In case you haven’t noticed, Audi and parent company Volkswagen have been torching auto shows around the world in recent months. First VW dropped the XL Sport with a Ducati engine in Paris; next Audi seduced Los Angeles with its drop-dead Prologue concept car. Mix in some practical cars and a few hydrogen concepts, and it’s enough to get the impression the automaker is trying to take over the world. The new Audi Q7 set to debut in Detroit will probably reinforce that impression, if in a less flashy way.
The 2016 Audi Q7
In case you didn’t have a grasp on 2015 models yet, Audi is doing you one better with the 2016 Q7. Lighter, more powerful, more efficient, and with a plug-in hybrid variant up its sleeve, the new Q7 seems set to continue Audi’s policy of scorched earth at the Detroit Auto Show in January. To build the hype a little, the automaker even released a 7,000-word statement — that’s right, longer than your AP Government final paper — to tell the world what the Q7 will bring to planet earth. We’ll attempt to pluck out the interesting stuff.
For starters, the 2016 Q7 is coming in 717 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. Its engines will be either 28% more efficient (TFSI) or 23% more efficient (TDI) depending on how you roll. Meanwhile, the Q7 will not lose any space, so it will remain the roomiest in its class. A deeper dive into the engines reveals the new Audi SUV is going to be more powerful than any other four-wheel-drive model out there. In the 3.0 TFSI, there’s a stout 328 horsepower to play with, while the 3.0-liter TDI reports for duty with 268 horses.
If that didn’t grab you, we dare you to shrug off the plug-in diesel hybrid variant that will produce over 500 pounds-feet of torque.
Q7 diesel plug-in
Audi didn’t simply rhapsodize about its gas engines for 14 typed pages. No, the automaker’s press corps took time to wax poetic about the diesel plug-in hybrid that sounds like something we have never seen before. Indeed, we haven’t.
The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro “will be launched a short time later,” and when it does, it will crank 369 horsepower and 516.3 pounds-feet of torque between its diesel engine and electric motor. Just when you think you love this vehicle, Audi casually mentions it gets 138 miles per gallon. (Sure, it’s the European testing cycle, but still.) Let’s say you are just running to the store and back. Well, your four-wheel-drive plug-in diesel hybrid will have 35 miles of electric range to run out, so there will be countless ways to enjoy electric-vehicle mode.
In short, Audi has a small monument planned for Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) where the Q7 will make its debut in January. More space, more options, more power, and less fuel consumption, plus a plug-in diesel hybrid. Apparently, Audi has only begun making noise around the world.