to drive, but its standard kit includes sport air suspension and quattro all-wheel steering, which make it surprisingly agile.
The air suspension controls the dampers and can adjust the SUV’s ride height by up to 90mm.
Still, this is not the car you’d choose for carving up mountain roads or flinging around slalom courses. But for something so massive, it is more manoeuvrable than expected.
Primarily responsible for this is the all-wheel steering, which gives the SQ7 a smaller than expected turning radius in multi-storey carparks by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front ones at low speeds.
At high speeds, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, enhancing the SQ7’s stability.
A LAUGH AND A RIOT
Driving the SQ7 is surprisingly easy, what with 500bhp under your right foot.
From any speed, the V8 motor pulls with the force of a freight train, making the SUV feel smaller and lighter than it actually is. If you’re brave (or foolish) enough, pinning the accelerator to the floor will pin you to your seat as the SQ7 attempts to overtake the horizon.
Every time you wonder if a 500bhp sports utility vehicle is actually necessary, the car gives you another reason to just shake your head and chuckle aloud. You may not like its handling, but if you’re a petrolhead, its sheer power is nevertheless something to admire.
When you’re done surprising unsuspecting drivers of sports cars and hot hatches, the SQ7 doesn’t mind being driven at a third of its potential. The absence of road noise makes this a relaxing place to be in at the end of a long work day.
Bells and whistles in the cabin include Audi’s MMI navigation plus, a head-up display and virtual cockpit plus. Ventilated front seats with massage functions ($1,390) and Carbon Vector trim ($4,726) can be optioned to further enhance the interior’s comfort and sportiness.
That said, MPVs do a better job of ferrying people, a big sedan feels even more luxurious, while a sports coupe (or rapid estate, in Audi’s case) is what would please most drivers.
Reason and common sense are good for the world. But sometimes you need to forget them to have fun. So, undo a few shirt buttons and wear ripped jeans to work. Have a few drinks at lunchtime.
Driving a 500bhp, 2.2-tonne SUV with neck-snapping acceleration defies logic. Nobody actually needs an SQ7, but the fun it brings is what makes it so compelling.
Audi SQ7 4.0 (A)
ENGINE 3996cc, 32-valves, V8, bi-turbo
MAX POWER 500hp (507bhp, 373kW) at 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE 770Nm at 2000-4000rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 220.8hp per tonne
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.1 seconds
TOP SPEED 250km/h (governed)
CONSUMPTION 7.5km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $510,951 (after $25k VES surcharge)
AGENT Premium Automobiles