Audis are in all the big movies and seemingly every middle-class family’s driveway. But are they cool? Today, we’re checking out the most extreme Audi Q7 build, turning the first SUV in the company’s history into the overland vehicle it deserves to be.
The company was already famous for its quattro 4×4 systems, but the arrival of the Audi Q7 in 2005 still didn’t feel natural. It was too large, too brash. That didn’t stop Audi from going crazy in the performance department by introducing a 6.0-liter TDI option.
Even the basic 4.2-liter TDI sounds strange today, but a V12 TDI with 500 horsepower… that’s just crazy. What’s even stranger is that the company wanted to put the same V12 diesel engine in the R8 supercar because it was pioneering TDI technology at Le Mans.
Over the years, Audi became even more determined to make performance SUVs. But it never tried serious off-roading, even though that’s what these vehicles are supposed to do. One enthusiast showed what it takes by creating the most extreme “Overland” Audi Q7, a 1-of-1, if you will.
The YouTuber Auditography, who specializes in filming high-end Audis, was in Kuwait, talking to the local owners club in order to find cool builds. But why even build a Q7 off-roader?
As you’re probably aware, the sand dunes of the Middle East have generated thriving off-road communities. The Audi Q7 owner was often going into the desert but was getting tired of having to jump into his friends’ Land Cruisers, Jeeps, and Nissans when his quattro could go no further. So he did something about it.
The rolling package on this is insane. It’s got off-road-ready Alpha 18×9.5 dual valve wheels wrapped in 35/12.5-inch mud tires. Extensive modifications had to be made to ensure these fit. I think the most important component is a lift kit from Eurowise, an American company known for its custom first-gen Porsche Cayennes. They also made James Pumphrey’s Mk3 VW Golf with a 2.5L turbo.
Because the first Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne are based on the same platform, this quattro build was able to use Eurowise spherical arms, adjustable upper control arms, and a JRT coilover pack with 8 inches of travel.
And then there’s overlander/trail setup, which is all about screwing as much expensive-looking stuff as you can to your vehicle. That’s why the Audi SUV comes with a light bar, extra lights on top of the mirrors, flexible solar panels, and a whole auxiliary electrical system complete with a battery to run it all.
It’s worth noting what kind of engine this has. The Audi Q7 is famous for its TDI engines because… Dieselgate. However, they don’t need fuel-efficient but complicated diesels in the Middle East, which is why this has the VR6 3.6-liter. With about 280 horsepower, it’s not exactly amazing, but the sound is great thanks to a custom exhaust.