Two revised plug-in hybrid versions of Audi’s flagship SUV
We’ve been offered a hybrid Q7 before, the Q7 e-Tron, but now
Audi has updated it with a pair of plug-in hybrid models. Flagship is the Audi
Q7 60 TFSIe, available only in Vorsprung trim, while the slightly less powerful
Q7 55 TFSIe comes with a choice of Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung specifications.
Audi revised the Q7’s design late in 2019, giving it a new singleframe grille, larger air inlets in the bumper, reworked sills and slimmer taillights. Inside, the need to accommodate a larger battery for the plug-in hybrid’s electric motor means that the Q7 TFSIe is only available in five seat form, rather than the seven offered by other Q7 models. Those five will find plenty of space to stretch out in, however and with 865 litres of boot space (that extends to over 2,000 litres with the rear seats down) there’s ample room for sports kit, luggage or bulky items.
Both the Q7 55 TFSIe and the Q7 60 TFSIe are powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine as one half of the hybrid equation. This produces 340 PS and 450 Nm of torque. The difference between the two models is down to differing power outputs from the permanently excited synchronous electric motor; in 60 TFSIe form, maximum total system output is 456PS with torque of 700Nm, while the 55 delivers a system output of 381PS. For both models, transmission is via an eight-speed automatic with quattro four-wheel drive and both have a 17.3kWh battery with its own advanced heating and cooling ecosystem. The all-important electric only range – EV mode – is around 25miles, enough for many owners’ daily commutes.
As with other models in the Q7 range, the new hybrid models have the latest Audi MMI infotainment system of two touchscreens with haptic feedback, as well as the Audi Virtual Cockpit for driver instrumentation. Features include full connectivity, with LTE Advanced, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and a free 36-month subscription to Audi Connect.Unique to the TFSIe hybrid models is an “EV” soft key in the lower of the two MMI displays that allows you to choose between EV mode, ‘Hold’ (which conserves battery power) and Hybrid Auto, which brings in a predictive operating strategy for the optimum use of electric power when you programme the navigation with a destination. Other special hybrid features are a throttle pedal that can give you feedback, hinting that you can back off to let the system either recuperate energy or ‘coast’ in freewheel mode. Sounds complicated, but in practice it’s simple and intuitive to let your Q7 manage energy resources intelligently, with a power meter in the Virtual Cockpit letting you know whether you’re powered by electricity or combustion.
Both the 55 TFSIe and 60 TFSIe come with Audi Pre-sense Front as standard, which monitors the traffic in front of the vehicle for potential collision hazards. If it recognises a potential accident, the system first gives a warning signal, and follows it up with a warning jerk caused by a brief touch of the brakes. Options include City Assist and Tour (can be standard on some trim levels) for features like side assist, lane assist, cross-traffic assist rear and turn assist.
Verdict: A powerful hybrid powertrain makes a lot of sense for a vehicle like the Audi Q7. The instant response and torque of an electric motor makes acceleration exhilarating and responsive, the 25-mile EV-only range can see daily journeys completed in smooth, silent electric mode and the intelligent technology built in to the hybrid Q7s makes the best use of the two power sources at all times. For many customers, this will be the ideal luxury SUV.
We have two Electric Vehicle Approved Centres! These are TAMWORTH AUDI and WARRINGTON AUDI.
EVA is a set of standards for all areas of automotive retail designed to recognise businesses’ excellence in the electric vehicle sector.This initiative is extremely important in demonstrating to consumers the knowledge and expertise that members have when selling and repairing electric vehicles. You can now have peace of mind that you are dealing with an expert in the electric vehicle sector.
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