Released in early 2015, the new Q7 managed to become one of the better cars in its class. The car now uses an entirely new modular chassis, more aluminum, and high strength steel. While Audi did say that the car could lose more than 700 pounds, due to the fact it now also has more equipment onboard, the new Q7 can only be around 300 pounds lighter which is still a massive improvement. However, the running gear is what makes it great, so the added weight can easily be disregarded. With the new model, they also released, this time, more recently, the 2017 Audi Q7 E-Tron TDI which is the plug-in version of the new Q7. In Europe, the car will be priced from the equivalent of $88,000. In the US, on the other hand, it still is unclear if it will be available considering VW’s problems with their diesel-engined cars.
PLATFORM AND RUNNING GEAR
Like with the regular Q7, the new E-Tron is based on the same MLB Evo platform as the Bentayga or the upcoming Lamborghini SUV. Using a lot more aluminum as well as high strength steel, this new platform is a lot more structurally rigid than before. This allows them to have a more comfortable car while also being better to drive. However, the E-Tron also has 445 pounds of batteries under the trunk’s floor. It seems that these do affect the handling slightly but the batteries also somehow make the car more comfortable over small bumps.
2017 AUDI Q7 E-TRON TDI ENGINE
Let’s move to the most interesting part of the 2017 Audi Q7 E-Tron TDI, its engine. While most manufacturers prefer petrol engines in their hybrids, Audi took a different route. The prime mover here is a 3 liter turbocharged V6 diesel which is capable of 258 horsepower. This is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox which drives all four wheels. A small 94 kW engine has been installed in the gearbox which can run the car all by itself, when tested in the European cycle, for up to 35 miles. The total combined output of the system is 373 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. However, unlike many other hybrid cars, the Q7 E-Tron can’t charge its batteries while driving. This means that when the 35 miles are depleted, the car will end up with more than 400 pounds of dead weight in the trunk. The regenerative brakes will only charge the batteries in order to keep them alive. This is a bit unfortunate but it will still allow the Q7 to drive in certain cities where diesel cars are not allowed. Thanks to its diesel engine the car will be able to drive for up to 800 miles which are better than many others.
DESIGN – INSIDE AND OUT
Visually, the new 2017 Audi Q7 E-Tron TDI is pretty much identical to the regular model. The front end is identical, and it is as low and as wide as the new Q7. The only real difference over the regular Q7 is the missing exhaust system at the back which is now hidden behind the rear bumper.
The cabin of the new Q7 is also quite impressive but no different than that of the base Q7. The instrument cluster features Audi’s new virtual cockpit which lets the driver customize its experience. Its dashboard is quite minimalistic. Despite that, the materials used inside the car such as the aluminum and leather really elevate the experience. Unfortunately, the E-Tron is only available as a five-seat model. This is because the battery is pretty much where the two extra seats would be. Luckily though the storage space is plenty and despite having batteries in the back, the trunk’s floor is quite low.