Wednesday, April 8, 2015

More Details Emerge on New Audi Q7—Including Mega-Powerful Diesel SQ7

VW Group and Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg is a perfectionist, and when he flew to Namibia last week, his top brass came along to explain and fix any issues that might need to be addressed in the final weeks before the next Q7‘s May press launch and upcoming showroom debut. Based on the second-generation MLB modular-longitudinal platform, it replaces the successful current model, which has been around for almost a decade and is based on the dated PL71 platform.


At the event, according to the British magazine AutoExpress, Hackenberg confirmed an uplevel powertrain option for an SQ7 model that includes a V-8 TDI and electric turbochargers, as previewed by the monstrous RS5 TDI concept that we drove last year. The engine would rated at around 450 horsepower and perhaps exceed 600 lb-ft of torque, trouncing any turbo-diesel offered by Mercedes-Benz and BMW—including the triple-turbo straight-six offered in some BMW models. Hackenberg also reportedly said that a version of the Q7 with a low-range gearbox is conceivable, but that such a model is unlikely because of low demand.

In fact, the VW Group’s modular-longitudinal platform allows near endless possibilities powertrain, ranging from four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines to a possible V-10 TDI and the twin-turbocharged W-12 that will be fitted in the Q7’s sister model, the Bentley Bentayga. It also accommodates plug-in-hybrid gear, a setup to be offered in the Bentley and the Q7 e-tron.

One thing is unlikely to happen: A fully electric Q7. But Audi will offer a sportier and more compact electric vehicle called the Q6. Aimed squarely at the Tesla Model X, it will have its own styling and be sportier than the Q7.