AUDI Q7 3,6 FSI QUATTRO TIPTRONIC vs
PORSCHE CAYENNE V6 TIPTRONIC S
Is a V6 brawny enough for these big and bold SUVs from two brands with a sporting heritage?
IRST, you need to get over the fact that these “entry level” Sport-Utility Vehicles each cost over a half-million rand – without any options. But they do come from two of the motoring world’s premium manufacturers, Audi and Porsche, who have close family ties that, in the case of the these particular Q7 and Cayenne models, manifest themselves in some shared development and componentry. Audi has established a solid reputation through its “leadership through technology” (Vorsprung durch technik) approach, while Porsche’s engineering excellence is legendary, and both can boast a proud and successful motorsport heritage. So the prospect of V6 power for a vehicle weighing around 2,4 tons might seem a bit under-whelming, particular-
ly as each of the models’ siblings are characteristically far bigger and brawnier in the powertrain department. Despite the similarities, though, the two models differ in their presentation, but do they flatter to deceive, or are they really worthy of their badges? DESIGN AND PACKAGING
identifiable as an Audi. Being over five metres long, nearly two metres wide, and over 1,7 metres high, with a wheelbase a fraction over three metres, the Audi offers impressive cabin. The glasshouse is relatively shallow
lars and large exterior mirrors create substantial blind spots when turning. A recent facelift has softened the effect of the Cayenne’s gaping maw, which is also helped by a dark body colour. Nearly a
Half-million rand, no options
and exacerbates the feeling of being in a large vehicle. Light grey upper cabin trim contrasts with the dark grey lower sections and helps prevent a claustrophobic feeling, though. Thick A-pilA no-brainer: the Cayenne is so much tauter, and the V6 is the most “sensible” of the range – JB ruler-length shorter than the Q7, lower, and narrower, with 147 mm less between the axles, the Cayenne is a spacious five-seater, and carries 100 kg less weight. Again lacking excessive Clear as, er, mud. Cayenne has the sportier dynamics, Q7 all the practicality you could want – MM
Q7 is an impressive hunk of SUV. With its now familiar singleframe grille and generally fussfree bodywork, Q7 is easily Q7 is better value for money, and its engine feels more responsive – HO
AT A GLANCE
Audi Q7 3,6 FSI Quattro Price R531 000 0-100 km/h 8,87 100-0 km/h 2,92 Top speed 221 Economy 13,61 Luggage 120-1 192 Airbags 8
Porsche Cayenne V6 R595 000 8,15 2,84 223 13,82 392-1 100 6
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Visit CARtoday.com to view video clips of the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.To view them on your cellphone SMS “Cayenne” (cost R5) or “Q7” (cost R5) to 36993. For more multimedia, turn to page 187.
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exterior ornamentation, the test unit’s tan upholstery certainly livened-up the interior, which is glassier and more airy than the Q7’s. Quality rivals that of the Audi, too. The A-pillar/mirror design is a bit less obtrusive than the Q7’s. Both models feature a powered, retractable tow-hitch as standard, and a deflated, steel space-saver spare wheel, with a compressor, housed under the boot board. They each had an optional electrically-operated tailgate fitted, which we found to be a “nice to have” Boot/utility . space ranges from 120 (with all of the optional seven seats erect) to 1 192 dm3 for the Q7, and 392 to 1 100 dm3 for the Cayenne. COMFORT AND FEATURES
At this level of the game, you would rightfully expect to have most creature comforts fitted as
temp, rev-counter, coolant temp, fuel, speedo, and battery voltage. Oh, but the interior mirror’s DIY dipping is a bit cheapskate… Space precludes listing all the features offered by these vehicles, but both have rake- and reach adjustable steering, dual zone climate control incorporating centre and side vents to the rear, heated exterior mirrors with power adjust/retract, rainsensing wipers, headlamp beam height adjust (auto on the Q7), handy dual visors right and left, cruise control, trip computer/ info system, ’phone connectivity, all manner of drink and oddments storage, and one-touch up/down powered windows on all doors in the Q7, fronts only on the Cayenne. Naturally, each comes with a full range of safety and security items including selective central locking, active front seatbelts, a full house of airbags, and ISOFIX child seat anchorages.
Most creature comforts standard
standard, and Q7 excels in this aspect. However, the test car had the optional extra row of seats, which fold flat into the floor when not required. The middle row seat’s backrests are, unusually, split 40:20:40, and have some fore/aft and angle adjustment, so there is a wide range of interior layout configurations. Both front seats have all-electric adjustment including lumbar (and pull-out cushion length extensions), with two memory settings. Upholstery is a combination of leather and suede. Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system is probably the most user-friendly of its ilk. The spacious Cayenne is not so lavishly equipped, but also has all-electric front seats, but only the driver’s has a (three position) memory. The rear seat is conventionally split 60:40, with the cushions tumbling forward. All-leather seat trim includes perforated inserts. A wide range of instrumentation is provided: oil
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RIDE, HANDLING AND BRAKING
Narrow-angle VR6 engine has been stretched to 3,6 litres, mainly though an increase in bore diameter. Q7 adapted itself well to muddy terrain. Optional big wheels may have helped.
On paper, not quite an even contest because the Q7 test unit was fitted with optional 20-inch alloys with 275/45 tyres in place of the standard 18-inch/235/60 combination, whereas the Cayenne was equipped with base 17-inch rims shod with 235/65 rubber. And the Audi boasted optional adaptive air suspension with the Porsche doing without its similar option, instead riding on standard steel suspension. Both cars offer a supple ride without any roly-poly through bends, even in standard mode. The Q7’s air suspension has five modes – lift, off-road, comfort, automatic, dynamic – and sensible use of the settings (via Audi’s excellent MMI controller) ensures passenger comfort regardless of the terrain, with the automatic mode being ideal as
Classy cabin typical of Audi. Upholstery is a rich combination of suede and leather. Optional adaptive suspension’s settings are shown on the centre data panel. Transmission’s paddle shifters are behind the fully adjustable, multifunction wheel’s horizontal spoke.
an all-round compromise. With Sport mode activated, the Cayenne firmed up noticeably without becoming too stiff: a notorious dip in the middle of a bend on one of our test routes failed to cause bottoming. The Porsche’s more conventional suspension was not found lacking during our test period. The Q7 is a big vehicle to hustle. However, providing you treat the laws of physics with due respect, the Audi will not be embarrassed in most point-topoint challenges. True, the additional grip afforded by the optional big wheels help considerably in this respect, but the steering’s feedback give the impression that the Q7 is as rocksteady as one could wish for. Mind you, a complement of halfa-dozen passengers may not appreciate too much derring-do. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the Cayenne is inherently stable as is, but activate the Sport mode and it hunkers down and feels
round, 340 mm diameter at the front, 315 mm at the rear, actuated by ABS backed-up with EBD and BAS. In our brake test routine, the Audi recorded very consistent times that resulted in a near-excellent 2,92-seconds average. We have come to expect exceptional braking performance from Porsches, and the Cayenne is no exception, with 330 mm vented discs all round having six-pot calipers up front, four-pot at the rear, delivering 10-stop emergency brake test times within one-tenth of a second of each other, averaging an excellent 2,82 seconds. Both vehicles have a foot-operated park brake with under-facia release. PERFORMANCE
Both the Q7 and Cayenne utilise what is basically Volkswagen’s narrow-angle, 24-valve VR6 motor. (It also does duty in the
Foot-operated park brake
The same, but different: VR6 dressed differently, and more tidily, in Cayenne’s engine bay. Relatively narrow wheels failed to hinder progress through mud. almost as chuckable as a hot hatch, an impression made all the more remarkable because of relatively modest 17-inch rims. The Porsche’s more car-like driving position helps in this regard, too. A foray along a very muddy track for a photo-shoot subjectively saw the Cayenne having to work a bit harder than the Q7 but , both waded through without much discomfort. The Q7 is equipped with Audi’s famed quattro all-wheel drive transmission, which is biased 40:60 front/ rear under normal conditions, but apportions torque as appropriate in slippery conditions. If you really want to play adventurer, the Cayenne boasts a reduction gear in the transmission, and we know it can be surprisingly agile off the beaten track. It, too, has electronics that monitor and vary torque distribution as required via the differentials. In the retardation department, the Q7 boasts ventilated discs all VW Touareg.) A 5 mm increase in bore to 89,0 mm, and a 0,5 mm increase in stroke to 96,4 mm has raised capacity to 3 598 cm3, up from the previous 3,2 litres. But to accommodate the increase in bore, at the bottom of the block the distance between the cylinders had to be increased, and casting integrity maintained, so the angle between the cylinder banks has been decreased from 15 degrees to 10,6. The distance between the bores at the top remains the same, allowing existing cylinder heads to carry over, as well as the chain driven, continuously variable inlet and exhaust cam timing. But there the similarity ends… Each manufacturer has developed its own direct fuel injection and engine management systems (Q7’s compression ratio is 12:1, Cayenne’s 12,3:1), with the result that there are notably different power and torque characteristics. Audi’s set-up realises 206 kW at 6 200 r/min, and
Porsche’s tan interior is certainly eye-catching. Leather seats have perforated inserts. Cayenne offers an impressive array of instruments. Transmission shift buttons at the ends of the optional multi-function steering wheel’s horizontal spoke are awkward to use.
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Denotes hip point of 1,8 m adult
1 737 mm
156º Ground clearance: 180-240 mm
3 002 mm 5 086 mm Width (excluding mirrors): 1 983 mm Front track: 1 651 mm Rear track: 1 676 mm ENGINE: Cylinders 10,6 deg V6, longitudinal Fuel supply electronic direct injection Bore/stroke 89,0/96,4 mm Cubic capacity 3 598 cm3 Compression ratio 12,0 to 1 Valvegear d-o-h-c per bank, four valves per cylinder continuously variable inlet and exhaust cam timing ENGINE OUTPUT: Max power ISO (kW) 206 Power peak (r/min) 6 200 Red line (r/min) 6 800 Max torque (N.m) 360 Torque peak (r/min) 2 500-5 000 TRANSMISSION: Forward speeds six, Tiptronic Low gear 4,171 to 1 2nd gear 2,340 to 1 3rd gear 1,521 to 1 4th gear 1,143 to 1 5th gear 0,867 to 1 Top gear 0,691 to 1 Reverse gear 3,403 to 1 Final drive 4,556 to 1 Drive wheels permanent 4wd Driver aids ESP, ASR, EDL WHEELS AND TYRES: Road wheels optional 20x9J spoked alloy Tyre make Goodyear Eagle F1 Tyre size 275/45 ZR20 Spare – type and location space-saver/ inflator, under boot board BRAKES: Front 340 mm ventilated discs Rear 315 mm ventilated discs Hydraulics ABS, with EBD and BAS STEERING: Type rack and pinion, hydraulic power assist Lock to lock 2,6 turns Turning circle 12,0 metres SUSPENSION Front dual wishbones, air springs, anti-roll bar Rear dual wishbones, air springs, anti-roll bar CAPACITIES: Seating 5/7 Fuel tank 100 litres Boot/utility space 120- 1 192 dm3 WARRANTY AND SERVICE INTERVALS: 1 years/unlimited km warranty 5 years/100 000 km Freeway maintenance plan Service according to on-board indicator
The Q7’s optional third row of (individual) rear seats fold flat into the floor when not required. A deflated space-saver spare wheel/tyre plus inflator are located under the boot board. 360 N.m of torque spread between 2 500 and 5 000 r/min. Porsche, on the other hand, has squeezed out 213 kW at the same rev point, and 385 N.m of torque at a peak of 3 000 r/min. There are slight differences in exhaust tone, too, both displaying a variation on a V6 theme, the Cayenne sounding just a little bit sweeter than the Q7 . Size matters, and the Q7 is at an immediate disadvantage with both its size and weight, which is reflected in a power/ mass ratio of 84 W/kg. However, a 0-100 km/h time of 8,87 seconds, a kilometre sprint in 29,73 seconds at 177,4 km/h, and a top speed of 221 km/h (in fifth gear) are still respectable figures. With kick-down, the Audi will haul itself from 60-120 km/h in 8,51 seconds. The Cayenne puts its extra grunt and lower weight to good use. With a power/mass ratio of 91 W/kg, the Porsche is always going to leave the Audi behind. The Cayenne manages the 0-100 km/h sprint in 8,15 seconds, the standing kilometre in 28,8 seconds at 183,3 km/h, and reaches a top speed of 223 km/h, also in fifth gear. It will accelerate from 60 to 120 km/h in 7,66 seconds. Both vehicles have six-speed Tiptronic transmissions, each with normal and Sport modes, manual override, plus shifters on the steering wheel: the Q7 having paddles (left for downchanges, right for up) just behind the horizontal spoke, the Cayenne with awkward thumb-buttons on the spoke’s upper edge, each offering up- or downshift control. No argument here, the Q7’s setup being easier to operate than the Cayenne’s layout. Shift quality is, naturally, similar. Surprisingly, perhaps, although it is the quicker of the two, gearing differences show the Cayenne to be marginally more relaxed in going about its business. Both vehicles have long accelerator travel, with kickdown necessitating a forceful prod. In normal mode, the Cayenne was tricky to drive smoothly, but became much more responsive with Sport mode engaged. The Audi, too, reacted slowly to initial small movement of the pedal. FUEL ECONOMY
Very little in it, with the Audi’s fuel index (overall consumption) of 13,61 litres/100 km just edging the Porsche’s 13,82. It is a credit to both that even with a highrevving V6 having to propel a large, not particularly aerodynamic, and heavy 4x4, the figures are not horrific. Both have 100-litre tanks, so a range of more than 700 km is achievable with either.
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h): True speed 221 at 6 314 r/min in 5th gear Speedometer reading 225 (Average of runs both ways on a level road) Calibration: 60 80 100 120 True speed: 59 79 99 119 Odometer error 1,55 per cent under ACCELERATION (seconds): 0-60 4,02 0-80 6,04 0-100 8,87 0-120 12,16 1 km sprint 29,73 Terminal speed 177,4 km/h OVERTAKING ACCELERATION (seconds): AT 40-60 1,96 60-80 2,09 80-100 3,00 100-120 3,42 120-140 4,59 FUEL CONSUMPTION: *Fuel index 13,61 litres/100 km 7,35 km/litre Estimated tank range 735 km (*Calculated overall consumption) BRAKING TEST: From 100 km/h Best/worst stop 2,85/2,97 Average of 10 stops/rating 2,92/good
(Measured in seconds with stops from true speeds at 30-second intervals on a good bitumenised surface.) GEARED SPEEDS (km/h): Low gear 45* 49 2nd gear 80* 88 3rd gear 124* 136 4th gear 165* 181 5th gear 217* 238 Top gear 272* 299 (Calculated at engine power peak* – 6 200 r/min and at red line – 6 800 r/min.) INTERIOR NOISE LEVELS (dB, A-weighted): Idle 38 120 km/h 65 PERFORMANCE FACTORS: Power/mass (W/kg) 84 Power/litre (kW/litre) 57 Torque/litre (N.m/litre) 100 Frontal area (m2) 2,87 Drag coefficient (Cd) 0,37 km/h per 1 000 r/min (top) 43,91 Engine revs/km 1 366 Mass as tested (kg) 2 458 Front/rear weight distribution (%) 49/51 (Calculated on “mass as tested”, gross frontal area, gearing and ISO power output) TEST CONDITIONS: Altitude at sea level Weather partly cloudy, cool, light breeze Test car’s odometer 11 825
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765 mm 1 945 mm
Denotes hip point of 1,8 m adult
1 699 mm
30º 159º Ground clearance: 218 mm 34º
2 855 mm 4 798 mm Width (excluding mirrors): 1 928 mm Front track: 1 655 mm Rear track: 1 670 mm ENGINE: Cylinders 10,6-deg V6, longitudinal Fuel supply electronic direct injection Bore/stroke 89,0/96,4 mm Cubic capacity 3 598 cm3 Compression ratio 12,3 to 1 Valvegear d-o-h-c perbank, four valves per cylinder continuously variable inlet and exhaust cam timing ENGINE OUTPUT: Max power ISO (kW) 213 Power peak (r/min) 6 200 Red line (r/min) 6 700 Max torque (N.m) 385 Torque peak (r/min) 3 000 TRANSMISSION: Forward speeds six, Tiptronic Low gear 4,15 to 1 2nd gear 2,37 to 1 3rd gear 1,56 to 1 4th gear 1,16 to 1 5th gear 0,86 to 1 Top gear 0,69 to 1 Reverse gear 3,39 to 1 Final drive 4,30 to 1 Reduction gear 2,70 to 1 Drive wheels permanent 4wd Driver aids PSM, PTM, ASR, ABD WHEELS AND TYRES: Road wheels 17x7,5J 10-spoke alloy Tyre make Michelin 4x4 Diamaris Tyre size 235/65 R17 108V Spare – type and location space-saver/ inflator, under boot board BRAKES: Front 330 mm ventilated discs, six-piston calipers Rear 330 mm ventilated discs, four-piston calipers Hydraulics ABS, with BAS STEERING: Type rack and pinion, hydraulic power assist Lock to lock 2,7 turns Turning circle 11,7 metres SUSPENSION Front upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar Rear multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar CAPACITIES: Seating 5 Fuel tank 100 litres Boot/utility space 392-1 100dm3 WARRANTY AND SERVICE INTERVALS: 5 years/100 000 km Driveway warranty and service plan Service every 30 000 km
Remove the head restraints, tip the cushions forward, fold down the backrests, and the Cayenne becomes a huge hold-all. Porsche provides the same spare wheel set-up as Audi. VALUE FOR MONEY
At a sticker price of R531 000, the Q7 undercuts its rival by a not inconsiderable R64 000. Adding-in the test vehicle’s options (extra two seats, adaptive air suspension, 20inch wheels/tyres, rear parking camera, xenon-plus headlamps, powered tailgate, satnav), raised the Audi’s price by R95 360, which is just R13 360 more than Porsche’s base price. Audi’s warranty is for one year/unlimited km, and there is a five years/100 000 km Freeway maintenance plan. An on-board indicator advises of servicing necessity, up to a maximum interval of 30 000 km. The Cayenne is listed at R595 000, and the test car’s optional equipment (front and rear park assist, PCM with extended off-road navigation, powered tailgate, sunroof, three-spoke multi-function steering wheel) added R75 000 to the amount. Porsche’s five years/ 100 000 km Driveway plan includes warranty and maintenance. Servicing is required at 30 000 km intervals. Clearly, then, you pay an added premium for the Porsche, a fact of life with which we are well accustomed. Consequently, the Q7’s comprehensive features and equipment list looks to be good value indeed, but we expect the rate of depreciation will be sharper than that of the Cayenne, and that could be significant for some buyers.
Audi took a hard look at the Cayenne’s sales performance while developing the Q7, and with its eye on the American market, decided that off-road capability was not high on customer requirement lists, so deliberately introduced the Q7 as an urban off-roader. (Comeon, we can hardly call it a softroader…) As such, the Audi does an excellent job, offering an abundance of practicality, versatility, and equipment in a quality package for a relatively reasonable asking price. Its engine proved to be well up to the task of propelling a heavyweight SUV with acceptable performance and economy. As for the Cayenne, well, it is without doubt the more driver-orientated of the two. Less bulky, more powerful and, consequently, quicker, with hot hatch-like dynamics when in Sport mode, against the Q7 it falls short in the features department, but does have a better off-road capability should you actually need to venture into the bundu. By comparison, it is expensive for what it is, but arguably once past the half-million rand mark, such detail matters less. It may not top the Audi Q7 in this contest by virtue of falling short on features at what is entry level to a world of bigbruiser SUVs, but nevertheless most testers agreed that the Cayenne V6 is a Porsche worthy of the name.
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h): True speed 223 at 6 068 r/min in 5th gear Speedometer reading 228 (Average of runs both ways on a level road) Calibration: 60 80 100 120 True speed: 58 77 96 115 Odometer error 1,46 per cent under ACCELERATION (seconds): 0-60 3,70 0-80 5,60 0-100 8,15 0-120 11,10 1 km sprint 28,80 Terminal speed 183,3 km/h OVERTAKING ACCELERATION (seconds): AT 40-60 1,65 60-80 1,94 80-100 2,61 100-120 3,11 120-140 4,10 FUEL CONSUMPTION: *Fuel index 13,82 litres/100 km 7,23 km/litre Estimated tank range 724 km (*Calculated overall consumption) BRAKING TEST: From 100 km/h Best/worst stop 2,77/2,86 Average of 10 stops/rating 2,82/excellent (Measured in seconds with stops from true
speeds at 30-second intervals on a good bitumenised surface.) GEARED SPEEDS (km/h): Low gear 47* 51 2nd gear 83* 89 3rd gear 126* 136 4th gear 169* 183 5th gear 228* 246 Top gear 284* 307 (Calculated at engine power peak* – 6 200 r/min and at red line – 6 700 r/min.) INTERIOR NOISE LEVELS (dB, A-weighted): Idle 42 120 km/h 67 PERFORMANCE FACTORS: Power/mass (W/kg) 91 Power/litre (kW/litre) 59 Torque/litre (N.m/litre) 107 Frontal area (m2) 2,78 Drag coefficient (Cd) 0,35 km/h per 1 000 r/min (top) 45,80 Engine revs/km 1 310 Mass as tested (kg) 2 353 Front/rear weight distribution (%) 51/49 (Calculated on “mass as tested”, gross frontal area, gearing and ISO power output) TEST CONDITIONS: Altitude at sea level Weather clear, cool, light breeze Test car’s odometer 7 550
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1 980 mm