Audi's 350PS (345hp/257kW), 440N·m (325lb·ft) 4163 cc V8 and 280PS (276hp/206kW), 360N·m (266lb·ft) V6 3596 cc petrol engines, both with FSI technology, are offered. Interestingly, Q7 using either engine has the same 0 - 100 km/h performance.
Two diesel options are available; a 240PS (237hp/177kW) 3.0L V6 and in mid-2007 the 4.2 litre 331PS (326hp/243kW) diesel with 760N·m (561lb·ft) torque known from the Audi A8 was introduced. Audi is reportedly going to introduce a hybrid version of the Q7 in 2008
To underline the racing success of its diesel engined Le Mans-winning R10 racer, Audi presented a concept-version of the car with a new V12 TDI Q7 at the 2006 Paris Auto Show. It uses piezo fuel injectors like the 2007 Mercedes E320 CDI. The twin-turbodiesel six-litre engine generates 500PS (493hp/368kW) and 1,000N·m (738lb·ft) of torque, making it the most powerful diesel engine, and also the only twelve-cylinder diesel engine, used in any passenger car. The diesel can pull the Q7 from rest to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.
Audi presented the Audi Q7 Hybrid at the Hanover Motor Show.
In early 2005, Nissan sued Audi over the use of the letter "Q" as a model name.
Audi is using the "Q" for the designation of their quattro four-wheel drive system, used in production cars for over twenty-five years (Audi's quattro trademark is actually an umbrella term for several types of four wheel drive systems developed by Torsen, Haldex Traction AB, and Borg-Warner, the latter being used in the Q7). Nissan's Infiniti marque had been using Q as the name for sedans (the Q45) and SUVs (the QX4 and QX56) since 1989.
A settlement between Audi AG and Nissan was reached in late 2006. The agreement stipulates that Audi will only use the Q-prefix for two models, the Q5 and the Q7.
Despite its multiple airbags and safety electronics, such as ESP, Q7 scored only four stars out of five in the Euro NCAP crash test. According to Audi, this was caused by a design error, and has since been fixed in cars manufactured after the test which should allegedly lead to five stars. However, official tests to prove this remain to be done as of November 2006.