Power Hungry: Audi launches the Q7 4.2 TDI

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While it's still not going to set any new fuel economy records, Audi's newly-launched Q7 4.2 TDI is an impressive machine nonetheless. Here's a large SUV that comes well-equipped with creature comforts to begin with, has the automaker's vaunted quattro all-wheel-drive system, and can be optioned to a level of near opulence with baubles like the astoundingly good (we've heard it firsthand) Bang & Olufsen audio system, the iPod-friendly Audi Music Interface, and techo-features like a lane departure monitoring system. The occupants are cocooned in an environment full of leather, wood, Alcantara (the headliner) and aluminum trim. Short version: it's damned nice. (It's also predictably expensive, with a base price in Germany of €70,500.)

All the luxury stuff comes as part of the territory, however. The real story here is the 4.2-liter TDI lurking behind the familiar shield grille. The 90-degree 32-valve V8 features a pair of variable-geometry turbochargers and delivers 326 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, which is available starting at just 1,800 RPM. That power is channeled to the quattro drive via a six-speed Tiptronic. Performance is noteworthy, as the sizeable SUV makes the rush to 62 mph in just 6.2 seconds and has a top speed of 146 mph. Despite all this, the Q7 4.2 TDI delivers over 21 mpg of fuel economy in the combined cycle. Try getting that in an Escalade or any of the other big, V8-powered luxo-utes, and get back to us. We won't wait up for you, okay?

[Source: Audi AG]

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