WORLD PREMIERE: Audi SQ7 TDI – Driving Innovation

The world of monster SUVs is upon us, as luxury car companies like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover have been giving us SUVs that are as fast as supercars. Well, Audi has another Super SUV to unveil and it could be the most monstrous of them all — The Audi SQ7 TDI.

It’s interesting to see that Audi is sticking with diesel technology for this incredibly powerful SUV, despite the fact that the entire VW Group is under fire for lying about its diesel emissions. But despite all of that, Audi is using diesel power to make its SQ7 and it’s most likely the reason why the North American market won’t get it, unfortunately. But I digress, on to the Audi SQ7.

Audi SQ7 TDI

Based on Audi’s newest, second-generation Q7, the new SQ7 TDI will pack a triple-turbocharged 4.0 liter diesel V8, making 435 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque. Of the three ‘chargers, two of them will be traditional exhaust gas-driven turbochargers and will be in sequential order, meaning one turbo will run off of low-rpm exhaust gasses and the other will run off of high-rpm gasses. The third ‘charger will be an electric powered compressor (EPC) which will runs without the need for exhaust energy, therefor augmenting the work of the two turbochargers at low engine speed.  It is placed in the air path downstream of the intercooler, close to the engine. Driven by a compact electric motor, its compressor wheel spins up to 70,000 revolutions per minute and can deliver full boost in just 250 milliseconds. The Audi SQ7 TDI is also the very first production car to use such an EPC.

The Audi SQ7 will also borrow Audi’s Valvelift System (AVS) from its petrol engines, a first for its diesel engines. The inlet and exhaust cam shafts each have two cam contours per valve. On the inlet side, one cam contour supports starting off in conjunction with the EPC, while the other optimizes cylinder filling and thus power at high engine speeds. The AVS system on the exhaust side enables activation of the second exhaust-gas turbocharger. The sequential charging system controls the two exhaust-gas turbochargers so that only one turbocharger is used at low engine speeds. The second is activated additionally at higher loads and engine speeds. The customer benefits from very good torque delivery and dynamic response across the entire engine speed range.

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Audi SQ7 TDI

This new SQ7’s tri-turbo TDI engine will be mated to an eight-speed automatic and power all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. We’re a big fan of the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic in most Audi products as it changes gears extremely quickly and efficiently, and at high speeds allows coasting at idle. A self-locking center differential is the heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It is compact, lightweight and interacts very precisely with the suspension control system.

The maxim of lightweight construction also applies to the suspension – its links are made primarily of aluminum. Electromechanical power steering, the Audi drive select driving dynamics system and adaptive air suspension with
S-specific tuning are standard. An optional brake system with extremely lightweight carbon fiber-ceramic disks will follow shortly after the market launch. Audi offers the SUV with 20?inch wheels on 285/45 tires, with options up to 22 inches from the quattro GmbH program.

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Audi offers the SQ7 TDI with an optional driving dynamics package comprising three technology modules: sport differential, electromechanical active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering. The highly integrated suspension control unit is used in the SQ7 TDI. It assumes the central control of the adjustable shock absorbers, the air springs, the sport differential and roll force distribution. By bundling all relevant suspension functions into a central control unit, the developers achieved an optimal networking and coordination of the functions among themselves. The customer thus experiences outstanding handling in any situation.

Audi SQ7 TDI

A new solution in the competitive environment is the electromechanical active body roll stabilization. Here a compact electric motor with a three-stage planetary gearbox separates the two halves of the stabilizer. On an uneven road surface, they are actively decoupled from one another, resulting in improved ride comfort. During sporty driving, the tubes are interconnected and twisted against each other. That significantly reduces body roll, i.e. the lean of the car. Together with the transmission, the electric motors produce anything up to 885 lb?ft of torque. The effect is taut, sporty handling: The car leans less in bends and the tendency to understeer is further reduced.

The Audi SQ7 will also come with all-wheel steering, where the rear wheels turn up to five degrees either with or opposite of the fronts, depending on the situation. During low speed turning, the rear wheels turn opposite of the fronts, to increase the SQ7’s turning capabilities and decrease its turning circle. At high speed, the rear wheels turn with the fronts, to provide increased stability during, say, a high-speed lane change.

The headlights have a pronounced three-dimensional appearance overall with a double-arrow signature. The standard LED and optional Matrix LED headlights plus the dynamic rear turn signals underscore Audi’s leading role in lighting design and technology. With the LED and matrix LED headlights, the daytime running lights together with the turn signals form a double light guide arrow – a new and unique light signature within the Audi family. Each Matrix LED headlight divides its high beam into 30 individual light-emitting diodes paired with three reflectors. A camera on the interior mirror analyzes the traffic situation. Given this information, the control unit individually turns the diodes on and off, or dims them in 64 stages each, depending on the situation. With the millions of different resultant beam patterns, the high-end headlights superbly light up the road, without blinding other road users. Traffic signs are illuminated with less power so that the driver is not blinded by glare.

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Audi SQ7 TDI

Other options for the Audi SQ7 TDI will include a Bang & Olufsen 11 speaker, 1,920 watt surround sound system, 4G LTE connectivity and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, to name a few. The Audi SQ7 will start at €89,900 in Europe and orders will start early this spring.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.