America may not buy enough hot hatchbacks to justify Audi shipping their new RS3 Sportback across the Atlantic, but if there’s one thing they do buy, it’s SUVs. You can be sure then that North America will be receiving the all-new Q7 SUV, which Audi released full details on today ahead of its reveal at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
The all-new SUV is 716 lbs lighter than the previous-generation Q7, thanks mostly in part to Volkswagen’s new MLB platform, which has been made stiffer and lighter through the use of ultra-high-strength steel and aluminum. Also contributing to the massive weight savings is an aluminum hood and aluminum doors and fenders.
The base engine will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, while the company’s 3.0-liter supercharged gasoline and TDI diesel V6 engines will also be on offer. The gas V6 makes 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft, while the diesel makes 272 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. All Q7s come with a new eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ automatic transmission.
As expected, a plug-in Q7 e-tron will also be available. This package combines the 3.0-liter TDI engine with a 17.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, making for a combined output of 373 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Audi also expects the Q7 hybrid to return around 166 European MPG, impressive considering it will also achieve a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.
The new Q7 will also boast a rear-wheel steering system, which turns the rear wheels opposite from the front wheels at low speeds, giving the SUV additional agility. The system will also turn the rear wheels in conjunction with the fronts at speed for additional handling performance. Audi’s torque-vectoring quattro all-wheel drive can also distribute up to 85 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels and 70 percent to the fronts as needed.
The Q7 has received Audi’s latest clean, crisp interior styling treatments, which made their debut in the latest TT. There’s a pop-up navigation screen, a clutter-free dash with buttons reserved for the HVAC controls and a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display in the place of traditional analog dials.
German Q7 orders will open in the summer of 2015, with prices starting at 61,000 euros ($76,000 USD, at current exchange rates). Stay tuned for additional information following the debut of the 2016 Q7 in Detroit early next month.