As an diesel-powered plug-in-hybrid vehicle, the Audi Q7 e-tron occupies a good place. It could be perceived as information that Audi’s commodity planners are determined to find the least-populated space in the impressive automotive Venn drawing. There have been diesel hybrids before in Europe (notably Volvo’s V60 PHEV) but never one this gigantic supplying quite this much all-electric extent.
It’s the e-tron TDI’s trouble to be entering the world as the dowdier sister of the brand-new SQ7 and its triple-boosted V-8 diesel, trying to attain much attention as a phenomenon. Its potentials for U.S. sales face the same contest as other diesels marred by VW’s egresses gossip, and after some powerful early communications that this automobile would definitely pass the Atlantic, Audi now seems to have gone cool on the idea. It probably will offer us a four-solid gasoline e-tron instead.
The e-tron TDI can’t equal the non-stative joy or Bentley-baiting torque product of the SQ7, but it’s swift, well-mannered, and—so long as it’s closed in often enough—able of turning in extraordinary fuel-economy figures. Then there’s the potential of being able to go more than 800 miles between fuel stops to fill its 19.8-gallon tank, given you steer gently enough.
Electrification has transported a 17.3-kWh artillery pack, put under the merchandise claim. This precludes a third line of rooms but productions adequate attack capability for up to 34 miles of electric-only extent. As with Audi’s other large hybrids, the e-tron sandwiches an electric motor between the internal-combustion side of the powertrain—the company’s acquainted turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel—and its eight-speed automatic shell. an electronically regulated grasping can undo this V-6 motor from the rest of the powertrain, but the electric motor always supplies steer via the transmission.
What the e-tron can’t do is recharge its artillery pack on the move with its motor. Once the compartments are discharged, the e-tron becomes nothing more than a hybrid with a gigantic artillery pack—including the thought weaponry, Audi tells us the pack weighs 445 pounds—with only regenerative stopping to flow some charge back into the compartments. The artillery-attack stage can be maintained by switching the vehicle to a “hold” method, rescuing the foodstuff to run in EV method in egresses-restricted municipality areas.
Driving in this latter moving delivers the full record of EV clichés, a suggestion of the acquainted subway-vehicle soundtrack, powerful first performance that quickly formalwears off, and a readout that loses more than a mile of expressed extent for each mile journeyed at anything fast than a mindful rate. If you speed too rapidly, go beyond 84 mph, or approach the pressure component at the bottom of the go pedal’s journey, the V-6 fires to being regardless of which method is specified.
The motor has been adjusted from the quality Euro-spec Q7 TDI with brand-new solid flies and composer rings designed to acceptable preserve the motor when it’s burnt while the automobile is already journeying at freeway speed. There are also non-stative motor horses to assist decrease motions and abdicable harmonics, Audi bays the V-6 can operate happily at just 850 rpm. Under mild use, the motor shares in and out almost imperceptibly, with only energetic pedal uses making some correspondingly ill-natured sounds. Fully diversified , the e-tron feels respectably fast, although nothing like the large SQ7. Dynamically, the mass of the electric powertrain and artillery pack diminishes both side and longitudinal acceleration. The e-tron feels less collection of foot than the SQ7 and less perceptive to turn in, and it reaches its retiring controlling maximums far sooner. (Lacking a 48-volt electrical architecture, it does without the SQ7’s progressive anti-roll room functions, too.) Being abdominous actually seems to assist it drive acceptable over definite abrasive surfaces—the instance we steered had the elective breeze mixture—but it loses its disposition when questioned to deal with large jolts.
It feels gigantic and dense because it is gigantic and dense. As with every plug-in hybrid, the Q7 e-tron will make distance awareness only to those having both the wherewithal and attitude to plug it in. Drive it between plug-equipped ends that are close enough together and a tank of diesel may well last for the whole being of the vehicle—or until it turns gelatinous—but the bayed 156.9 MPGe that the vehicle scores on the official European distance try-out (which is highly prejudiced in kindness of plug-in cars) will be an inhumane fiction for most.
Like most of its plug-in kind, the Q7 e-tron seems like an expensively designed mixture to a difficulty that relatively few people have, it’s absolutely impressive at performing one precise work but agreed for all others. We’d still prefer this impression of the Q7 e-tron over the four-solid gasoline model.