Take one look at that low-slung air dam on the front, the giant vented disk brakes and the 21-inch sport tires and you’ll know that the 2023 Audi SQ7 is hiding something special. Yes, it’s a luxury Audi SUV. But, that “S” badge means a lot more. S-badged Audis are the performance variants of its cars and SUVs. In the SQ7 that means that it has 500-horsepower V8.
The Audi SQ7 is built on the Volkswagen group’s MLB Evo architecture, just like the Lamborghini Urus and the Porsche Cayenne. While the Lambo does have some upgrades, its bones are similar. The engines are similar, too. Lamborghini’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is a (highly) modified version of the V8 that Audi uses in its S lines of cars and SUVs.
The Urus may have more power and more panache, but the Audi has a trick up its sleeve; the SQ7 is a fast seven-seater.
What’s new for the 2023 Audi SQ7?
Why mess with success. For 2023 the SQ7, and its more plebian Q7 variant, will have some new options.
For the upcoming 2023 Q7, Audi is boosting the horsepower of the base four-cylinder version by 13 and adding standard leatherette stitching on the dash. It’s adding new Matrix-design LED headlights.
The big news for the four- and six-cylinder variants is the addition of new driver aids, which include adaptive cruise assist and lane guidance, remote park assistance, and more. The SQ7 now offers dual-pane glass as part of the Executive package and 22-inch rims.
How fast is the Audi SQ7? It’s fast. Really fast.
The SQ7 could be the quickest seven-passenger SUV on the planet. Audi says it hits 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds. That’s quick. But Car and Driver went even quicker. That magazine tested the SQ7 and saw a zero-to-60 time of just 3.5 seconds. For comparison, the Urus takes about the same amount of time, but you can only show four (not 6) friends the speed.
For comparison, the standard Q7 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes 6.9 seconds to get to 60, Audi says. Of course the V8 gets just 20 mpg combined, the four-cylinder gets better gas mileage, though not a whole lot better, at just 21 combined.
Is the Audi SQ7 a real SUV?
The SQ7 may be a performance machine, but it’s also practical. The Audi SQ7 is also a real seven-seater SUV with real SUV abilities. It can tow 7,700 pounds, for example. That’s almost one ton more than a Ford Explorer can tow.
It can also be surprisingly practical when you want it to be. You can fold down the second- and third-row seats flat and it can hold 69.6 cubic feet of stuff. A Jeep Grand Cherokee can carry 68 cubic feet.
A real SUV is expected to be able to go off-road, too. While the SQ7 comes with (appropriately) summer performance tires, its adaptive air suspension can lift the whole SUV to clear off-road obstacles. Just make sure you don’t rip off that expensive-looking front air dam.
How much does an Audi SQ7 cost?
The base price is $88,500. But you don’t want the base SQ7 if you can help it. Instead, if you can swing the extra $5,000 for the Prestige trim, you’ll get intersection assist, a heads-up display, power soft-closing doors, and a leather package.
That price does include Quattro all-wheel-drive system that is key to getting all of that power to the pavement. To that end, Audi also gives you all-wheel-steering and an active anti-roll system. Both of those systems are said to help the Audi float down the highway if you want. But, this is an SUV that is better suited to attacking mountain roads and curves.