So, you’re in the market for an impressive, German family hauler are you? You dive into your research, compare the specs of all the competition only to discover that Audi — you know, the same company that builds the R8, the S8, a whole host of RS models — doesn’t offer a hot version of its range-topping SUV. What gives? BMW is steamrolling toward an inevitable X7 M with the xDrive50i and M50i models. Mercedes has offered an AMG version of its GLS crossover, the GLS 63, and all of these cars have turbocharged, crazy powerful V8 engines. Yet, here Audi sits with the most powerful Q7 managing a mere 369 horsepower with its 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine.
In a word of Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawks and sub 5-second SUVs (even sub 4-second, in some cases), that just won’t do. Fortunately for performance enthusiasts Audi agrees, so here’s the 2020 Audi SQ7. Under its hood is a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. And the power? We’re up to a respectable 500 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The SQ7’s 0-60 time has fallen from 5.7 seconds to 4.3, which means it Audi can now hold its on in this segment against its rivals over in Munich and Stuttgart.
Prices start at $85,795
Now, this is not a full on “RS Q7” here, so there’s still some headroom for Audi to expand. Given enough demand it likely will, since we’ve already seen the hot RS Q8 with its 591 horsepower, but putting up a 500 horsepower SQ7 option helps balance Audi’s lineup between the 2.0-liter entry-level version and the performance-oriented end of the spectrum.
Against the likes of the BMW X7 xDrive50i and the Mercedes-Benz GLS 580, the SQ7 doesn’t pack the same sort of power. However, it’s also less expensive than those two, which easily tip the scales over $100,000. Prices start at $85,795 including Audi’s $995 destination fee. You can step up to the $91,395 Prestige model, and it will likely run closely to its competitors when you start stacking options. That said, at least Audi looks somewhat price competitive for a performance three-row family hauler.
If this isn’t quite enough power, there is the RS Q8 to consider below. Or, in time, I’m sure Audi will bring out an RS Q7 to really hit on both performance and practicality.