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The Audi SQ7 is a 435bhp diesel SUV
Audi adds tri-turbocharged V8 diesel to Q7. Result is plentiful speed and all the torque
Another day, another face-bendingly powerful SUV. Take a step backward to gaze upon the outsize countenance of the Audi SQ7. And all 664 of its torques.
It also kicks out 435bhp. That gets the SQ7 from zero to 62 in comfortably under five seconds. The urge comes from novel technology. It’s a new V8 4.0 diesel with three turbos. Two are your usual exhaust-driven items, but the third is a world-first electrically driven turbo.
OK, tech-heads, pay attention. The two conventional turbos aren’t even conventionally disposed. Rather than a one-per-bank arrangement, they sit in the V. The first is for light acceleration and cruising. The second one comes into play for big efforts.
The electric turbo snuggles up to the engine, after the intercoolers. It’s powered by a 48 volt motor so can spin-up in less than a quarter of a second. It uses about 10bhp when running at full load. That might sound significant, but after all some belt-drive superchargers on petrol engines absorb up to 100bhp. “With this solution, turbo lag is history,” says Audi. Yeah well, we’ll see, but the idea is certainly ruddy canny.
There’s more. The valve lift is variable, and each of the two exhaust valves in each cylinder is independently controlled. One set is piped to the light-load turbo while the other set stays shut. To get the second blower into play, the second set of exhaust valves is activated.
Meanwhile flaps control the path of gas through the silencers, so the driver can call up an extra dose of V8 aural Sturm und Drang.
With the 48 volt system on board, the SQ7 also has some advanced suspension control. The anti-roll bars are uncoupled for straight-road driving, helping comfort. But in a bend, 48-volt actuators recouple the bars to keep the action suitably sporty.
Front and rear systems are separately controlled so the suspension engineers have been able to set up variable understeer and oversteer balance depending on speed, driver inputs and so on.
Roll stabilisation like this isn’t new, but the 48-volt system (also used in the related Bentley Bentayga) is faster-acting and lighter.
In other news, the SQ7 is loaded with LED headlights, new bumpers, more aluminium trim and, natch, special wheels. Inside it gets sports seats and a re-trim in S house style.
Luscious prospect, welcome technical innovation or pointless way to make seven people very car-sick? Let us know below.