Ahead of its debut in Detroit, the 2016 Audi Q7 has broken cover, trimming the fat, building muscle, and for the first time offering a plug-in hybrid diesel drivetrain. This will make the new Q7 among the lightest, most powerful, and most efficient full-size luxury SUVs ever built.
The days of overweight SUVs are coming to an end, and the 2016 Q7 is a perfect example of what’s now possible in terms of weight loss. Using both high-strength steel and loads of aluminum, Audi managed to trim some 700 pounds over the outgoing model, bringing the curb weight as low as 4,400 pounds, without actually making the Q7 noticeably smaller.
European buyers will have the option of a supercharged 3.0 liter gasoline V6 or an all-new 3.0 liter TDI engine with 272 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque on tap, which helps cut a full second off the 0 to 60 MPH time, from 7.3 to just 6.3 seconds. The 3.0 liter gas V6 has been improved in terms of power and acceleration too, zipping to 60 MPH in just 6.1 seconds instead of 7.3, though interestingly no mention of the promised electronic turbocharger. Though EPA fuel economy hasn’t been estimated, on the European scale the 2016 Audi Q7 uses 5.7 liters of fuel per 100km, which translates to about 41.3 MPG. That’s pretty damn good for a full-size SUV, but it gets even better with Audi’s first plug-in hybrid diesel drivetrain.
Pairing a 258 horsepower 3.0 liter TDI V6 with a with a 126 horsepower electric motor for total output of 373 horsepower, the quattro all-wheel drive enables 0 to 60 MPH acceleration of just 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 140 MPH. With a fully-charged battery, fuel economy is estimated to be 138 MPG, with Audi claiming an electric driving range of about 34 miles. On the American testing scale expect both numbers to come down dramatically, though the 2016 Audi Q7 should still offer unrivaled fuel economy in this class of cars with this unique drivetrain.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as the 2016 Q7 also includes a new take on an old technology, all-wheel steering, which will make the large SUV a lot more maneuverable. The predictive efficiency assistant is designed to help you get the most MPGs out of your large SUV, advising you on speed and other efficiency factors that could boost fuel economy as much as 10%.
The all-new Q7 is a big deal for Audi, and as one of the brand’s first production plug-in hybrids, it’s setting the bar high for expectations of Audi’s electrification plans.