The brand new Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid isn’t the primary such automobile to be provided within the Q7 line-up. However whereas the earlier incarnation used a diesel engine, the newest model, badged 60 TFSIe Competitors, follows the trade (and buyer) development by switching to petrol.
The truth is, the Q7 60 TFSIe Competitors is one half of a brand new hybrid duo throughout the vary. Audi can also be providing its largest SUV because the 55 TFSIe, with 375bhp. This mannequin is offered throughout Sport, S line, Black Version and Vorsprung trim ranges, with costs ranging from round £67,000.
However the 60 TFSIe pushed right here is restricted to Vorsprung spec, which implies a tech listing longer than your arm and a value of round £75,000. On the coronary heart of all of it is a V6 turbo petrol engine with 335bhp plus a 134bhp electrical motor – so the mixed most system output is 449bhp. Whole torque is substantial, too, at 700Nm.
The transmission is an eight-speed computerized with quattro four-wheel drive – and the Q7 has the identical 17.3kWh battery because the outgoing diesel hybrid. It’ll recharge absolutely on a 7kW residence charger in about two and a half hours – and whereas effectivity numbers are nonetheless being finalised, it ought to give a minimum of 26 miles of pure-electric operating.
We’ll have to attend a bit longer for official efficiency figures too, however suffice it to say that on the highway, the powertrain doesn’t really feel overawed by a automobile that weighs comfortably greater than two tonnes.
That on the spot torque supply makes the Q7 really feel speedy off the road – and there’s sufficient capability within the system for it to take you as much as motorway speeds for those who undertake a gradual method. Stand on the throttle and the V6 engine will make it a joint effort – however each the transition to mixed energy and the engine word itself are extraordinarily easy.
Certainly, if the quantity of shove is spectacular, the refinement is much more noteworthy. The eight-speed auto does a pleasant job of easing between ratios and, when the combustion engine known as into motion, protecting its revs to a minimal. Throw in the truth that Audi’s V6 is a hushed motor anyway, and also you’re left with a serene cruising expertise.
This Q7 e-tron options the newest model of Audi’s ‘predictive effectivity’ system, which makes use of knowledge from the sat-nav, topographical info and dwell site visitors updates to effectively handle the automobile’s cost.
The system is able to making judgement calls on when to fireside up the engine and when there’s a chance to harness braking power to assist high up the battery. In apply, you’ll discover it tapping your foot via the throttle pedal as you method T-junctions, encouraging you to carry off and kick-start recuperation.
A totally charged Q7 is a reasonably environment friendly method to get via an everyday commute of, say, 30 miles. We drove the automobile over a combination of city streets, nation roads and a slug of German autobahn and the battery vary stayed reassuringly strong.
Aside from Hybrid, the Q7 has two extra configurations – a pure-EV setting for while you wish to pressure the difficulty and run in zero-emissions mode, and a ‘cost maintain’ mode that maintains the battery stage in anticipation of pure-electric operating additional alongside your journey.
The remainder of the package deal is inventory Q7 – so the suspension strikes a good stability between consolation and physique management, however you’ll really feel valuable little communication via the lifeless steering.
The cabin is laden with tech, however the jury’s nonetheless out on Audi’s haptic touchscreen, which tries to make its digital buttons function like correct switches.
There’s no doubting the standard of the supplies used, thoughts you – and the cabin itself is spacious and sensible. Accurately, given the worth tag.