• Oct 27th 2010 at 10:01AM
  • 14
2011 Audi Q7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that a seven-passenger, diesel-fueled luxury SUV like the Audi Q7 consumes an average of 7.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (32.7 miles per gallon U.S.). Would this be considered a green machine? Well, we'd go with "yes" and here's why: some drivers simply must have seating for seven. So, which vehicles seat a driver and six others, perform admirably, emit a reasonable a 189 grams of CO2 per kilometer and return 32.7 mpg? Audi's new 3.0-liter V6 TDI-equipped Q7 SUV does.

The Q7 3.0 TDI cranks out a paltry 204 horsepower, but with 332 pound-feet of torque on tap, this new mill propels the luxury SUV to 60 miles per hour in 9.1 seconds. That's not exactly sports car territory but, as we mentioned above, this Audi focuses on being green. With that in mind, Audi equipped the TDI-powered Q7 with a eight-speed tiptronic transmission and extensively reworked the engine internals to reduce weight and minimize friction. Audi's labor paid off, resulting in a finished product that is more efficient than all of its direct competitors.

On a side note, many of our astute readers will quickly point out that the Q7 is already offered with an optional 3.0-liter TDI mill. In fact, you can order Audi's Q7 equipped with one right now, but that mill, unlike the Euro V-compliant one described above, only returns a combined 20 mpg. Hit the jump for more on Audi's new 3.0-liter TDI engine.

Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Audi]


Highly efficient – the new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro with 150 kW

* fuel efficiency of just 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 km
* eight-speed tiptronic and quattro drive

Audi has added a new and especially efficient member to its Q7 family. The Q7 3.0 TDI offers 150 kW (204 hp) while consuming an average of just 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 km (32.67 miles per U.S. gallon) – better than all direct competitors. At the same time, a 3.0 liter V6 drives this large SUV powerfully and smoothly. An eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive round out the luxurious drivetrain.

The new V6 TDI in the Q7 is a high-tech engine. It weighs far less than 200 kilograms (440.92 lb) and extensive measures minimize internal friction. Innovative thermal management – a new feature of many Audi engines – is particularly complex in the 3.0 TDI. The crankcase and the cylinder heads have separate cooling water circuits; coolant is not circulated within the block while the engine is warming up.

A common-rail system with lightning-fast piezo injectors provides injection pressure up to 2,000 bar; the turbocharger and the camshafts' control times have been optimized for maximum efficiency. A start-stop system deactivates the engine as soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, and an energy recovery system – standard for the entire model line – stores energy during deceleration.

The EU 5 classification for this new entry model in the Q7 family will come as no surprise, just like its high fuel efficiency. On average, it needs 7.2 liters per 100 km (32.67 miles per U.S. gallon). And its CO2 equivalent is just 189 grams per km (304.17 grams per mile) – no other large SUV from a European brand boasts such a low value. The efficient TDI delivers 150 kW (204 hp). Its maximum torque becomes available just above the idling point: 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) remain constant between 1,250 and 2,750 rpm.

This large SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.1 seconds. In the version with an optional air suspension, it reaches a top speed of 205 km/h (127.38 mph); with steel suspension, 202 km/h (125.52 mph).

The Q7 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) offers the same power transmission as all other models in this line. The new and efficient eight-speed tiptronic – with its high overall gear ratio – delivers torque to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which has a sporty rear-end bias. Double wishbones made of aluminum guide all four wheels; the chassis delivers great agility and stability. An off-road mode and a hill-descent assistant aid off-road driving.

With a wheelbase measuring 3.00 meters (9.84 feet) and an overall length of 5.09 meters (16.70 feet), the interior offers plenty of room. Audi offers the Q7 with five, six or seven seats. The luggage compartment offers as much as 2,035 liters of capacity (71.87 cubic ft). This new entry model's standard equipment package includes two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, a high-beam assistant, and an MMI radio multimedia interface.

Options include climate-controlled comfort seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, an electric tailgate, and a load-securing kit with rails for cargo. Sophisticated driver-assistance systems and a system of ultramodern infotainment modules round out the offer.

Despite a generous equipment package, this model line's new entry model costs just 51,800 euros in Germany. This basic price makes the Q7 more affordable than all of its direct competitors.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago

      This is what I mean when the Volt has a terrible ICE powertrain. This thing is big and heavy and gets similar mpg. Cause it's made properly. Good job Audi and good job German engineering. American politicians laud their ingenuity but the best part of American automotive engineering is always non-American!
        • 8 Months Ago
        *to cylinder travel
        • 8 Months Ago
        this is not done right. and diesel is much easier to pull mileage out of than gasoline. the Volt is far from perfect but this is worse. much
        • 8 Months Ago
        This in the EU cycle. It is far kinder. For example, the Prius is rated at about 65mpg (US gallons) on that cycle, whereas on the US cycle it is rated at 50mpg.
        • 8 Months Ago
        By made properly I mean the tolerances and various radios (cylinder bore to cylinder and fuel richness) are properly worked out. Nothing beats German ICE efficiency when just considering the engine. Even ford makes a much better engine than GM. To GM's credit* though, they're just too cash strapped to design new blocks right now.

        *credit meaning "excuse"
      • 8 Months Ago
      This looks pimp. 3.0 V6 TDi? I'm sold.
      • 8 Months Ago
      You're looking at more like 25-26mpg on a US cycle for this car. This is still a good figure, but it's nothing like the 32 listed.

      Guys, you deal with this issue weekly, learn not to make the mistake of directly comparing EU cycle and US cycle figures.
        • 8 Months Ago
        No doubt. But whilst the stop start is not going to help much in the US testing cycle, it will for practical driving, so the European figures may prove more realistic for most drivers.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Big jump from 20 to 32 mpg, but not completely unexpected from a diesel.

      It's "greener" than before but still not green.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I would go with no : )
      it's curious how so many have such a hard time understand that toning down Rush Limbaugh by 20% doesn't make him sane. just slightly less insane. slightly.
      he should be put down completely. same with pure ICE. and soft steel cars for that matter. this celebration of waste is not green in the slightest. it is the direct opposite of green.
      • 8 Months Ago
      @Eric Loveday and other Autoblog Green writers, it's not just the units, it's the test cycle! This is a European press release, therefore European test cycle, therefore better fuel economy numbers than the EPA mpg. I guarantee this won't get 32.7 mpg on the USA cycle.

      Part of the reason this gets good fuel economy figures is its micro-hybrid technology (stop-start with energy recovery). But AFAIK *none* of the European car makers sell their micro-hybrid models in the USA, because it doesn't improve mpg on the EPA test. So sad.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I still think that Audi needs to cut waaay down on the weight of this thing. At 5,567 pounds, it's heavy as hell. I am surprised this thing can get 32 MPG.
        • 8 Months Ago
        It think the engine is pretty wimpy for its size too. Cut down the weight by 500-1000 lbs and drop a 4.0 TDI V8 and it would be much better.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Yeah, it's impressive for it's weight, but i do wonder if it could do better.
        Needs to lose 500lbs!
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