Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro

On top of the initial details that were revealed at the vehicle’s global debut earlier this year, Audi has released further insights into its first-ever six-cylinder diesel plug-in hybrid model, the Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro.

Having already detailed the petrol-powered Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI for you in the past, this 3.0 TDI version comparably offers slightly more power, an extra 400 km in total driving range, and a vastly improved fuel consumption rating.

To give you a slight recap, Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI is powered by a 258 hp/600 Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel engine and a disc-shaped 126 hp/350 Nm electric motor. Its total system output is rated at 373 hp and 700 Nm of torque.

The Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI doesn’t have any direct diesel plug-in hybrid competitors, but when pitted against similarly-sized PHEV SUVs, its torque figures trump all comers – the XC90 T8 Twin Engine and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e each fall 50 Nm short of the diesel Q7’s 700 Nm. However, the two petrol PHEV vehicles offer higher horsepower figures than the Audi’s 373 hp, dealing 407 hp and 436 hp respectively.

This diesel-powered Q7 plug-in hybrid is capable of a century sprint performed in six seconds flat, while its top speed is limited to 225 km/h.

With an eight-speed torque converter automatic tiptronic transmission, the sum of the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI’s power is distributed to all four wheels via Audi’s proprietary quattro all-wheel drive system.

Positioned just beneath the luggage compartment in the rear, the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI features the same 17.3 kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion traction battery that is also available on the Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI. Audi claims that it would take up to eight hours to get the battery fully charged on a regular household outlet — it is unclear at the moment what Audi defines as a household outlet’s rating, but we assume that it is referring to the European standard of 220 to 230 volts.

Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro

The car maker also mentions that on a 7.2 kW “industrial outlet,” charging time can be cut down to as little as two-and-a-half hours. On a full charge, total electric driving range is said to be up to 56 km.

The Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI claims a fuel consumption figure of 1.7 litres/100 km based on the NEDC test cycle for hybrids (Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI manages 2.5 litres/100 km), corresponding to a CO2 emissions rate of 46 g/km.

Interestingly, the hefty Q7, made even heavier by 202 kg worth of electric components, is said to have a total driving range of 1,400 km, before the 75 litre fuel tank and electric battery run dry. Likewise, the 2.0 TFSI plug-in hybrid manages a total range of 1,020 km.

Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro

To help manage your drive, the Audi Q7 e-tron is equipped with four driving modes – EV, Hybrid, Battery Charge and Battery. The functions of each are as literal as they sound, just as they were on the Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI that was detailed earlier.

The more potent e-tron 3.0 TDI also gets the same thermal management system for the air-conditioning as the e-tron 2.0 TFSI. The system is capable of drawing wasted heat from the electrical components and using it to warm the interior. This allows the Q7 to avoid spending the battery’s power on cabin warming, reserving it instead for further driving range.

The MMI system that has been redesigned to work together with the hybrid management system is also present, allowing for navigation data and real-time traffic information to influence and determine the best hybrid driving strategies on the fly.

Using the navigation system, front-facing camera and radar sensors, the Q7 can virtually “see” up to three km ahead, and warn drivers of approaching speed limits, or advise them of when to best lift off the accelerator pedal to begin coasting to save fuel.

Just like the Mercedes-Benz solution available in its plug-in hybrid models such as the C 350e and S 500e, the Audi Q7 is also fitted with a haptic feedback accelerator pedal. A pulse delivered through the pedal warns drivers that the combustion engine is about to be activated.

The Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI plug-in hybrid is expected to be available in European markets come 2016, with starting prices for the base variant listed at 80,500 euro (RM380k).