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First look: Audi cleans up Q7

Cleaner: The introduction of low-sulphur diesel fuel in Australia means vehicles such as the Audi Q7 diesel range might get the local green light.

Clean diesels headline Audi’s facelifted Q7 SUV range, due here late this year

16 Apr 2009

AUDI has improved Q7 fuel consumption and emissions in a midlife makeover due in Australia late this year – three years after the seven-seat luxury SUV was launched here.

Audi Australia general manager of corporate communications Anna Burgdorf said local timing was not 100 per cent confirmed, but the revised Q7 could be expected around the end of the year.

The revised Q7 line-up receives what is claimed to be “the world’s cleanest diesel technology”, which Audi Australia is investigating for local release after tighter diesel fuel standards were mandated here.

“As part of our Progressive Performance strategy, we are certainly very interested to see clean diesel technology arrive in Australia,” Ms Burgdorf said.

“The major hurdle to date has been the level of sulphur in our fuel. I understand that we now officially legislate for less than 10ppm (parts per million) and therefore will qualify for clean diesel technology.

“I can’t confirm that it will definitely come at the moment, but we are definitely looking into its viability for Australian customers.”

7 center imageRevealed in Germany yesterday and due in dealerships across Europe by July, the upgraded Q7 is headlined by a more powerful yet more efficient 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 – one of the Q7’s six direct-injection engines.

According to Europe’s combined average fuel consumption standard, the upgraded Q7 3.0 TDI consumes 9.1 litres of diesel per 100km, down from the 10.5L/100km official average achieved by the current model in Australia where the Q7 became available in September 2006.

At the same time, performance output rises from 171kW of power and 500Nm of torque, to 176kW and 550Nm.

The clean diesel version is even more frugal at 8.9L/100km, and not only meets North America’s strict LEV II Bin 5 emissions standard but already complies with Euro VI regulations not in force until 2014.

It does so thanks to an advanced version of the 3.0 TDI’s common-rail injection system that delivers 2000 bars of pressure, new combustion chamber sensors and a high-performance exhaust recirculating system.

The latter includes a DeNOx catalytic converter that reduces the remaining nitrogen oxides. Just upstream of the converter, a pump injects an additive called AdBlue (which is replenished during servicing) which decomposes into ammonia, splitting nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water.

The same technology has been applied to the Q7 4.2 TDI, which reduces the consumption of its V8 diesel engine from 11.1 to 9.9L/100km while increasing peak power from 240 to 250kW. Maximum torque remains 760Nm (from 1750rpm).

Dubbed as the world’s most powerful diesel SUV, the Q7 V12 TDI is due here within months, delivering 368kW of power and a staggering 1000Nm of torque from a 6.0-litre V12 diesel engine that’s closely related to Audi’s three-times Le Mans-winning R10 TDI. As before, it can sprint to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds and return 11.3L/100km.

As for the Q7’s two petrol engines, the 3.6 FSI’s 3.6-litre V6 continues to offer 206kW/360Nm but consumption drops from 12.7 to 12.1L/100km, while the Q7 4.2 FSI delivers the same 257kW/440Nm but lowers its consumption from 13.8 to 12.7L/100km.

Both engines employ regenerative braking technology from the diesel Q7’s Modular Efficiency Platform. Mechanical energy captured during braking and coasting is converted into electrical energy and stored in the battery, reducing CO2 emissions by up to a claimed five grams a kilometre.

All 2010 Q7s will feature a redesigned version of Audi’s trademark single-frame grille (with a black high-gloss finish contrasting with chromed vertical bars), plus different front bumpers with contrasting black or grey lower sections and a ribbed-design for the newly integrated underbody protection feature. There are also modified side door mouldings.

Rear Q7 bumpers also receive two-tone paintwork, while the tailgate features a modified registration plate area. Like the Q7’s bonnet and quarter panels, the latter is still made from weight-saving aluminium.

Among the fresh Q7 options is a new adaptive light system that integrates the low-beam, high-beam and special superhighway beam with the turning and cornering lights. Daytime LED running lights are available with Xenon headlights, while the front indicators are also composed of LEDs arranged in a straight line.

Four new exterior paint colours bring the total to 11 and include Ibis White, Graphite Gray metallic, Teak Brown metallic, and Orca Black metallic. The exterior also adds the option of an aluminium package, which comprises chrome bars in the bumpers and door mouldings, body-coloured lower bumper sections and a contrasting-colour for the centre of the front apron and rear diffuser.

The interior of the 5.09-metre Q7, which rides on a lengthy three-metre wheelbase, also comes in for a mild cosmetic makeover, led by a redesigned instrument cluster comprising metallic frames for the large round dials.

Interior lights are now fitted in the door linings, the passenger side features a new inlay and chrome highlights have been added to a range of controls. Interior colours are also revised, via the addition of Para Brown, Savannah Beige and Cardamon Beige leather colours.

Read more:

Audi debuts king of diesels

First drive: Audi's Q7 V8 turbo-diesel delights

Audi stuns with V12 diesel for Q7


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