The new facelifted Audi Q7 was just recently revealed for the US market, along with specs and pricing. Part of its facelift is a new engine for the Q7, the brand’s now-ubiquitous 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 (the engine from the Audi Q8). The outgoing engine it replaces is the old 3.0 liter supercharged V6, which was actually quite a beloved engine among Audi enthusiasts. Typically, the switch from a supercharged engine to a turbocharged one is for efficiency’s sake. But that actually isn’t the case with the new Q7.
Car and Driver first spotted it, showing that the old Audi Q7, with its supercharged V6, returned 2-5 mpg better fuel economy than the new engine’s 18 mph combined, 17 mph city and 21 mpg highway.
It’s very interesting to see the newer engine get worse fuel economy, for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s almost never the case. As engines get newer, they get more fuel efficient, as automakers are pushed to become more and more efficient each year. Additionally, the new engine is turbocharged and turbos are more efficient than superchargers by nature. This new engine also has more torque, so you’d imagine it has an easier time of hauling the Q7’s considerable mass.
According to Audi spokesperson Amanda Koons, there will be a four-cylinder engine added to the Audi Q7 lineup next year. It will act as the entry-level engine when it debuts, with a cheaper price tag. Though, we fear that engine’s ability to carry the Q7’s mass efficiently. Koons didn’t comment on that engine further than that, so we’re still in the dark on its details.
What’s funny is the fact that I, personally, wasn’t on board with the facelifting the Q7 from the beginning. I felt it looked good enough as-is, and actually looked better before the facelift, and I liked its simplistic interior and, ironically, its supercharged engine. This new engine seems to be good, for power and performance, but it’s worse where it matters most in a big, family hauler.