Audi has officially taken the wraps off the SQ7 TDI which is set to become the most powerful diesel SUV in the world on the market.
Its heart and soul is a newly developed 4.0 TDI V8 engine equipped with an electric powered compressor (EPC) which makes its debut on a production car. Engineered from the ground up, the new turbodiesel develops 435 horsepower (320 kilowatts) and 663.8 pound-feet (900 newton meters) of torque from an amazing 1,000 rpm. It helps propel the SQ7 TDI to 62 mph (100 kph) in as little as 4.8 seconds before topping out at an electronically-limited 155 mph (250 kph.)
Aside from making the Q7 a lot quicker, the new 4.0 TDI V8 remains economical as Audi says it has the fuel consumption comparable to a six-cylinder engine. The hot diesel SUV will return 31.8 miles per gallon (7.4 liters / 100 km) and will have corresponding CO2 emissions of 312.2 g/mi (194 g/km.)
The EPC was implemented to support the eight-cylinder turbodiesel engine when starting off and during low rpms to eliminate the dreaded turbo lag. As a matter of fact, Audi says that with the newly implemented technology, “turbo lag is history.” The EPC is driven by an electric motor and has a compressor wheel which spins at up to 70,000 rpm which enables the V8 generate the power “with no perceptible lag.”
The EPC has a maximum power of 7 kW provided by a 48-volt electrical subsystem that includes a 48-volt lithium-ion battery located beneath the trunk. The battery has a nominal energy content of 470 watt-hours and a peak output of up to 13 kilowatts while a DC/DC converter connects the 48-volt and 12-volt electrical systems.
Audi’s engineers had to redesign the eight-speed tiptronic transmission for the new model and they promise it will change gears faster and more efficient. The V8 TDI’s output will be channeled to a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system working together with a self-locking central differential. The SQ7 TDI will ride on 20-inch alloy wheels shod in 285/45 tires, but at an additional cost buyers will be able to go for up to 22-inch rims.
The model will be optionally available with a driving dynamics package consisting of a sport differential, electromechanical active roll stabilization, and all-wheel steering. LED headlights will be standard, but Audi will also sell the SQ7 TDI with matrix LED headlights providing superior illumination.
Aside from being the most powerful SUV in the world, the new SQ7 TDI is also the lightest model in its segment and has a drag coefficient of 0.34. Customers will be able to order the model with either a five- or seven-seat layout and just about the same array of goodies as a regular Q7.
Audi mentions it will open the order books for European customers this spring and the model will carry a starting price in Germany of €89,900.