The Audi SQ7 TDI needs to come to the U.S.
It’s no secret that the parent company of Audi, Volkswagen AG, has experienced some “problems” with diesel vehicles lately. Since I don’t work for the Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board, I’m free to imagine a world where the all-new generation of Audi Q7 will be sent to the U.S. with a diesel engine under the hood. I can also dream that the high-output SQ7 TDI will arrive with its triple-turbocharged 4.0L V-8 diesel engine and start a diesel SUV torque war in North America.
The ’17 Audi SQ7 TDI packs a massive amount of diesel grunt into a relatively lightweight package. This allows the seven-seat SUV to return almost 32 mpg while scooting from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.8 seconds!
That’s right! In Europe, Audi is building a sporty “S” version of the new Q7 with a diesel engine that creates 435 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque that starts peaking at just 1,000 rpm. It’s accomplished with the world’s first production electric turbocharger (yep, it’s powered by 48 volts of electricity and has a response time of only 250 milliseconds) along with two conventional exhaust-driven sequential turbos.
The engine under the hood of the SQ7 TDI is unlike anything ever sold in the U.S. It uses a 48-volt electric turbocharger that starts spinning in just 250 milliseconds and rotates the compressor up to 70,000 rpm. This quick-acting, low-pressure turbo mounted on the cold side of the engine combines its output with two sequential exhaust-driven turbochargers. With all three units working together, the 4.0L V-8 diesel engine produces a massive 435 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
If that isn’t enough to get your attention—how about an estimated 31.8 mpg to go along with the performance? The nearly all-aluminum fullsize SUV weighs in at around 5,000 pounds, but that heft includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, independent active stabilizers for the front and rear suspension, all-wheel steering, and seating for seven people. There’s also tons of tech and safety features, along with computerized “assistants” that will do everything from use cameras to recognize street signs to park the SQ7 TDI for you.
Along with a luxurious interior, the SQ7 TDI is packed with tons of technology, including camera-based traffic sign recognition, Audi Pre-Sense Collision Avoidance, Night Vision Assistant, and Surround View cameras.
Will the SQ7 TDI Ever Come to the U.S.?
Umm, I don’t know what to tell you. The 4.0L V-8 powerplant used in this luxury SUV isn’t involved in the scandal surrounding the 2.0L I-4 and 3.0L V-6 diesel engines. That allows me to hope this oil-burning, high-tech, hot rod, family-hauling SUV will someday be available on the used market in the U.S. I still can’t figure out how to afford a first-generation VW Touareg with its 5.0L V-10 diesel engine (and believe me, I’ve been checking Craigslist), but the more high-output used diesel vehicles for sale, the better!