Audi’s latest in performance SUVs, the Audi SQ7 TDI, will be an absolute monster that threatens all other performance SUVs on the market, such as the BMW X5 M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. With its triple-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 TDI engine, the Audi SQ7 TDI will develop 435 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque, or enough to tow a battleship. Audi claims it can get from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and still return fuel consumption of around 7.2 liters per 100 km (32 mph US equivalent), which is mighty impressive.
The SQ7 TDI is able to achieve such impressive performance figures by using the latest in Audi’s diesel technology. It’s the first ever production vehicle to feature an electric turbocharger, which is used to support the two traditional exhaust-fed turbochargers at low revs. The result is immense boost and power with no turbo lag whatsoever, as the electric turbocharger can add boost at idle.
Powering said electric turbocharger, or EPC (Electric Powered Compressor), will be a 48-volt electrical subsystem, marking the SQ7 TDI as the first production Audi to use such a high-power electrical system. To meet its high power requirements and short-term energy requirements, there is a separate 48-volt lithium-ion battery in the electrical subsystem beneath the luggage compartment. It has a peak output of up to 13 kilowatts. A DC/DC converter connects the 48-volt and 12-volt electrical subsystems.
In addition to powering the EPC, the new electrical system will aid in powering the electromechanical active roll stabilization, which is a new system of controlling body-roll and reducing understeer. Being such a big vehicle, keeping lateral inclination in check will allow the SQ7 TDI to achieve higher cornering speeds and faster lateral acceleration.
When it debuts mid-May, the Audi SQ7 TDI will be the most advanced and impressive performance SUV on the market. While it’s technically a bit slower than both the BMW X5 M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, it will have a larger breadth of abilities. The SQ7 TDI achieves astonishing performance while also returning excellent fuel economy and has an impressive amount of class-leading technology. So as an overall package, the Audi SQ7 TDI will be pretty tough to beat.
The Audi SQ7 TDI goes on sale mid-May in Germany and will likely hit the streets this summer. Its starting price is EUR 89,900, but comes with over EUR 10,000 worth of kit that would be optional extras on the standard Q7. So it’s actually not a bad deal, considering how much you’re getting for your money. When it debuts, there won’t be another performance SUV on the market that can blend its performance, speed, economy and technology.