Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4 shot
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro side profile
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro side profile
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro side profile
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear 3/4
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear 3/4
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear 3/4
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front fascia
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front fascia
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front fascia
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear profile
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear profile
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro rear profile
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4 with charging pole
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4 with charging pole
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron 3.0 TDI Quattro front 3/4 with charging pole
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi EV charging pole
  • Audi EV charging pole
  • Audi EV charging pole
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi EV charging pole with Q7 E-Tron
  • Audi EV charging pole with Q7 E-Tron
  • Audi EV charging pole with Q7 E-Tron
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron EV charging
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron EV charging
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron EV charging
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Audi Q7 E-Tron Interior
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron Interior
  • Audi Q7 E-Tron Interior
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  •   Engine
    Turbodiesel 3.0L V6 + 94-kW electric motor
  •   Power
    373 HP / 516 LB-FT
  •   Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  •   0-60 Time
    6.0 Seconds
  •   Top Speed
    139 MPH
  •   Drivetrain
    All-Wheel Drive
  •   Engine Placement
    Front
  •   Seating
    2+3
  •   MPG
    59 MPGe (observed)
  •  
The operating word is quiet. This refers both to the sound inside the cabin of the upcoming Audi Q7 E-Tron Quattro TDI – even with the diesel engine running – and the company's public statements about its plan for this powertrain in the United States. Basically, while Europe is getting the diesel plug-in sometime next spring (a bit of a delay), all we know for sure right now is that the US will be getting the Q7 E-Tron, probably in 2018, and it will have either a 3.0-liter turbodiesel or 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine. You may now place your bets as to which one you think the public (or, more likely, CARB) will go for. We're guessing 2.0T.

Despite not knowing if we'll ever see this E-Tron TDI on our side of the Atlantic, we recently spent an enjoyable morning tooling around the hills outside Madrid, Spain. As we said, this beast is seriously quiet, and impressively so.

Driving Notes

  • The Q7 is a big vehicle, but with powertrain that combines electric motors and diesel thrust, there's a ton of low-end torque. The official 0-62 time is 6.0 seconds, which is basically the same as the 6.1 seconds of the non-PHEV Q7. The Q7 E-Tron is about 500 pounds heavier than the already-4,700-pound Q7, but because of its trick powertrain, never felt sluggish in the hills of Spain.
  • This Q7 E-Tron is a parallel hybrid, with the 3.0-liter TDI diesel engine and the 94-kW disc motor both able to drive the wheels. Overall, they provide 373 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Despite the parallel system, the not-quite-powerful-enough electric motor doesn't provide the complete electric drive experience that EV fans might be looking for. For example, the Q7 E-Tron has a top speed of 139.8 mph, but that's only in hybrid mode. In EV mode, its top speed is just 78 mph.
  • Audi's Virtual Cockpit display, first seen in the TT, remains an ideal way to give you a wealth of information in an easy-to-see format. It's just as slick in the Q7, where you can toggle the size of the gauges and then pick what you want the screen to focus on, whether that's speed limits, infotainment information, powertrain usage, speed, or navigation.
  • Without trying to bring up the ongoing diesel scandal here and questions about official figures, Audi's press release from March 2015 that detailed the specifics of this PHEV says that the Q7 E-Tron, "consumes no more than 1.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (138.4 US mpg) in the NEDC cycle." Those may be the original test cycle figures, but during our drive, we saw a 5.3 liters/100 km (44 mpg) average when the diesel engine was running. Granted, the engine only burned fuel during 35 percent of the drive. In battery mode, we observed 12.6 kWh per 100 km. In general terms, the overall fuel efficiency equivalent is somewhere in between all those numbers, and based on what we and other journalists experienced, it was about 59 mpge.
  • The fact that we managed to use up almost all of the Q7 E-Tron's 17.3-kWh, liquid-cooled battery pack over those 40 or so electric miles (the vehicle officially has a Euro-spec electric range of 34.8 miles) is due to what Audi calls the Predictive Efficiency Assistant (PEA). The PEA operates in two modes, depending on whether you're programmed a destination into the nav system or not. If you have, the PEA calculates highway vs. in-town driving, altitude changes, and other factors to try and get you to your destination while using the full range of the battry. The idea, as you can probably guess, is that electric miles are the most efficient miles, and you'll likely be able to recharge at your destination. If you don't program in a destination, the PEA looks three kilometers ahead on the road and, again with data about elevation and speed limit changes, tries to get you to drive with a lighter foot.
  • While the PEA might sometimes use the diesel engine to recharge the battery or hold its energy while you're driving on the highway so it can maximize efficiency in the city, the main way that the driver will notice it is by little green foot icons on the dash and the heads-up display. When these appear, they are trying to tell you to take your foot off the throttle. Basically, the system has determined, you've got enough speed to coast for a while, whether that's to the upcoming stop sign or because you're going above the speed limit. Some drivers won't appreciate this reminder, but if you've been meaning to be a better hypermiler, this is exactly the kind of real-time advice that can help you out. Sadly, there's no predictive route knowledge at this time. Even if you leave for work at 8:00 AM every day, you need to enter the destination into the nav every time to get full use of the PEA.
  • The Q7 E-Tron TDI uses active engine mounts, which Audi says are a world first for a diesel engine, and contribute to the seriously quiet ride. These mounts use "selective counter pulses" that get rid of vibrations, which you would otherwise feel and hear in the cabin. Now, you will hear the diesel engine when it kicks in, but it's not a disruptive sound. It's just there, sort of in the background, reminding you that this isn't a fully electric vehicle. The noise is a lot more noticeable outside the Q7 than inside it.

Of course, all of this good stuff isn't going to come cheap. While no price for the US has been announced, obviously, the diesel-powered Q7 E-Tron will start at 80,500 euros in Germany when it goes on sale there next spring. That's just over $86,000 at current exchange rates. Still, we might not even get this Q7 in the form we tested. But the fact that it's available elsewhere, and that Audi is exploring the option of bringing it to the US, is a good sign.

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own — we do not accept sponsored editorial.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • From Our Partners

    2017 Audi Q7
    MSRP: $54,800 - $54,800
    2015 Audi Q7
    MSRP: $48,300 - $61,900
    2014 Audi Q7
    MSRP: $47,700 - $60,900
    2013 Audi Q7
    MSRP: $46,800 - $60,550
    2012 Audi Q7
    MSRP: $46,250 - $59,950
    Share This Photo X