The Audi Q7 only recently underwent a complete overhaul and already it is getting better. Today, Audi announced that the Q7 lineup will gain a new performance variant in the SQ7 TDI, The important part is that this model doesn’t use your typical turbo-diesel engine. This new powerplant uses an electric supercharger to help fill the gap between pedal mash to full turbo spool. This makes it the first-ever production car with an electric supercharger.
On the outside, the SQ7 is about what we’d expect from any Audi S model. It features upgraded wheels, flared wheel wells, an S-specific Singleframe grille, special front and rear aprons, aluminum side air inlets, mirror caps and door inlays, and four-exit rectangular tailpipes. Also standard are the Matrix LED headlights.
The SQ7’s 12 available exterior colors give buyers plenty of options.
Inside, the SQ7, like the rest of the Q7 lineup, can seat up to seven people. Unlike the rest of its siblings, the S model has specific cabin add-ons. These include standard sports seats, analogue gauges with grey faces and white needles, a power tailgate, LED lights in the luggage area, MMI Navigation, available sports seats plus, available ambient lighting, and optional 19- or 23-speaker sound systems.
Under the hood lies what makes the SQ7 TDI really special. This is where you’ll find its 4.0-liter V-8 TDI engine with dual turbos. One turbo spools up under low and intermediate loads while the other only kicks in under heavier loads. This leaves a small area at the bottom of the rev band unaccounted for, and this is where this model’s exclusive electric supercharger comes in to deliver the goods right off idle. The end result is a massive 429 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.
The electric supercharger is driven by a small motor that takes just 250 milliseconds to kick in and get its wheel spinning at speeds up to 70,000 rpm. A 48-volt electrical subsystem is responsible for powering this electric supercharger, and this power is provided by a MOSFET generator.
All of this advanced tech gets the big SQ7 TDI up to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph. In addition to its outrageous performance, this massive people hauler also gets up to 38.2 mpg combined on the New European Driving Cycle—that would likely amount to roughly a 28 mpg combined rating on the EPA’s tighter rating system.
The SQ7 TDI will be available or order in the U.K. starting in May 2016 with deliveries anticipated in August. Prices will be released at a later date. There is no mention of a U.S. release, but I suggest not holding your breath for that.