One of the most intriguing cars to come from the four-ringed brand at the moment is the Audi SQ7 TDI. Packing a 4.0 liter triple-turbocharged V8, the SQ7 makes 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, or about as much as a small aircraft carrier. Oh, and it’s a diesel, so that will make environmentalists even happier. During a time of downsizing and electrification, the Audi SQ7 seems like a giant middle finger to all of that. So, naturally, Car Throttle gave it a go.
The Audi SQ7’s V8 diesel makes all of that monstrous torque by way of the aforementioned triple-turbocharging. Two of its turbochargers are conventional exhaust gas-driven turbos. The third one is something Audi calls an EPC (Electrically-Powered Compressor), which is basically an electric turbocharger. It’s powered by the SQ7’s 48-volt electrical subsystem and is able to provide boost to the engine without an revs. This allows for instant turbo boost and the complete reduction of turbo lag.
Thanks to its lack of lag, the Audi SQ7 TDI is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, which is mighty quick for something as big and heavy as it is. The violent acceleration is limited to only its launch from a standstill. In-gear pull is massive but smooth, as if the badge on the back read “Boeing”. It’s smooth, quiet and incredibly powerful.
According to CT, the Audi SQ7 is a really wonderful car to drive, even at slow speed. Its lovely cabin, great ride and interior refinement make it a joy to speed down the Autobahn or creep along in traffic. When that road gets twisty, the Audi SQ7 hangs on well. While it can’t hide all of its mass, it does do a good job trying.
That 48-volt electrical subsystem also powers active anti-roll bars which are capable of couple and decoupling on the fly, and independent of one another front to rear. This allows them to decouple for highway cruising, adding comfort, and to re-engage during sporty driving. Those anti-roll bars are paired with adaptive dampers which do their best to reign in all the weight. In the end, you get an SUV that is actually sort of fun to hustle down a back road. But make no mistake, this is an Autobahn cruising mile muncher.
Oh and its V8 diesel engine sounds about as good as a diesel engine’s ever going to get. Quite devilish in fact, as if it knows it shouldn’t be making that good of a noise.
So, basically, to sum it up — I want one.