Seven can go ballistic: the new Audi SQ7
IT simply wouldn't be a normal week without Audi revealing yet another high performance addition to its overflowing stable. This week it's as big as they come: the seven-seat Q7 SUV gaining an 'S' badge and the most powerful diesel engine found in any SUV on the market.
Set to arrive on Australian shores before year's end, the V8-powered SQ7 TDI delivers a mighty 320kW and 900Nm of torque, yet Audi says the 4.0-litre still manages a very reasonable 7.4-litres/100km combined.
And much like its SQ5 baby brother, the figures for this SUV are rather exciting. A 0-100kmh claim of 4.8-seconds and top speed of 250kmh for the bulky and weighty SQ7 are as shocking as they are impressive.
Such figures are thanks in part to the twin-turbo V8 engine's additional electric powered compressor (EPC) - a world first in a production car.
This EPC apparently supports the TDI engine (and its pair of traditional exhaust-gas turbos) when starting off and accelerating from low load, offering "pure dynamics with no turbo lag," Audi says.
No lag sounds both brilliant and too good to be true, but Audi explains the EPC doesn't require exhaust-gas energy to develop boost and can be used at any time, providing boost energy in less than 250 milliseconds. "With this technology, turbo lag is history," say the Germans, rather smugly one would imagine.
We all know modern diesels often offer incredible low down shove, but the SQ7's compact electric motor with its compressor wheel spinning at up to 70,000rpm sees that peak 900Nm of torque arrive at just 1000rpm (not a misprint) and on to 3250rpm.
Take that you pesky electric cars with your instant maximum torque.
The SQ7 also debuts (in a diesel model) Audi's valvelift system, which basically takes variable valve timing to the next level for better throttle response and fuel economy, and while we're on the science, a 48-volt electrical subsystem is also a first for this car.
It powers both the aforementioned EPC and also another newbie, electromechanical active roll stabilisation. The latter is there to deliver sportier handling by reducing body roll and understeer, the bane of many hulking SUVs like the Q7.
Expect exclusive materials and colours for the SQ7, the usual costly optional stereo systems, and 24 driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist which "relieves the driver in slow moving traffic on well-paved roads by taking over the steering in many situations."
Full spec and pricing will be revealed closer to the SQ7's late 2016 launch.