Audi opens order books for possibly UK’s fastest most powerful 4x4
Technological trendsetter can now be configured on audi.co.uk and ordered in UK Audi Centres nationwide
New 435PS and 900Nm Q7 flagship priced from £70,970 OTR, available to order now with first deliveries starting in August
Standard specification includes S-specific interior and exterior details, virtual cockpit, adaptive S air suspension, active sound exhaust system, rear view camera and Valcona leather upholstery with S embossing
New driving dynamics sports pack featuring quattro with sports differential, all-wheel steering and electromechanical active roll stabilization exclusive to the SQ7 TDI
Key optional equipment also includes 22-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, carbon ceramic brakes, Audi Matrix LED headlights, tour pack featuring traffic jam assistance and night vision
Audi’s ultimate hedge against the alternative-fuel future is offering every possible type of powertrain.
In Europe, various members of the Audi lineup can run on natural gas, hydrogen, electricity, gasoline, or diesel, and there are all sorts of hybrids across varying body styles. The brand’s latest entry is a high-performance diesel SUV, the SQ7 TDI, which blends proven, decades-old technology with a complex, state-of-the-art forced-induction system.
Now, another pioneer joins the UK Audi range– the new SQ7 TDI, priced from around £71,000. Not only is it notably the first ever ‘S’ version of the Q7 luxury SUV, but is also the first series production car to incorporate new electric powered compressor (EPC) technology that consigns ‘turbo lag’ to history.
Supporting two sequentially activated turbochargers, the EPC helps to generate pulling power that is unparalleled in this class. The V8 TDI-powered Q7 flagship is able to deftly deploy it thanks to a chassis bolstered by state-of-the art electromechanical active roll stabilisation. The integration of both systems is made possible by a powerful new 48-volt electrical subsystem which makes its Audi debut in the Q7 and will be the springboard for numerous revolutionary new technologies in the Audi models of the near future.
As it is electrically driven and therefore not dependent upon exhaust flow like conventional turbochargers, the revolutionary electric powered compressor (EPC) brings its force to bear on the 4.0-litre, eight-cylinder TDI in less than 250 milliseconds, so its benefit is palpable from the second the accelerator pedal is depressed.
Whenever the exhaust gases provide sufficient energy two sequentially activated ‘conventional’ turbochargers take over, all-the-while accompanied by a compelling V8 bellow from the active sound exhaust system.
Now developing 435 PS and 900 Nm (663.8 lbft) of torque, the redesigned V8 BiTDI firmly stakes this performance flagship’s claim as the most powerful diesel SUV on the market.
With the electric powered compressor (EPC) supporting the work of the two turbochargers, especially at lower revs, step-off performance is exceptional, and this is reflected in a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph, and in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the SQ7 TDI returns up to 39.2 mpg combined. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 190 g/km.
The Audi valvelift system (AVS), which makes its debut in a TDI engine in the SQ7 TDI, keeps one valve closed at low and intermediate load and rpm so that the entire exhaust flow reaches the so-called “active” turbocharger. If engine speed increases to the range between 2,200 and 2,700 rpm, the respective second exhaust valve is opened and the second turbocharger is also activated.
The power for the EPC – which peaks at 7 kW – is provided by a 48-volt electrical subsystem, which also makes its Audi debut here. To meet its high power requirements, there is a separate 48-volt lithium-ion battery in the electrical subsystem beneath the luggage compartment. It has a peak output of up to 13 kilowatts, and is connected to the more familiar 12-volt electrical subsystem by a DC/DC converter.
In the interest of agility the sport differential actively controlling torque distribution between the rear wheels can also be specified for the first time in the history of the Q7 in the new SQ7 TDI.
All-wheel-steering is also available to promote even greater stability at higher speeds by turning the front and rear wheels in the same direction, and to aid low speed manoeuvrability in urban situations by turning them in opposing directions.
Visual cues to the ranking of the SQ7 TDI include a unique radiator grille design, an aluminium finish for the side air inlets, mirror housings and door inlays, LED headlights with a striking double-arrow light signature and an exhaust system branching into four rectangular tailpipes.
Under the skin, seven comfortable seats across three rows are upholstered in high quality Valcona leather, and the 235 litres of luggage space can be expanded to up to 1,890 litres helped by the standard electrically folding third seat row. Accessibility is also aided by the standard powered tailgate. Occupants enjoy plenty of space as well, along with a generous quota of equipment as befits a model not only bearing the S badge, but also exemplifying Audi technological ingenuity.
The fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit is one of the many standard features, as is the Audi smartphone interface and MMI Navigation plus with the fingertip-sensitive MMI Touch pad control.
Also new to the Q7 range is an embedded SIM card which immediately brings the benefits of Internet-based Audi Connect services to the car at no additional cost and without the need to insert a separate data-only SIM as was previously necessary.
Google Earth mapping, Google Street View, news, weather, online traffic, flight and train information as well as local fuel prices and entertainment options are among the features available via the 7-inch MMI monitor and the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display.
Audi Connect infotainment is offered on a three-month trial basis, or is included for three years if the optional Technology Package and includes the Audi phonebox for wireless smartphone connection to the car’s antenna and wireless, inductive charging and a head-up display projecting key information onto the windscreen in the driver’s field of vision.
Among the more indulgent options available for the new SQ7 TDI are alloy wheels of up to 22 inches in diameter, Matrix LED headlamps capable of diverting their beam around oncoming and leading traffic, S Sport seats plus with contrasting diamond stitching and two optional ‘3D’ surround sound systems from Bose and Bang & Olufsen, the latter offering up to 1,920 watts of music power.