Audi Q7 e-tron quattro: 166mpg

Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

The new Audi Q7 e-tron quattro is the first diesel plug-in hybrid with quattro drive from Audi, and in its segment, and it offers the potential of 166mpg and sub-50g/km CO2 emissions, as well as an electric-only range of up to 34 miles.

Making its world public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Q7 e-tron quattro combines a TDI engine with lithium-ion battery technology for a potential range of up to 876 miles and the ability to travel emission-free for over 34 miles on electric power.

With a system output of 373 PS and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) system torque, the Q7 e-tron quattro accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.0 seconds, and continues up to a top speed of 139 mph.

Like all Audi hybrid models, the Q7 e-tron quattro has also been designed as a parallel hybrid. The 3.0 TDI is the latest-generation V6 diesel engine, delivering 258 PS of power and 600 Nm of torque. Active engine mounts – a world first for a diesel engine – eliminate unwanted vibrations through selective counter pulses.

The disc-shaped electric motor provides 94 kW and 350 Nm of torque. Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The automatic transmission has high efficiency and low weight. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive transmits power to all four wheels. During fast cornering, its centre differential works closely with the wheel-selective torque control system.

The lithium-ion battery consists of 168 battery cells and is fluid-cooled. With a capacity of 17.3 kWh, it allows a 34.8 mile range in electric mode.

Another efficiency component is the standard thermal management system with integrated heat pump, specially developed for the Q7 e-tron quattro. This makes it possible for the waste heat from the electrical drive components to be made available to the interior of the Q7 e-tron quattro. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to introduce this technology in series production in a plug-in hybrid.

The new two-phase charging technology installed in the new Q7 e-tron quattro allows charging with up to 7.2 kW of power. Depending on the infrastructure (appropriate high-performance industrial socket) and the charging cable, full charging of the battery takes about two and a half hours.

The hybrid management system controls the operating states of the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro. The driver can choose between four modes. The EV mode prioritises electric driving, while in hybrid mode hybrid management decides on the type of drive. In battery hold mode, the system stores the available electrical energy, and charges the battery in battery charge mode.

When the hybrid mode is active and the eight-speed tiptronic with integrated electric motor is in shift position D, the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro changes to coasting mode once the driver takes his foot off the accelerator. The TDI and electric motor are then deactivated. Should the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro approach a slower vehicle ahead or a traffic circle or the city limit, the coasting mode ends in favour of controlled regenerative deceleration. To detect the traffic situation ahead, the data from MMI navigation plus, the front camera and (if adaptive cruise control is on board) the radar sensors are used.

When driving in shift position S and in the battery charge mode, energy recovery begins as soon as the driver releases the accelerator. The driver can progressively influence the degree of recuperation by operating the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The majority of all brake applications in everyday use also occur via the electric motor. In the event of moderate or sharper deceleration, the hydraulic brakes come into play.

The MMI navigation plus is closely integrated in the hybrid management system in the Q7 e-tron quattro. Based on the navigation data and real-time traffic information, the most fuel-efficient choice of four modes can be calculated along the route to the destination as soon as the car is started, even for long distances.

UK ordering for the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro is expected to open at the end of 2015.

Read our Audi A3 e-tron reviews