Audi has been working hard to make its new Q7 SUV fighting fit for 2015.
The latest car is significantly lighter, more efficient and has a raft of new technologies, including a hybrid powertrain option.
The latest Audi Q7 isn’t what you’d call light, tipping the scales at 1,995kg, but it is a massive 325kg lighter than its predecessor – the equivalent of a concert grand piano, according to Audi.
Audi has achieved such weight saving with clever material choices. It’s constructed the doors, bonnet, front wings and rear hatch entirely from the strong, light metal. The largest weight-saving component of all is the body shell, which accounts for a 71kg reduction on the previous part.
What does this mean for fuel efficiency? Well, the entry-level car will use a more efficient version of Audi’s 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine, which delivers 47.8mpg and 153g/km of CO2, while delivering an impressive 272PS. A second variant of the same engine, to be released later, promises even better (unconfirmed) fuel economy, albeit while delivering just 218ps.
If fuel economy and low emissions are paramount, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the plug-in hybrid version of the Q7, known as the Q7 e-tron quattro.
Scheduled to arrive in 2015, this will use a six-cylinder diesel, an electric motor and a sizeable 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack that work together to deliver a whopping 166mpg with a CO2 equivalent of less than 50g/km.
In pure electric mode, the plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 will have a driving range of 34.8 miles.
Thats not to say the hybrid is purely focused on economy – oh no. It’s also a strong performer. The 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine produces 258PS, while the electric motor, which is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic gearbox, manages 94Kw, for an equivalent system output of 373 PS with a whopping 700Nm of torque.
It’ll do 0-62mph 6 seconds dead and carry on unto 139mph, giving some sports cars a run for their money.
The new Audi Q7 will make its appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2015, with first deliveries expected in summer 2015.
New Audi Q7 pictures