Audi has confirmed its large premium SUV, the Q7, will be offered as a plug-in hybrid in two derivative models and that Europe will get diesel variants only. The US and China will get petrol (gasoline) powerplants, all territories will essentially get what customers demand.
Audi already offer a plugin-hybrid with the A3 making the Q7 e-tron quattro the second model to join the company’s hybrid line up.
The Q7 e-tron will be powered by a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder diesel engine fused to an electric motor with a total power output of 373bhp and mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The electric drive range is said to be around 35 miles, in real money it should be 20 miles. The Q7 e-tron’s C02 emssion rating is said to be a mere 46 g/km.
Audi will replace the diesel engines with the 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine for the US and China markets. Although Audi could introduce a diesel hybrid at a future date.
The Q7 has a number of innovative features, it can transfer ‘waste heat’ from the electric powerplant to warm the cabin and the typical diesel engine vibration is almost eliminated by the use of active engine mounts or dampers. (Land Rover have been using this technology for the last decade)
The Q7 e-tron will also be able to use its Sat-Nav to analyse the route and relay the most fuel efficient way to your destination.
The Q7 e-tron will become the flagship model in the Q7 range it has yet to be priced but we do know the Germans will be the first to get their hands on the hybrid SUV by 2016, estimates put it in the £85k-90k bracket.
Audi are late to the plugin-hybrid SUV party but no doubt will plan on reversing that trend when Q7 e-tron launch date nears.