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It's got aluminium suspension, a body that's largely aluminium too, and a whole lot of other weight-saving in the powertrain, cooling, exhaust, electrics, seats, whatever. Makes you wonder why it was so chunky before, but anyway they have taken more than 300kg out of it. That means it's the lightest big seven-seat SUV.

You've got variable torque split for the standard quattro drive, and even optional four-wheel-steer to keep it on course. But the steering is numb and needs a lot of twirling, even with the optional 4WS box ticked, so we wouldn't tick it. And critically there's no sharpness or feedback and little fun to be had.


Is it full of tech?

Indeedy. Audi is making a huge fuss about that. Tick all the 'driver support' boxes and there are times the Q7 will more or less drive itself. In traffic it'll keep its lane and follow the car in front. Same on a motorway, though it beeps at you after 15 seconds or so if you've actually had your hands off the wheel.

This self-steering self-accelerating self-braking stuff comes included with the air-suspension pack, so it's not bad value. Self-parking is available, of course, and self-steering when reversing with a trailer or caravan.

Then there are the safety aids: early-warning and later emergency braking for vehicles or pedestrians or cyclists who stray into your path, autonomous braking if you turn across a junction in front of an oncoming vehicle, warnings if you park and open a door into a passing vehicle, or when you back out into a road when something's coming, et cetera.

There's more. Night vision. Brilliant matrix LED headlights that shine around other cars. An economy aid that encourages you to lift off early when the nav knows there are junctions or speed limits further ahead than you can see.

Then there's the entertainment and information: crowd-pleasing net-connection hardware and removable linked tablets in the rear. Basically, it's a suite of tech that brings the VW Group more or less up to the latest from Mercedes, BMW and Volvo.

Where else will this new platform go?

Well for a start there will be a high-end 'coupe-style' Audi Q8 spun off the Q7. But like the transverse-engined MQB, the longitudinal MLB-Evo is amazingly versatile.

All longitudinal-engined Audis bar the R8 will get it. That means this autumn's A4 – though it has lighter chassis parts, we're told. Then the next A5, A6, A7 and A8 and Q5. More big SUVs: the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga.

The Lambo Urus too if it's confirmed (the Italian Government is offering fiscal incentives for Lambo to build it, as a job creation scheme). And there's the next Bentley Continental and Spur, and VW Phaeton. And probably other stuff I've forgotten


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