After debuting the standard version of the all-new three-row SUV at Detroit in January, Audi has debut their Q7 e-tron at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The automaker says the Q7 e-tron will be the first ever plug-in hybrid car with a six-cylinder diesel engine and permanent all-wheel drive when it goes on sale in Germany in the spring of 2016.
Powering the Q7 e-tron is Audi’s 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine, which produces 258 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a 126 horsepower, 258 lb-ft electric motor, the Q7 e-tron boasts a total output of 373 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a 0-62 mph time of six seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Audi also says the Q7 e-tron will return 138.4 US mpg and a total range of around 876 miles.
A 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides enough juice for the disc-shaped electric motor to power the Q7 e-tron for around 35 miles. The motor is located within the eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and sends its power directly to the full-time all-wheel drive system. Audi says the car will generally start in electric mode with the driver having to press the pedal down past a certain point of resistance to activate the TDI engine. A second pressure point is also employed in the pedal, enabling the TDI engine and electric motor to work in unison.
The Q7 e-tron will arrive with four different driving modes for the hybrid drivetrain. An EV mode prioritizes electric driving, Audi says, while a standard hybrid mode decides on the type of drive to use freely. There’s also a battery hold mode, which will preserve the vehicle’s electric charge for you, and a charge mode, which will use the TDI engine to charge the battery.
If all the advanced hybrid tech wasn’t enough to impress you, there’s more. When the driver lets off the accelerator pedal, the hybrid system will disconnect from the driveline for greater efficiency. If the transmission is in ‘S’ it will begin to recover energy as the car coasts, giving the driver control of the process through the steering wheel paddles.
The Q7’s MMI navigation is closely linked to its hybrid drive system. Real time traffic data is used to suggest the best of the four driving modes for the greatest fuel efficiency at a certain time. Using the available front-mount camera, the Q7 e-tron will also scan the road ahead for slower traffic or intersections and decide whether to use its coasting mode or automatically controlled regenerative deceleration to slow the car.
Inside, the Q7 e-tron offers up all the same amenities as gasoline or diesel-powered versions of the full-size SUV, including a heads-up display, climate controlled seats and a panoramic glass sun roof. From the exterior, you’ll be able to differentiate between the e-tron and standard Q7s thanks to a specially-designed single frame grille, rear diffuser and air intakes and model exclusive 19-inch wheels.