At the launch of the new Audi Q7, Doyle told CarAdvice that a more performance-focused version of the brand’s seven-seat SUV is something that interests him – both from a personal perspective, and for the business.
“It’s a great bit of everything for everyone,” he said. “If I can put all my family, all the kids’ toys and games and boards and everything into the car, and their friends, and have a car that’s got high performance, what else do I need?”
The success of the brand’s SQ5 model is testament to that way of thinking when it comes to customers. That model – which kicks off at $91,700 plus on-road costs – is the most popular variant of the Q5 range, outselling the more affordable petrol and diesel offerings that are priced between $66,200 and $77,200.
“What do you think about the SQ5?” he posited. “What an outstanding performance that has been – we’d probably only pinch ourselves and kick ourselves because we wish we’d done that two or three years earlier.”
In the Q5 range the SQ5 boasts a 3.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine, where the rest of the range makes do with four-cylinder engines in petrol and diesel forms.
As for the SQ7 - which we've seen inside and out - it could be the V8 offering of the Q7 line-up, with rumours suggesting a variation on the twin-turbo V8 diesel seen in the A8 limousine could be found under the bonnet of the large SUV.
Those rumours point to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel with 320kW of power and as much as 900Nm of torque (the current A8 4.2-litre V8 diesel has 283kW/850Nm). That’s plenty, but not as much as the old 6.0-litre turbocharged V12 diesel had back in the early days of the first-generation Q7 (368kW and 1000Nm; pictured below).
However, the new model is up to 240 kilograms lighter than its predecessor, and a 4.0-litre V8 is bound to weigh considerably less than a big 6.0-litre V12.
As for a go-fast Q7 in Australia, Doyle was open about the huge potential such a model would offer.
“Would you think an SQ7 would be good in Australia? We love [performance], don't we? I would love that, why wouldn’t I?
“So if it were to be offered, this marketplace loves performance. It loves high quality and it loves performance. Of course we’d look at that for this marketplace, for sure,” he said.
As for the talk of an even more mental model, the RS Q7, Doyle suggested he’d take any performance model that made it to production.
“Whatever is offered, yeah,” he said.
“I think over time there might be more model expansion, but from a launch perspective we’re thrilled to offer the 200kW [3.0 TDI model] in its current guise.
“Model proliferation within a range is not everything. We certainly offer a lot of models in our other ranges, that’s for sure.”