Comparison

Petrol vs Electric: Tesla Model X vs Audi Q7

Hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly bridging the gap between themselves and conventional petrol or diesel driven vehicles. Cars such as the recently unveiled Chevy Bolt and the more upmarket Tesla Model S showcase the extent to which electric cars have matched their fossil fuel counterparts. The most recent launch from Tesla, the Model X is the company’s and the world’s first fully electric luxury SUV. We compare it to one of the giants of the segment, the 2016 Audi Q7 and see how the American crossover fares against a fully loaded, heavy duty SUV.

Exterior

Tesla Model X:

The Tesla Model X features one of the cleanest designs of current gen crossovers. With only a few distinct lines defining the entire body, the Model X seeks to reduce the aerodynamic drawback of being an SUV. However, Tesla has made no compromises on design. The dynamic spoiler, low-angle wrap over front windscreen and falcon doors make for substantial road presence. Little is borrowed from the Model S sedan. Despite its relatively small size, the Model X is even capable of seating six to seven passengers.

The Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Q7 is the long awaited revamp of the first¬†generation Audi Q7. Audi’s latest flagship SUV has adopted a few crossover elements to be a better all-rounder than its predecessor. Based off VW’s second generation MLB platform, the all new Q7 has been constructed with more aluminium and revised suspension to offer a more dynamic ride.

The all new Audi Q7
The all new Audi Q7

Visually, the Q7 adopts the same design philosophy as the Audi Q3 and Q5. As such, the new Q7 ditches its slick, sports car avatar in favor of a more conventional butch character. The prominent chrome lined hexagonal grille is flanked by large horizontally stacked full LED headlights provides a towering presence on the streets. Unlike the previous model, the fog lamp enclosures located on the bumpers actually feature fog lamps.

Interior:

Tesla Model X:

Similar to the Model S, the Tesla Model X’s cabin takes a mimalist approach. The interior is a luxurious blend of gloss black plastics and premium white leather. No buttons, knobs, multiple displays or levers adorn the dashboard save for the familiar portrait mounted touchscreen tablet and the fully digital LCD panel that acts as the driver’s instrument cluster. Despite its crossover category, the Model X seeks to seat six to seven passengers with three rows of seats. Unlike conventional middle row seats, the Model X’s middle row rests on movable pedestals to allow easy mount/dismount to and from the third row seats.

Interiors of the new Model X SUV
Interiors of the new Model X SUV

One of the most striking aspects of the Model X are its door mechanisms. Not only can all four doors be opened and closed remotely from the main center console, the rear passenger doors open upwards rather than the concentional side hinge layout. Dubbed falcon doors, Tesla’s implementation is quite unique. Unlike almost all door systems that uses hinges at a single point, Tesla’s falcon door system feature double hinged doors with sensors embedded within the sheetmetal to scan the outside environment. Should the Model X be placed in a tight spot, the doors dynamically adjust the angles at which they unfold to ensure that occupants can exit no matter the circumstance. As the Model X is electric, the SUV features luggage space both at the front and the rear offering the most space in its class.

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Audi Q7’s cabin is a rich mixture of wood, aluminium and premium leather. The dashboard sports two displays for various purposes. While the secondary display is mainly used to view current climate control settings, the larger primary pop up unit displays common infotainment system details such as navigation, music and also doubles up as the rear view camera feed. The driver is greeted by a sporty leather clad three spoke steering wheel fitted with the now conventional steering mounted controls. Similar to most high end luxury vehicles, Audi has replaced the conventional analog instrument cluster with a large 12.3 inch LCD display. Better known as the Virtual Cockpit, the display feeds information to the driver based on context. As such, the instrument cluster can display current route on navigation, speed, tachometer and various other aspects of the environment or car. This configurable display is already in use on the latest TT and R8 sports car models.

The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q7
The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q7

Under The Hood:

Tesla Model X:

The Tesla Model X is a fully electric vehicle that at launch, will be offered with all wheel drive only. Based on the variants, the Model X will have varying degrees of power sent to all four wheels with the range topping P90D model powered by a whopping 762 hp and 713 lb-ft of torque.

The Model X features four wheel drive for now
The Model X features four wheel drive for now

2016 Audi Q7:

The Audi Q7’s range topping model SQ7 variant houses a diesel powered V8 TDi that will be one of the first cars in the market to feature electric turbochargers. However, despite the new technology, the Audi Q7’s total power output ( hp) is still far below the Model X.

The new Q7 has an updated engine
The new Q7 has an updated engine

Verdict

The Model X is easily one of the most impressive cars ever made and serves as a brilliant alternative to gas guzzling full size SUVs such as the Audi Q7.

8.9 out of 10
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Psst! Weekend Warrior isn't really his name. Chirag is an automotive journalist for TurboZens, one of the fastest growing autoblogs in India. if you can't find him tearing up clubs (his backyard) every weekend, you can always try Google+