Formula 1 and endurance racing are already harvesting energy from turbos on the track, and now it's apparently time for a similar idea of boosting the efficiency of forced induction to hit the streets in a high-performance, diesel SUV.

In a recent interview with the UK's Autocar, Audi technical boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg let the big news slip. "The new Q7 will be available in the market next year but the electric turbo will come a bit later in the Audi SQ7 available in 2016," he said. The e-turbo system was already rumored for the premium SUV but for the standard model, not this just-announced performance version.

Audi has been experimenting with the e-turbo system for a little while, as an electrically driven supercharger. It showed up on the RS5 TDI concept that used a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged diesel V6 plus the electric system to diminish turbo lag. In that application, it provided an impressive 385 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and an alleged sprint to 62 miles per hour in 4 seconds. Although, Dr. Hackenberg didn't make it clear if this was the exact layout for the SQ7.

According to Autocar, the sophisticated system is powered by its own, separate 48-volt electrical system that drives a 7-kilowatt (9.4 horsepower) motor to spin the supercharger. When the internal combustion engine is at low revs, it provides the needed boost but shuts off as engine revs rise to let the turbos take over.


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  • 15 Comments
      yesaninsider
      • 4 Months Ago
      Electric or not, given it's not exhaust-driven/has no turbine driven compressor, it's not a turbo...it's an electric supercharger. Or am I missing something here?
        Brian Rautio
        • 4 Months Ago
        @yesaninsider
        Correct. Turbo is short for turbine operated. Technically, I think Super=serpentine belt operated, so really, its something else. Battocharger?
        Card13
        • 4 Months Ago
        @yesaninsider
        "When the internal combustion engine is at low revs, it provides the needed boost but shuts off as engine revs rise to let the turbos take over." Judging from that line, it sounds like it uses both. It wouldn't be the first turbo/supercharging combination, but I guess it would be unique for using electricity for the supercharger.
      Cruising
      • 4 Months Ago
      " Good God, we gonna rock down to Electric Avenue And then we'll take it higher" Eddy Grant
      Scott
      • 4 Months Ago
      Is it a turbo or supercharger? This sounds like the system on the McLaren P1. That system is designed by engineering firm Ricardo.
      Aussie Aspie
      • 4 Months Ago
      This is a conventional exhaust-driven turbo - originally called a turbosupercharger ... all turbos are superchargers but all superchargers are not turbos - with the addition of an electric motor, combined together. The electric motor operates the compressor at low revs while the turbine spools up, and once this happens it works as a conventional turbo. At this point the electric motor can switch to send power to a battery, like a hi-po alternator. I suppose you could call this a turbosupercharger-supercharger ... it's a hybrid of the two. But since the electric motor is built into the same unit you can't consider this to be a turbo + a supercharger, in the same way as the VW twincharger. http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article.html?&title=Turbo-Revolution-The-Coming-Technologies-Part-2&A=110994
      Brodz
      • 4 Months Ago
      "According to Autocar, the sophisticated system is powered by its own, separate 48-volt electrical system that drives a 7-kilowatt (9.4 horsepower) motor to spin the supercharger. When the internal combustion engine is at low revs, it provides the needed boost but shuts off as engine revs rise to let the turbos take over." - Well then that isn't an electric turbo is it?
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 4 Months Ago
      Maybe it will have an exhaust gas driven alternator to provide power for the electric supercharger. Or perhaps a big hamster wheel.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 4 Months Ago
      wtf we dont need sporty baby carriages. Who ever thought this was a good idea?
      Richard
      • 4 Months Ago
      I think I'm going to buy the first model year of the new design (if it ever really comes) - because with Audi's Eons long product cycle for the Q7 (current one going on 10 years) I'll have a current body style for at least a decade!!!
      George Krpan
      • 4 Months Ago
      This is the setup of the future.
      J W
      • 4 Months Ago
      It was just tens years ago that we would have all been laughing at the thought of a leaf blower on a factory built Audi. Technology evolution is crazy.
      Mike Sylvester
      • 4 Months Ago
      I LOVE IT! An SQ7. If only Audi would finally release the update. It's past time to update this beautiful beast.
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