The world's first 12-cylinder diesel in a passenger car, and the most powerful production SUV in the world, delivers (when driven very conservatively) an average 20.8 miles per U.S. gallon. This is attributable primarily to the very latest version of fuel stratified injection, FSI, using 2000-psi Bosch piezo injectors each with an eight-hole nozzle.

For this cash-splashing crowd, the optional sport suspension plus offered on RS models really isn't necessary, the five-mode Continental Teves adaptive air suspension providing exactly the range desired for these meat-footed owners. With the possibilities of the Q7 having a lurchy-feeling ride with all that jet propulsion going on and all that weight shifting, the over-the-road abilities are managed really well by the underpinnings.

Deliveries of the Q7 V12 TDI began in October of 2008 at a starting price of 109,700 (or $142,000 if we're doing a straight exchange). With the full leather interior and plush Alcantara roof liner, though, I feel so coddled that I could see myself as a fat Russian industrial magnate wanting this big bear.

Audi Q7 V12 TDI
*Layout
Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive

*Engine
6.0-liter V12, dohc, 48-valve, turbocharged and intercooled

*Transmission
Six-speed Tiptronic S automatic

*Suspension
Five-mode adaptive air suspension by Continental Teves

*Brakes
Eight-piston aluminum calipers, 16.5-inch cross-drilled ceramic rotors (f), four-piston aluminum calipers, 14.6-inch cross-drilled ceramic rotors (r)

*Performance
Peak Power: 493 hp @ 3750 rpm
Peak Torque: 738 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
0-62 mph: 5.5 sec.
Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

Price Tag
109,700

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