2011 Audi Q7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that a seven-passenger, diesel-fueled luxury SUV like the Audi Q7 consumes an average of 7.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (32.7 miles per gallon U.S.). Would this be considered a green machine? Well, we'd go with "yes" and here's why: some drivers simply must have seating for seven. So, which vehicles seat a driver and six others, perform admirably, emit a reasonable a 189 grams of CO2 per kilometer and return 32.7 mpg? Audi's new 3.0-liter V6 TDI-equipped Q7 SUV does.

The Q7 3.0 TDI cranks out a paltry 204 horsepower, but with 332 pound-feet of torque on tap, this new mill propels the luxury SUV to 60 miles per hour in 9.1 seconds. That's not exactly sports car territory but, as we mentioned above, this Audi focuses on being green. With that in mind, Audi equipped the TDI-powered Q7 with a eight-speed tiptronic transmission and extensively reworked the engine internals to reduce weight and minimize friction. Audi's labor paid off, resulting in a finished product that is more efficient than all of its direct competitors.

On a side note, many of our astute readers will quickly point out that the Q7 is already offered with an optional 3.0-liter TDI mill. In fact, you can order Audi's Q7 equipped with one right now, but that mill, unlike the Euro V-compliant one described above, only returns a combined 20 mpg. Hit the jump for more on Audi's new 3.0-liter TDI engine.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2011 Audi Q7

Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Audi]


PRESS RELEASE

Highly efficient – the new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro with 150 kW


* fuel efficiency of just 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 km
* eight-speed tiptronic and quattro drive

Audi has added a new and especially efficient member to its Q7 family. The Q7 3.0 TDI offers 150 kW (204 hp) while consuming an average of just 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 km (32.67 miles per U.S. gallon) – better than all direct competitors. At the same time, a 3.0 liter V6 drives this large SUV powerfully and smoothly. An eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive round out the luxurious drivetrain.

The new V6 TDI in the Q7 is a high-tech engine. It weighs far less than 200 kilograms (440.92 lb) and extensive measures minimize internal friction. Innovative thermal management – a new feature of many Audi engines – is particularly complex in the 3.0 TDI. The crankcase and the cylinder heads have separate cooling water circuits; coolant is not circulated within the block while the engine is warming up.

A common-rail system with lightning-fast piezo injectors provides injection pressure up to 2,000 bar; the turbocharger and the camshafts' control times have been optimized for maximum efficiency. A start-stop system deactivates the engine as soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, and an energy recovery system – standard for the entire model line – stores energy during deceleration.

The EU 5 classification for this new entry model in the Q7 family will come as no surprise, just like its high fuel efficiency. On average, it needs 7.2 liters per 100 km (32.67 miles per U.S. gallon). And its CO2 equivalent is just 189 grams per km (304.17 grams per mile) – no other large SUV from a European brand boasts such a low value. The efficient TDI delivers 150 kW (204 hp). Its maximum torque becomes available just above the idling point: 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) remain constant between 1,250 and 2,750 rpm.

This large SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.1 seconds. In the version with an optional air suspension, it reaches a top speed of 205 km/h (127.38 mph); with steel suspension, 202 km/h (125.52 mph).

The Q7 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) offers the same power transmission as all other models in this line. The new and efficient eight-speed tiptronic – with its high overall gear ratio – delivers torque to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which has a sporty rear-end bias. Double wishbones made of aluminum guide all four wheels; the chassis delivers great agility and stability. An off-road mode and a hill-descent assistant aid off-road driving.

With a wheelbase measuring 3.00 meters (9.84 feet) and an overall length of 5.09 meters (16.70 feet), the interior offers plenty of room. Audi offers the Q7 with five, six or seven seats. The luggage compartment offers as much as 2,035 liters of capacity (71.87 cubic ft). This new entry model's standard equipment package includes two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, a high-beam assistant, and an MMI radio multimedia interface.

Options include climate-controlled comfort seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, an electric tailgate, and a load-securing kit with rails for cargo. Sophisticated driver-assistance systems and a system of ultramodern infotainment modules round out the offer.

Despite a generous equipment package, this model line's new entry model costs just 51,800 euros in Germany. This basic price makes the Q7 more affordable than all of its direct competitors.