The Geneva motor show press days are done with, but that doesn’t mean it’s all over for new cars this week. That’s evidenced by Audi revealing a new member of the S family at its Ingolstadt HQ today: the SQ7. And by the look of it, it’s a bit of a belter.
It’s powered by a 429bhp, 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine pumping out a substantial 663.8lb ft of twist, and thanks to the new Q7 being over 300kg lighter than the old one, this S version is properly fast. 0-62mph takes just 4.8 seconds, which is only a tenth off the Range Rover Sport SVR and - incredibly - a tenth quicker than a Porsche Cayman GTS. Not bad for a flipping massive SUV. The top speed, meanwhile, is electronically pegged at 155mph.
What’s particularly interesting about the SQ7’s speed is the way it goes about it. There are two conventional, exhaust gas-driven turbochargers, supplemented by an electric-driven ‘compressor’. The compressor - said to be the first ever fitted to a production car - sits just downstream of the intercooler, and is able to spin at up to 70,000rpm.
It’s used at low revs, and since it doesn’t have to wait for exhaust gasses to get it spinning, lag is no longer an issue. Or as Audi dramatically puts it: “with this technology, turbo lag is history”. The compressor is powered by a 48‑volt electrical subsystem.
The V8 sends its power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a self-locking central differential. You also get an electronic anti-roll system, and all-wheel steering. If you’re really serious about driving, you can even option a set of carbon ceramic brake discs.
Despite all the poke on offer, the SQ7 still returns a decent 38.2mpg on the combined cycle, while puffing out 194g/km of Co2.
It’s not the most CT car, but I rather like the sound of this thing. Given that this is a big, obnoxious diesel SUV, is that wrong? Give me your support/hatred in the comments!