Although it doesn’t wear an S or RS badge and is built on the same production line as all ‘normal’ Q7s, this one is in fact the work of quattro GmbH. The engine is, of course, being linked to the Le Mans-winning R10’s 5.5-litre power plant, with technology now allowing pressure in the piezo common rail fuel injection system to reach a scarcely believable 2000bar. This Q7 also has a ZF automatic gearbox (the only Q7 so equipped) in order to cope with the huge forces, but amazingly the massive torque hasn’t been limited in any of the lower gears.
As a result this behemoth squeezes you back into your seat and reaches 62mph in 5.5sec. Being a diesel it snaps through the brief rev-ranges of the first two gears annoyingly quickly, so until you reach third gear you seem to spend almost as much time changing gear as accelerating, but once into its stride the V12 TDI is mighty, its 21-inch wheels crushing everything in their path.