We all know of the coming Audi Q7. It’s been teased, shown and test driven for months now. But it hasn’t gone on sale yet, so if you want one, you’ll have to wait. Not for much longer, though, as Audi has just opened its order books for the entry-level 3.0 liter TDI version in the European market.
Unfortunately, the 3.0 TDI is unlikely to see US shores as of now. It will likely launch with some version of the new 2.0 TFSI engine, also used in the B9 Audi A4, and maybe a version of the upcoming turbocharged V6 in the upcoming B9 Audi S4 here in the states. The TDI engine will likely come some time later, as it did with the previous generation Q7. A 3.0 TDI e-tron plug-in hybrid is also in the works. But as of now, the only model currently available to order is the 3.0 TDI Audi Q7 for the European market.
The 3.0 TDI Q7 variant is a very important one to the brand. As what will likely be the volume seller, the 3.0 TDI gives the Audi Q7 a solid sales platform in which to allow further variants to grow. Audi can’t just run right out of the gate with a big V8 model and an SQ7. It needs a smaller engine, high-volume seller to allow those exciting models to flourish. Plus, the diesel efficiency will lend itself quite well to the large Q7.
The 3.0 TDI in question develops 218 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque and should motivate the Q7 from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is more than adequate for a large, seven passenger diesel SUV. The Audi Q7 isn’t meant to be a barn-stormer, but it will be fast enough for daily driving and the occasional overtaking on the highway. The real benefit of the 3.0 TDI engine is its frugality, getting 5.5lt/100km (42.8 mpg US) and 144g/km of CO2. These are quite excellent numbers for a big SUV.
The Audi Q7 3.0 TDI will cost €58,000 ($63,551), to start, which is almost $6,000 more than the equivalent BMW X5 xDrive 35d, and the first cars will start their deliveries in September. The entry-level US model variant, likely to be the 2.0 TFSI, should cost quite a bit less and be competitive with the BMW X5 xDrive35i. No word on when orders will start for the US market, but the lucky Europeans will get a diesel taste of the Q7 starting in September.