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Audi Q7 V12 TDI Hits 172 MPH on the Autobahn, Proves It's an Original Super-SUV

America put powerful V8s into its SUVs before some German automakers were even considered true luxury players. However, models like the BMW X5 still put down the tracks on which the modern performance SUVs ride today. And where was Audi in all this? Let's find out by taking another look at the Q7 V12 TDI.
Audi Q7 V12 TDI Hits 172 MPH on the Autobahn, Proves Its an Original Super-SUV 7 photos
Photo: AutoTopNL/YouTube screenshot
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The Q7 V12 TDI is part of that ambitious era of VW Group expansion, where the bosses set nearly impossible tasks for their engineers. The Germans weren't quitters either, judging by what this SUV can do.

The first Q7 rolled off the assembly line in 2005 and was quite the achievement from a company that hadn't built an SUV before. However, the V12 model took until 2008 to arrive, boasting twice the displacement and number of cylinders of a base model.

The 6.0-liter turbocharged engine is a tight squeeze under the hood and sounds frightening from a car ownership perspective. Usually, when Audi stuffs performance engines into normal cars, they are difficult to service or repair. It's like that with "special" German cars in general, so we respect this particular model's owner for taking such good care of it.

Thanks to its tip-top condition, the V12-powered Q7 is able to reach 277 km/h or 172 mph in this Autobahn test by AutoTopNL. The acceleration isn't savage but is still worthy of being in the super-SUV league, at least for that era.

Officially rated at almost 500 horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque (737 lb-ft), the quattro SUV is supposed to catapult from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 5.5 seconds and is supposed to have an electronically capped top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). It's not uncommon for German limiters not to work on the most prestigious models.

Of course, the Q7 V12 TDI wasn't the fastest or most powerful SUV because it ran on diesel. The first X5 M arrived about two years after with 550 horsepower and a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.7 seconds. But Mercedes got there first with its ML 55 AMG available from 1999 with about 350 naturally-aspirated ponies and eventually reaching "super" levels with the 500+ hp model from 2008.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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