Continuing the trend towards high-performance, high-power plug-in hybrids, Volkswagen’s luxury marque Audi has confirmed that it will be offering its all-new 2015 Q7 full-size SUV with a range of power-train options, including a plug-in all-wheel drive option.
Announced on Friday, the 2015 Audi Q7 has shed some serious weight (325 kilograms, 716 pounds) compared with its predecessor, giving the entire range a much-needed improvement in energy efficiency.
But while the majority of the Audi Q7 lineup will come with a choice of powerful TFSI gasoline or TDI diesel engines, Audi has confirmed it will launch a plug-in hybrid diesel variant of the Q7 a short time after the launch of the rest of the range. With all-wheel driven and high-performance characteristics, it will be called the Audi Q7 e-tron Quattro.
Powered by a 3.0-litre, V-6 diesel engine capable of producing 258 horsepower married to a 94 kilowatt electric motor through an eight-speed automatic transmission, Audi says the Audi Q7 e-tron Quattro has a combined power output of 373 horsepower and can produce up to 516 pound feet of torque.
In its sportiest setting, that equates to a 0-62 mph acceleration in 6 seconds flat, while using just the electric motor on its own results in a markedly slower acceleration time. While Audi hasn’t given a 0-62 mph time in electric only mode, 0-37 mph takes 6.1 seconds with the diesel engine switched off.
Like the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid we told you about last week, the Audi Q7 e-tron Quattro isn’t designed primarily as an electric car. Instead, it uses its plug-in hybrid drivetrain to help reduce its overall tailpipe emissions.
That said, like the Volvo XC90 T8, the Audi Q7 e-tron Quattro is capable of all-electric operation, and its 17.3 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is expected to offer around 25-30 miles of electric only range when driven in real-world conditions.
Built on the same MLB-Evo platform — which will eventually underpin all of the Volkswagen Group’s larger vehicles — the Audi Q7 e-tron Quattro could prove useful in predicting future plug-in hybrid models from the rest of the Audi range.
Prices and launch dates are yet to be announced, but as always, we’ll bring you them when we have them. Given the size and likely price however, the Q7 e-tron Quattro will likely enter the same price range as the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV and Tesla Model X.
And that will make the segment very interesting indeed.
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