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Audi Q7 news - Detroit show: Audi Q7 V12 TDi - 2007

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Yawn. Another Audi Q7. Another diesel. By rights, Audi’s Detroit flagship should have journalists collapsing soporifically in the aisles.

Not quite. This none-too-humble-looking beast is the most powerful production diesel in the world.

It boasts the first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a series production car - a modified version of Audi’s Le Mans-winning oil-burner - producing 500bhp and a staggering 738ft lb of torque.

Audi reckons the V12 TDi will help the Q7 hit 60mph in 5.5 seconds - no mean feat for such a weighty vehicle - and continue all the way on to 155mph before the electronic limiter kicks in.

The front end has been modified, with a brace of massive air intakes on either side of the pedestrian-grating grill.

Yes, its face still looks like an angry robot hippo, but all that barely contained aggression at least makes more sense with such a potent engine under the bonnet.

Wondering why Audi chose to showcase its record-breaking diesel in an SUV? Simple. It’s the only vehicle in the line-up with an engine bay that’ll fit the V12…

Read Audi Q7 car review

Audi Q7 road tests

Audi Q7 3.6 V6 FSI S-Line - June 1, 2007

Audi Q7 3.6 V6 FSI - June 1, 2006

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