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Novel Factory-Fitted Towbar System For The New Audi Q7


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I have just received details of a novel towbar system for the all-new Audi Q7. Whereas VW recently presented a similar reversing aid for the Passat based on a camera system, the Audi version recognises the degree of articulation by means of a rotating ring sensor in the middle of the towball. This system has the advantage over a camera one inasmuch as it works in the dark and doesn't depend on the camera lens being kept clean.

The maker claims that the system is capable of identifying a sway much quicker than a towcar's ESP is able to. The towcar and trailer are shown as a virtual image on the screen rather than by CC video. After reversing normally for a few metres, the system identifies the length of the trailer (by measuring the rate of change of articulation) and that allows the system to take over. All the driver has to do then is to input the desired degree of articulation. If the driver wants to reverse in a straight line he would just enter 0°, for example. It works in reverse at speeds up to 10km/h. In case the vehicle to trailer angle is dangerously high it will sound a warning and automatically apply an emergency brake.

Obviously the presence of the sensor ring on the towball reduces its surface area slightly, which would consequently reduce the effectiveness of a friction-type stabiliser such as the AlKo AKS and Winterhoff 3000, but the maker claims that this reduction is only 1%.

The towbar itself is a €1450 factory-fitted option, but for it to work as described the owner also has to specify the park pilot for €390 and parking pack assist package for €780 or in combination with sat nav for €1450.

The max. towload for the all-new Audi Q7 has been reduced from 3500kg to 2700kg.

Edited by Lutz
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