This is the new Audi SQ7 TDI and it is the first time Audi has done an S performance version of its flagship SUV. Audi have managed to squeeze under the hood of the Q7 a 4.0-liter V8 turbo diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. It produces a potent 435 horsepower, and an outstanding 664 pound-feet of torque.
The redesigned V8 BiTDI means the SQ7 firmly stakes a claim as the most powerful diesel SUV on the market. The electrically powered compressor dispenses with any sign of turbo lag from step-off acceleration, helping to set an outstanding 0-62 mph sprint time of just 4.8 seconds and the top speed is limited to 155mph. What’s more impressive is that it still gets a claimed 32 mpg.
The SQ7 has more torque than almost anything the Volkswagen Group makes – short of the Bentley Mulsanne Speed and the new Bugatti Chiron. Not even the Lamborghini Aventador SV or Bentley Continental GT Speed can touch that torque figure.
To get to 664 pound-feet of torque Audi employed two conventional, sequential turbochargers and a third compressor that is powered electrically. The two conventional turbos aren’t even conventionally disposed. Rather than a one-per-bank arrangement, they sit in the V. The first is for light acceleration and cruising. The second one comes into play for big efforts. Audi engineers installed a 48-volt electric subsystem to power the electric compressor and its latest valvetrain tech for the first time in a diesel. Since it’s powered by a motor and not the engine, it can provide boost much more quickly—a claimed 250 milliseconds. That should be quick enough to make the lag imperceptible to the driver.
Audi also equipped the SQ7 TDI with an optional suspension package that coordinates the activities of three systems. There’s a differential, a four-wheel steering system, and a clever electromechanical roll stabilization system that employs an electric motor and a three-stage planetary gearbox to keep it all level and improve ride quality over rough surfaces.
There’s no word yet on U.S. pricing or when it will arrive over here, but Audi will begin taking orders in Europe this spring. Pricing in Germany starts at €89,900. That’s more than $98,500 at the current conversion rate.