New Models - Audi Q7
Audi lands V8 oiler for its Q7 uber-SUV
Q-ship: Two Q7 4.2 TDIs took part in Audi’s across-Australia ‘Trans-Continental Crossing’ event in September 2007.
Bruising 240kW/760Nm 4.2-litre V8 turbo-diesel now available in Audi's wildest Q7
23 December 2007
AUDI has reclaimed the title of Australia’s most powerful diesel SUV with the local release of the Q7 4.2 TDI in late December.
The new king of the big but popular Q7 all-wheel drive wagon range comes priced at $123,900 and powered by the same 240kW/760Nm 4.2-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 that lurks under the $210,000 A8 4.2 TDI quattro limousine’s bonnet.
With peak torque on tap from 1800rpm, it’s not only enough to blast the 5.1-metre Q7 flagship to 100km/h in a claimed 6.4 seconds and, in another record, to a claimed top speed of 236km/h.
It also betters the previous diesel SUV performance benchmark of 230kW/750Nm set by Volkswagen’s Touareg V10 TDI ($121,990), which is a second slower to 100km/h, speed-limited to 235km/h and returns average claimed fuel consumption of 12.6L/100km. The Audi manages just 11.1L/100km.
Of course, Volkswagen’s Touareg will leapfrog the gutsiest Q7 in April, when the R50 version lands with tweaked turbos to produce 258kW and 850Nm (from 2000rpm), priced higher again at $129,990.
However, it will also be governed to 235km/h and with an official 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds, the 2.5-tonne VW fails to better Audi’s V8 diesel SUV in the traffic-light dash.
As always, Audi has another rabbit up its corporate sleeve as Volkswagen’s premium vehicle brand, and in the Q7’s case it is a ballistic new 6.0-degree 5.9-litre V12 twin-turbo diesel that delivers no less than 368kW of power and 1000Nm of torque from 1750rpm.
First revealed at the 2006 Paris motor show as Audi’s answer to high-performance luxury SUVs from Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and BMW, the Q7 V12 TDI is billed as the world’s first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a series production car.
A version of the 478kW 5.5-litre V12 TDI used in Audi’s R10 racing car, the street-legal, (2010) EU5 emissions-compliant diesel uses what Audi claims is the world’s first 2000-bar common-rail system (400-bar more than previously available).
Permanently driving all four wheels through a reinforced six-speed automatic gearbox, it can send the 2.2-tonne-plus S-badged Q7 to 100km/h in a supercar-style 5.5 seconds, has a limited top speed of 250km/h and uses only a little more distillate at 11.9L/100km.
All of that’s more than a match for the 6.0-litre petrol W12 that motivates Audi’s most expensive model, the $326,000 A8 6.0 quattro LWB sedan - not to mention garden-variety Q7 variants in the 3.6 FSI petrol ($84,900, the 3.0 TDI diesel ($86,800) and the petrol V8 4.2 FSI ($116,800), with which the Q7 4.2 TDI shares its specification level including 21-inch alloy wheels.
While the V12 Q7 will go on sale in Australia in 2008 priced at more than $130,000, a 4.2-litre V8 petrol-electric hybrid version of the Q7 will also eventuate.
For now, however, the Q7 4.2 TDI not only makes a mockery of its more pedestrian stablemates but also shades V8 diesel luxury SUV peers like the Range Rover Sport TDV8 ($108,900) and Vogue TDV8 ($142,900), both of which offer 200kW/640Nm (at 2000rpm) 3.6-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 power.
Unsurprisingly, the Audi V8 diesel even more easily out-guns Toyota’s first such engine application, in the $79,990 LandCruiser 200-Series (195kW/650Nm).
As for BMW, the upcoming twin-turbo diesel six-cylinder X5 3.0sd will be the Bavarian maker’s most powerful diesel ever when it launches here early next year, dispensing 200kW and 565Nm (at 200rpm) and priced at $102,800.
The X5 3.0sd lowers the $86,800 160kW/480Nm X5 3.0d’s 0-100km/h time from 8.6 to 7.2 seconds - 0.7 seconds slower than the 4.8-litre petrol V8-engined X5 4.8i flagship ($118,300).
However, BMW has revealed a new twin-turbo 300kW/600Nm 4.4-litre petrol V8 that returns 12.L/100km fuel consumption and will push its forthcoming X6 “coupe-SUV” to 100km/h in a claimed 5.4 seconds.
That’s 1.1 seconds smarter than the X5 4.8i and enough for the X6 xDrive50i to mix it with hyper-SUV rivals like the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG petrol V8 ($160,874) and force-fed V8s like Porsche's Cayenne Turbo ($215,200) and the supercharged Range Rover Sport V8 ($136,900).
Like all Q7s, the new SUV range-topper is available in five, six and seven-seat configurations and has a luggage capacity of 2035 litres.
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