Next-Gen Audi Q7 Coming in 2012, to Shed 650 Pounds

For both BMW and Porsche, going off-road with the X5 and Cayenne were risky moves that payed off in the end, but Audi didn’t wager much in the way of reputation with the Q7. Think about it: They already built wagons, were specialized in quattro all-wheel drive and love their American customers. In the end, the Q model line has grown to include the Q5 and Q3, and should incorporate a couple more in the future.

"There is no doubt...that crossovers are still selling like hotcakes even though the trend seems to be shifting toward more compact models," said Audi chairman Rupert Stadler.

Yet the model that started it all has grown long in the tooth and needs some radical dieting to keep up with the young boys on the market. That’s why, according to Automotive Magazine, the luxury Ingolstadt SUV will go on a severe diet, and eat aluminum for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The platform will be shared with both the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche’s Cayenne. But while the other two German carmakers have managed to shave about 400 pounds (181 kg) off their SUVs, Audi wants much, much more.

According to the aforementioned source, the next generation of Q7 is expected to shed 650 pounds (295 kg). The new model will arrive next year as a 2013 model year. Extensive use of aluminum throughout the body will help with weight saving, but the smaller engines that the company is working on should help as well.

We can be sure that forced induction 3.0-liter will serve as the backbone of the engine range, and some V8 models might get the axe, like it happened with the facelifted S5. Audi might produce a really efficient diesel to south eco-oriented customers, but a hybrid is also likely following the trend set by the Q5.
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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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