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Old 09-09-2016, 07:29 PM   #1
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2017 Audi Q7 for 27FB

I have been towing my 27FB International successfully with a 2013 Mercedes GL450 for the past few years. I had an F150 before that and actually prefer the Mercedes. Handling and braking are great. Also much more aerodynamic in crosswinds. My lease is up soon and I am intrigued by the new 2017 Audi Q7. The car drives like a champ and the towing capacity is listed at 7700 pounds. Unfortunately, the Diesel version is not available in the US at the moment thanks to the VW fiasco. The only option is a Supercharged V6 that delivers 333 hp and 325 ft lbs of torque (at 2900 rpm) mated to an 8 speed tranny. The Mercedes has a turbo V8 with 369 hp and 406 ft lbs (at 1500 rpm) mated to a 7 speed. Any thoughts on the Q7 for towing? Also, how does a supercharged engine compare to a turbo? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-09-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Give Andrew Thompson at CanAm in London, Ontario a call. He'll give you the soundest advise on towing with the Audi. He's also a member here, so you can also send him a private message through the forums.

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Old 09-10-2016, 08:23 AM   #3
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Warbern - did you modify (re-enforce) your GL450 hitch receiver on your suv or are you towing with the standard / unmodified towing configuration from the factory?
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by warbern View Post
Also, how does a supercharged engine compare to a turbo? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
A turbo engine is capable of pushing more air to the engine than needed and the excess is bled off through a waste gate. This is great for mountain passes since the engine will perform well so long as the wast gate is open, i.e., the engine is getting a full breath. At some point, it's possible the waste gate will close and power will be lost.

A supercharger doesn't have a waste gate and the blower is mechanically attached to the engine. Power loss at elevation is similar to what happens to an unblown engine.

This is an oversimplified answer to help you understand the difference between the two engines and I'm sure someone will jump in to correct me. Dave
2006 Cayenne S with V8, air suspension, factory tow
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by warbern View Post
Also, how does a supercharged engine compare to a turbo? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
A supercharger and a turbocharger both provide forced induction but by different means. The turbocharger is driven by an exhaust gas turbine while the supercharger is driven mechanically. In theory, a supercharger can be more responsive to throttle inputs since you don't have to wait for exhaust gases to build in order to spin up the turbo. In practice, engine designers have moved to smaller turbos to reduce that turbo lag, and used waste gates and bypass valves to handle the resultant excess boost at higher RPMs. The driver sees peak torque earlier in the RPM range (1300 rpm on my BMW 3.0 twin turbo). Variable turbo geometry and waste gates prevent engine damage due to over boost at 7000 rpm, for example. The Audi doesn't see peak torque until 2900 rpm. This isn't really important, since we have transmissions with so many gears now. Note that the Audi beats the BMW in acceleration runs. The downside to a supercharger is that there is always a parasitic load on the engine to drive the supercharger, and this can impact fuel economy. Also, I agree that the supercharged engine will have more power degradation at altitude than a turbocharged engine will, but it comes down to whether you need full hp at all altitudes given how much hp you are starting with. It will be more important to some than others. With one of my BMWs (twin turbo 3.0) I could pull top gear over a local high altitude pass. With the other, naturally aspirated 3.0, I dropped a gear when pulling a load. I held the same speed with both, but needed more rpm on the latter vehicle.

In practice, with modern designs, you are unlikely to notice much difference, whether driving solo or towing. The above matters to us engine geeks, however. Drive it and enjoy it.

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Old 09-11-2016, 01:21 AM   #6
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Thank you for all your answers. It sounds like the Q7 would probably do the trick for me albeit with slightly less power and acceleration (especially at altitude) than the Benz. If the Diesel variant of the Q7 were available now, it would be a no brainer as it has massive torque at low rpm. If I end up with the Q7, I will be sure to post a towing review.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:25 AM   #7
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I towed with the standard unmodified factory hitch and used a weight distribution setup along with the Prodigy Wireless brake controller. Worked great. The GL450 has an air suspension system that also helped in equalizing the trailer. It really is a pretty awesome tow vehicle.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Why not look for a used diesel unit - Audi, Volkswagen Toureg or even Porshe Cayenne (all built on the same platform)?

Don't know how the VW diesel buyback will work with the V6 (apparently they're buying back the 4 cyl cars), but it's a nice combo.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:43 PM   #9
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I pulled our 22 with a Touareg(same as Q7, slightly shorter wheel base)with no issues. When we moved up to a 25', our local hitch shops said that the hitch weight required a class IV receiver which was not manufactured for the Touareg. by any of the major hitch companies(Reese, etc.). I know Canam has made modifications to Q7's to take a class IV hitch but our local companies would not do it for liability reasons. I would check it out with your local hitch shops before any vehicle purchase or you will be running out to buy an F150 in a hurry like I had to(which is a great truck by the way).
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #10
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2014 Touareg TDI / 27FB

FWIW, I tow with a 2014 Touareg TDI / 27FB / ProPride. Have towed with different hitch / vehicle / trailer combo's. I love this combination. We tend to keep the speed at ~100-110 kph (60-65mph). I often lock the transmission in 8th, keep it in cruise and am just amazed at how well it works.

I'm quite convinced that torque/horsepower are the least important characteristics for towing. Sure you're 0-60 will be different, but the handling won't be. I'm a bit of a diesel-head and love the TDI low end torque because of the emotional feeling that with low revs the engine just isn't working -- but its just emotional.

So, I think the Q7 would be great.

I did get the hitch re-enforced at CanAm just because I was being conservative.

Certainly not trying to start any hitch / vehicle / trailer wars, but I am really impressed with this combination. I think each of the Touareg, the Propride (or any virtual pivot point), Airstream are near or at the top of their class and the combination is really great. I know its cliche, but I can forget the trailer is back there.

Again, I think the Q7 would be great.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:50 PM   #11
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Don't go backwards on Hp and torque
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #12
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I've been towing a 25' Safari for six years now with the Mercedes GL 350, and recommend you look at a diesel as opposed to the gasoline engine. I've NEVER needed more power than what was available (including a tow over US 34 in Rocky Mountain National Park), and the compression on the downhills is great. Milage in normal conditions is around 15-16 MPG. So I'd look at the diesel version of what you have before switching.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:48 PM   #13
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I bought a 2015 27FB earlier this year. My wife was driving a 2013 Porsche Cayenne diesel and it works amazingly well with the Equal--I-zer tow bars. Porsche gave Cayenne diesel owners a 100k extended warranty. Used diesels, might be found relatively cheap. We've pulled it with ease at 11,200 ft in Colorado through the San Juans. The one downside - a constant barrage of people coming up (even taking pictures) and saying "This car can tow that?" Once unhooked, the feels like a go-kart and a joy to drive, with 406 ft lbs of torque.

"Man who says it can't be done, should not interrupt man doing it"
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:15 PM   #14
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Hello, I'm driving an ML550 2016 with an Airstream 27FB 2011 in Québec. The torque of the V8 4.6 Liters engine is amazing: 460 f/p. Before, an ML350 Bluetech was my previous tow vehicule. Good torque (420+ but only on a very narrow rpm). Not so bad, but the maintenance cost of this engine was too high and not making sense. Diesel engine cost more when it's time to visit the dealer... Yes, cruising 110-115 km/h is possible on Canadians highways and very stable and reassuring with the equalizer hitch! With the ML350: 15-16 Liters/100 km, with the ML550: 19.6 Liters/100 km. A difference paid with the maintenance cost 50% less and a trip much more fun with the ML550. Just arriving from Banff, Alberta and Sydney, Nova-Scotia after 14,000 km this summer with the ML550-27FB!

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