2011 Audi Q7 3.0T S line
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Rumors out of Australia say we'll be seeing a new variant of the Audi Q7 when the next-generation models bows in a few years. Joining the diesel and gas range will be the second production member of Audi's E-Tron family, which was introduced by the R8 E-Tron, but will actually see production in the form of the A3 E-Tron.

Speaking with Audi's managing director in Australia, Andrew Doyle, Car Advice asked what the future held now that the electrified R8 had effectively been shelved. "I don't see it [R8 E-Tron] as a major thing for us. We'll launch [locally] with A3, followed by Q7..."

The new Q7 will share its platform with the Volkswagen Group's two other large SUVs, the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. But, as Car Advice is quick to point out, the Porsche and VW variants are slated for arrive next year - the second-generation Q7 won't arrive until 2015. Doyle refused to explain the discrepancy.

Car Advice seemed to think the Q7 E-Tron will end up being a gas-electric hybrid, but we wouldn't be so sure. Audi has hinted that it will tap into its Le Mans-winning, diesel-electric know-how for an eventual production car, and considering the Q7 has a fairly strong association with diesel, both in the US and abroad, it seems like it'd be a solid candidate for the race-proven technology. This could also explain the extra lead time between the arrival of the Q7 and its platform mates. Looks like we'll need to wait until 2015 to find out.


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