|Plug-in hybrid with 34-mile electric-only range and 156mpg capability makes Swiss curtain call before UK ordering begins in May
◾First plug-in hybrid model from the Audi Q family for the European market
◾Expected to open for order in the UK in May priced at circa £65,000 OTR
◾Spacious five-seater with SUV agility and remarkable hybrid efficiency
The Audi Q7 e-tron will soon be a familiar sight on UK roads, albeit often without a familiar sound as it travels in near silence for up to 34 miles under electric power alone. Ahead of next week's Geneva Motor Show, in which the premium plug-in hybrid will play a starring role on the Audi stand, pricing for the German market has just been confirmed ready for ordering to commence in March. The UK will follow suit in May, with pricing set to start in the region of £65,000 OTR.
Combining a powerful V6 TDI engine with a 94kW electric motor and quattro all-wheel-drive, the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro sets standards with 275 kW (373 hp) of system power and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of system torque. It accelerates from a standing start to 62mph in 6.2 seconds and returns up to 156.9mpg based on NEDC test results. Its lithium-ion battery can be charged from the socket and stores 17.3 kWh. With its electric range of up to 34 miles, the SUV delivers compromise-free everyday mobility.
The e-tron badge stands for innovation and the pinnacle of technological sophistication, so the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro has been equipped for the UK to reflect this. Highlights will include LED headlights, MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch, the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with its incredible flicker-free digital rendering, the Audi smartphone interface embedding Apple Car Play or Google Android Auto functionality in the car's onboard infotainment system via a compatible connected handset, and Audi connect bringing the many benefits of internet access to the car.
The Audi connect module links to the Internet via the high-speed LTE standard, and with the help of the Audi MMI connect app, it enables owners to use a smartphone to remotely control the charging process and interior climate control, and to access data relating to previous journeys.
Predictive efficiency assistant
One particular standard feature that will be of particular relevance to the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro with its focus on optimal energy usage will be the Predictive Efficiency Assistant. This innovative system has the potential to reduce fuel consumption on interurban roads by as much as ten per cent by using the route data from the navigation system to alert the driver to situations in which it would make sense to reduce speed, such as before bends, towns or speed limit signs that are not yet visible.
Working with adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic sign recognition, it adapts the preselected speed to the route and the speed limits, and can also take over predictive control of the free-wheeling function of the eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
In the UK, charging of the new Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro will be taken care of using one of two cables. A 16A 3.6 kW version will be included as standard and will provide a full charge in as little as 4 hours and 45 minutes when connected to a domestic wall box or public charging point. Alternatively, an optional 23A 7.2 kW cable will be available for faster charging where the infrastructure permits this.
The standard thermal management system with integrated heat pump has been specially developed for the plug-in hybrids of the Q7 family. This makes it possible for the waste heat from the electrical drive components to be made available to the interior of the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to introduce this technology in series production in a plug-in hybrid and is thus setting new standards in the areas of interior comfort, climate control efficiency and range in EV mode.