Audi Q7 Hybrid Concept

From Audi press: The performance figures promised by the Audi Q7 hybrid give it sports car status: a mere 6.8 seconds are required to reach 100 km/h from standstill. In-gear pulling power is even more electrifying, with the SUV accelerating from 80 up to 120 km/h in 5th gear in 7 seconds flat. These compelling figures are made even more impressive by the fact that the Q7 hybrid tips the scales at 2,410 kilograms and returns fuel consumption figures of just 12.0 litres per 100 kilometres, nearly 13 percent less than the standard-production model.

The concept study's fine all-round capabilities are underpinned by the effective blend of high-performance FSI engine and electric motor, plus, not forgetting of course, the intelligent energy management at work in the Q7 hybrid. After all, it is energy management that enables optimum use to be made of each drive unit's potential, resulting in superior performance going hand in hand with maximum efficiency.

When the bonnet of the Audi Q7 hybrid is first opened, there are no immediate visible signs of its hybrid nature. The 4.2-litre eight-cylinder power unit takes up the entire engine compartment, with no trace of either an electric motor or a battery.

FSI engines are more powerful and dynamic than conventional indirect-injection units whilst at the same time being a model of fuel economy. The V8 engine was retuned prior to being fitted in the Audi Q7. The new engine's credentials now include beefy torque delivery right up to the red line as well as agile responsiveness, all combined with economical running.

These characteristics are partnered by a prodigious output of 257 kW/350 bhp at 6,800 rpm plus a peak torque of 440 Nm at 3,500 rpm.
Placing a further 200 Newton-metres of torque and 32 kW of power on tap, the electric motor is integrated into the driveline in the ideal position, between the V8 engine and the automatic transmission's torque converter. It is linked up to the FSI engine via a separating clutch that allows the vehicle to be propelled by either one of the drive units alone or by both acting in unison.

This solution makes the most economical use possible of the space available, meaning that it does not impinge upon the passenger compartment in any way. Like the standard-production version it is derived from, the Q7 hybrid offers up to three rows of seats and a spacious luggage compartment.

The electric motor draws its energy from a battery system housed beneath the luggage compartment floor at the rear of the vehicle. A voltage transducer that supplies power to the vehicle's electrical system can also be found here. The tyre mobility system for repairing punctures has been incorporated next to the battery compartment.

When measured against earlier generations of hybrid vehicles, the electric motor and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery are veritable lightweights, with the study only weighing in at 140 kilograms more than the standard-production model, an increase of less than seven percent.

The electric motor, meanwhile, is capable of propelling the vehicle at speeds of up to 30 km/h, autonomously and in virtual silence, which comes in particularly handy when driving in city traffic. The result is a sharp cut in both harmful emissions and noise levels in built-up areas. The battery's charge capacity allows for a range of up to two kilometres in pure electric mode, with the extra energy produced during braking and engine overrunning being fed back into the system. Once the battery's capacity has dropped to minimum, the combustion engine cuts in imperceptibly to recharge it.

Gallery: Audi Q7 Hybrid Concept