Audi joined the ever-growing SUV market in late 2005, when it unveiled the Q7 full-size at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Audi launched the SUV in North America for the 2007 model year and since then it has received numerous gasoline and diesel powertrains. Although the German brand showed a hybrid Q7 concept as early as 2005, Audi didn’t develop a production model for the first-generation Q7. The study came with a 4.2-liter, FSI engine and an electric motor that provided 150 pound-feet of extra torque. As Audi began testing the second-gen Q7 in 2014, a hybrid version of the SUV has finally started to take shape.

Our trusty paparazzi have just informed us that Audi is testing more than just regular SUVs, including a future hybrid. Now that Porsche has revealed its Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Ingolstadt is upping the ante with a fuel-sipping, yet still potent family hauler of its own and we have visual proof. Read on to get a first glimpse at the upcoming Q7 Plug-In Hybrid.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid.

  • 2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    65000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Spy Shots

September 15, 2014 - First testing session

2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid Exterior Spyshots
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The SUV depicted above may look like any other Q7 test vehicle we saw in 2014, but our spy photographers have spotted two details that make it stand out in the crowd. Both are on the SUV’s left, rear fender and the window, and they suggest this Q7 is a plug-in hybrid. While the extra cap for the charger socket might be easy to miss with the swirly camouflage, the high-voltage sticker place above it is quite noticeable. Unless this Q7 is a generator on wheels, we’re looking at Audi’s upcoming hybrid SUV.

Details are thin as of this writing, but all the hints point towards a drivetrain borrowed from the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The sporty SUV is motivated by a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 that cranks out 333 horsepower and an electric motor that adds 95 ponies. We expect the same combo to sit underneath the Q7’s shell, but with different output figures. We also have a hunch this hybrid will arrive with an "e-tron" badge.

Design-wise, the plug-in won’t differ too much from the regular gasoline and diesel models. Aside from the extra "fuel" cap, only a couple of badges will let people now there’s an electric motor included in the drivetrain.

Competitors

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

2015 Porsche Cayenne High Resolution Exterior
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If you’re looking for German engineering and performance but don’t fancy an Audi badge, then you need to look under the same Volkswagen umbrella for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. Porsche’s supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 333 horsepower combined with an electric motor that delivers 95 ponies powers the updated S E-Hybrid.

Total output sits at 416 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 435 pound-feet of twist from 1,250 rpm, which accounts for a 36-horsepower and 7-pound-feet improvement over the outgoing model. The oomph enables the hybrid to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 151 mph. When driven in EV mode, the SUV can travel up to 22 miles and reach a top speed of 77 mph. Pricing starts from $76,400.

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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The other hybrid SUV from the Volkswagen group comes in the form of the Touareg. It features the same supercharged V-6 as the Cayenne and benefits from the same 333 horses. The main difference lies in the electric motor, which comes in its pre-facelift Cayenne form, meaning it cranks out 47 ponies. This difference makes the Touareg Hybrid good for 380 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. The combo mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and returns 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city.

Although it’s not as fast as the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid or the upcoming Audi Q7 Plug-In Hybrid, the Touareg is the most affordable option of the group. Pricing begins from $64,745 before options.

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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Launched for the 2006 model year, the first-generation Audi Q7 has remained largely unchanged for nearly 10 years. Initially introduced with a diesel powertrain, the SUV received numerous engine choices throughout its lifetime. The Q7 received its first facelift in 2009 when new headlamps, taillights, wheels and slightly reshaped fascias found their way onto the SUV. The engine lineup was also revamped, with new gasoline and diesel units available.

Another updated followed in 2011 when the Ingolstadt-based company added an eight-speed automatic, stop/start technology, and reduced its CO2 rating. Both fuel economy and CO2 emissions will see significant improvements with the second-generation model.

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