2016 Audi SQ7

A mysterious Audi SUV was recently spotted doing some runs on the Nurburgring . The sheer size of the vehicle suggests that this model could be the second generation Q7 . However, a recent confirmation from an Audi executive seems to indicate that this is not just an ordinary Q7, but the SQ7 that is scheduled to be released in 2016.

So why do we think that it’s the SQ7? It’s a little hard to catch but if you look closely, you’ll notice that it has a quad-pipe exhaust system instead of the dual-pipe setup on the standard Q7.

Audi board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg has already confirmed to Autocar that the new Q7 will arrive next year. He also added that a more powerful SQ7 will come a year later. This spy video is the first indication that the car is right smack in the middle of development in time for its scheduled launch in 2016.

We don’t expect a whole lot aesthetic changes between the Q7 and the SQ7. But we do expect the latter to feature a completely different powertrain that could make use of a “supplemental electric charger” that will be used with a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, V-6 TDI engine and a lithium-ion battery.

Audi has already previewed this powertrain on a couple of concepts: the A6 TDI Concept and the RS 5 TDI-e Concept . The two concepts actually carried different iterations of this new powertrain technology. The A6 TDI used an electrically driven turbo combined with a single exhaust gas-driven turbocharger, whereas the RS 5 TDI used used a sequential twin-turbo system with a large and small turbocharger.

It remains to be seen what kind of engine configuration the SQ7 will carry but don’t be surprised if its hybrid system generates a little more than 370 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque output of the rumored Q7 e-Tron.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi SQ7.

Competitors

BMW X5 Plugin Hybrid eDrive

BMW X5 Plugin Hybrid eDrive

BMW was one of the first to offer hybrid systems on its SUV , so you have to give Bimmer the credit for being ahead of the curve. The arrival of the X5 Plugin Hybrid eDrive gives the X5 another efficient steed to offer the masses.

It’s still unclear on what the powertrain for the X5 Plugin Hybrid eDrive will be, but it is reasonable to expect it to feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s combined with a 95-horsepower electric motor that’s powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.

That should allow the X5 to cover 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds to go with a fuel economy rating of around 62 mpg.

Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne

The Porsche Cayenne received its first hybrid powertrain in 2011. Now in its second generation, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a step above the first-gen S Hybrid model.

The Cayenne S E-Hybrid is the most efficient Cayenne in the lineup, no small feat considering that Porsche has made huge strides in improving the SUV’s overall efficiency.

But the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid now features a more powerful electric motor that saw its output double to 95 horsepower. Combine that with a 3.0-liter, supercharged, V-6 engine and you come away with an overall output of 416 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 435 pound-feet of twist from 1,250 rpm. That’s impressive enough to translate into a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.4 seconds to go with a top speed of 151 mph.

Audi Q7

Audi Q7

The next-generation Q7 will be unveiled soon enough, but for now, the 2014 Q7 is where we dive into.

As the tail end of a generation that’ll soon be replaced, we expected little changes to the 2014 Q7’s overall appearance. For the most part, that held true. But still, the Q7 still came with all the premium and luxurious amenities that justifies its billing as Audi’s top-of-the-line people carrier.

Power comes in the three different forms, beginning with a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 that develops a stout 280 horsepower, good enough to hit 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. If the 3.0 supercharged V-6 version isn’t powerful enough for you, you can opt for the S-line version that has the same engine but has been upgraded to produce 333 horsepower and hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.

Finally, a diesel Q7 is also being offered with a 3.0-liter TDI that comes with 240 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque.

The Q7 comes with a base price of $47,500 for the Q7 3.0T Tiptronic and goes all the way up to $64,900 for the Q7 TDI Tiptronic.


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