Order books have opened for Audi’s new SQ7 TDI - with prices starting at £70,970 OTR.
Notable as the first ‘S’ version of the Q7 luxury SUV, the new model is also the first series production car to incorporate Audi’s new electric powered compressor (EPC) technology that consigns ‘turbo lag’ to history.
Supporting two sequentially activated turbochargers, the EPC helps to generate pulling power which Audi says is ‘unparalleled in this class’. The integration of both systems is made possible via a new 48-volt electrical subsystem which also debuts in the SQ7. As it is electrically driven and therefore not dependent upon exhaust flow like conventional turbochargers, it works in less than 250 milliseconds.
Now developing 435 PS and 900 Nm of torque, the redesigned V8 BiTDI helps the flagship claim the most powerful diesel SUV tag, according to Audi, with 0-62mph taking 4.9 seconds and top speed limited to 155mph. The SQ7 TDI returns up to 39.2 mpg combined, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 190 g/km.
An electromechanical active roll stabilisation system also features on the SQ7 TDI, where a compact electric motor with a three-stage planetary gearbox separates the two halves of the stabiliser. On an uneven road surface, they are actively decoupled from one another, resulting in improved ride comfort, but during faster driving they are interconnected and twisted against each other. With this advanced stability the SQ7 TDI rolls less in bends and the tendency to understeer is kept even better in check, enabling higher higher cornering speeds.
A sport differential that controls torque distribution between the rear wheels can also be specified for the first time in a Q7. 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. Underpinning this, is the standard S-specific adaptive air suspension that reacts to the movements of 20-inch alloy wheels and is controllable via the standard Audi Drive Select adaptive dynamics system.
Styling cues that single out the flagship SQ7 TDI include a unique radiator grille design, an aluminium finish for the side air inlets, mirror housings and door inlays, LED headlights with double-arrow light signature and an exhaust system branching into four rectangular tailpipes.
Under the skin, seven seats span three rows, finished 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.
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. Information is displayed via the 7-inch MMI monitor and the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display.