The Audi Q7 was the last SUV model to launch from the platform shared with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne but it looks like it will be the first to launch a hybrid version. Automotive News is reporting that Audi will start production of the hybrid Q7 in late 2008, several months after introducing the new diesel models in the US market.
The hybrid system is being developed in conjunction with VW and Porsche. They have made the system modular so that it can be adapted to other vehicles in the product lineup. Porsche has already indicated that they will use the system on the upcoming Panamera sedan in addition to the Cayenne.
In the Q7 it will be paired up with a 3.6L V-6 and should yield about 23mpg. The electric part of the drivetrain will be able to drive the vehicle at up to 31 mph and the engine can be shut off at speeds up to 75 mph when coasting.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]