This lion loves the open road

WHEN does it stop when it comes to introducing fast cars?

WHEN does it stop when it comes to introducing fast cars?

This question was prompted by the Audi Q7 V12 TDI that I tested last week. This mighty Audi Q7 V12 is one of a string of powerful cars entering the market.

The Q7 V12 test period coincided with my trip to Mpumalanga. I was overjoyed to take this lion on the open road.

This was the Q7's moment to prove what it was capable of.

The 360km trip seemed like nothing to the big car. It handles very well and its road manners are tops.

Although it disappointed in city driving, all was forgiven on the long-distance trip. It does not like being in heavy traffic and stop and start situations.

During pick-hour traffic, it often did not respond to instructions from my right foot. I would press the accelerator pedal and for a few seconds nothing would happen. Only when I pressed hard would the heavy machine jump forward.

When we reached our destination , it felt like I could still continue for another three hours. The comfort levels and ride quality are unquestionable. And the convenient and entertainment features made the trip a great experience.

Under the bonnet lies a mighty V12 engine that vomits power output of 368kW and breathtaking torque of 1000Nm.

This combination of figures enables the Q7 to sprint from 0 to 100km in less than six seconds.

Joined to the six-speed tiptronic gearbox is Audi's famous quattro system. The fuel consumption was impressive too. I got an average of 10,5-litres per 100km.

When viewed from the side, both the 20-inch wheels and the matt aluminum caps on the exterior mirrors are eye catching. The wheel arches have been widened to distinguish the V12 from the rest of the range.

The tail lights are set in a dark-coloured background while the bumper incorporates two large, oval exhaust tail-pipes. At the rear, the underbody protector is also made of stainless steel. The visual styling of the Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro gives it an unmistakable look.

Daytime running lights consisting of 12 white LEDs per headlight announce the vehicle's presence even at a distance.

They are located on the upper edge of the air intake slots, replacing the turn signals that were moved to the bi-xenon headlights.

Further honing the vehicle's profile is a chromed grid in the single frame radiator grill and a shiny underbody protector made of stainless steel.

The Q7 V12 has a leather interior, leather multifunction sports steering wheel and black roof lining.

Also standard are folding exterior mirrors, DVD, navigation system, Bose surround sound system with CD changer, bluetooth cellphone preparation, alarm system and tyre pressure-monitoring system.

And the Q7 V12's tailgate opens and closes electronically.