First Drive: 2011 Audi Q7 downsizes with an upside

Posted on 27 May, 2010

2011 Audi Q7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

If there’s to be a singular automotive theme guiding us into this second decade of the 21st century, it’s downsizing. If not in dimensions, then in displacement. Automakers, forced to adhere to higher government-mandated fuel economy standards and lower CO2 emissions, are beginning to collectively reduce engine size while attempting to maintain the thrust consumers demand.

The newest posterchild for this movement comes in an unlikely wrapper: the 2011 Audi Q7. Packing the same supercharged 3.0-liter V6 found in the S4 sports sedan, Audi bids adieu (or is that Auf Wiedersehen?) to the 3.6-liter V6 and 4.2-liter V8 for the 2011 model year and brings with it the 2011 A8’s eight-speed automatic transmission. We tackled the congested highways and byways in and around Ingolstadt to see if the revised Q7 has the goods to placate both bureaucrats and buyers, while taking a deeper look into Audi’s new powertrain strategy. Click through to the jump to see if we can make sense of it all.