This is quite an interesting drag race from Top Gear, as it pits the world’s fastest diesel SUV against the world’s fastest diesel car. Obviously the car would normally have the advantage in such a test, thanks to being considerably lighter. However, the Audi SQ7 TDI has a bit of a trick up its sleeve to give it an increased edge. But is that extra trick enough to be the Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel in a quarter-mile drag race?
If you’re wondering what that little secret is, for the SQ7, it lies under the hood. Both cars use the same 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine but the SQ7 is slightly different. It’s technically tri-turbocharged, as it has an additional, very small electrically-powered turbo that adds boost at very low rpm, thus eliminating turbo-lag. Though, it doesn’t really add much power. The Panamera makes 416 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, while the Audi SQ7 TDI makes 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. So the Audi is more powerful but not by enough to overcome its massive weight penalty.
At the start of the race, both cars are actually surprisingly even. The Audi’s electric-turbo and extra power help it fire off the line with incredible force for an SUV. But the Panamera’s lighter weight and better aero help it quickly pull away and gain a lead it never relinquishes.
It’s not all that surprising, actually. The Porsche Panamera is a lot lighter than the Audi SQ7 TDI while also being far more aerodynamic. That combination simply can’t be beat, especially by a mammoth SUV that’s more like a moving barn than it is a car. What’s surprising is how close it was. While the Panamera won, it wasn’t by an absurd stretch. So if you want a fast diesel car, get the Porsche Panamera but if you need the extra space, the Audi SQ7 TDI won’t leave you feeling cheated.