Speaking at the launch of the new Audi TT Roadster in Victoria this week, Audi Australia general manager of corporate communications Anna Burgdorf described the level of current and previous Q7 local engineering.
"A lot of testing has been done here, as it was for the previous generation. But, of course it's done by the [Audi AG] engineering team, not by us. We provide a lot of market data and input, customer research, what customers are expecting and what customers want from a car like this," Burgdorf said.
Unique conditions in Australia have given Audi the opportunity to provide key input into model development.
"We certainly did that [engineering input] with the first model as well — things like dust sealing. Lessons that were learnt here about dust sealing in our Q7 were then applied to Q5 and Q3...because, there are people who are going to drive their cars in the Australian outback," Burgdorf said.
"Markets that are in the top 10 sales markets for those particular models certainly have a lot of input, but in general the appetite for SUVs and the development of those cars is strong globally."
At least one Audi Q7 pre-production vehicle has been spotted testing in Australia and is currently being used for engineering validation and training ahead of the car's local launch. Burgdorf elaborated further on local testing programs, specifically mentioning Audi's high-performance RS models.
"In the past some RS models have had local engineering input, for some of our firm roads for example. It depends on each model and how much information we are asked for."
"It's [engineering quality] what customers expect and what they pay for."
You can read our review of the 2016 Audi Q7 here.