The Car Guide is en route to Vosges, France to test the new Audi SQ7 TDI, the most powerful of the Q7 family of SUVs. It’s equipped with a 4.0-litre turbodiesel mill that churns out 435 horsepower and a whopping 664 lb.-ft. of torque. With these figures, it’s the most powerful factory-standard diesel engine on the planet.
This engine stands out technically with two turbochargers as well as a compressor powered by a 7-kW electric motor. It runs on a 48-volt lithium-ion battery stored under the cargo floor.
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With the ability to reach 70 000 rpm in less than a quarter of a second, the supercharger enables the engine to pull off insane accelerations with absolutely no lag in response time for this full-size ute. This innovative technology has been several years in the making and was even featured on the RS 5 TDI coupe prototype that my colleague Sylvain Raymond was lucky enough to test drive.
For the SQ7 TDI, Audi’s engineers are calling for a 4.8-second time to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h, which is faster than the 5.5 seconds it took the old Q7 TDI with the 500-horsepower V12. This vehicle was never sold in North America, but I had the chance to drive it briefly in Germany.
The SQ7 TDI is going to have to meet Canadian emissions standards before it can be sold here, but that shouldn’t be a problem, since the falsified figures posted by Volkswagen Group seem to only concern the 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre diesel engines. Check back in a few days for our complete review of this eyebrow-raising luxury SUV.