Monday, March 5, 2007

Audi Rolls Out 326-HP Audi Q7 4.2 Diesel — But Not for U.S.

INGOLSTADT — Audi says its new Q7 4.2 TDI, which churns out 326 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, is the "most powerful diesel SUV on the world market." But American buyers won't be able to get their hands on one when the Q7 diesel hits showrooms in early summer.

audi q7 dieseklThe Q7 4.2 TDI is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 with two turbochargers. It develops 326 hp at 3,750 rpm and 561 lb-ft of torque between 1,800 and 2,500 rpm, the automaker said. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox with optional steering-wheel paddles. Audi says its Q7 diesel can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 145 mph. In comparison, a 2007 Porsche Boxster sprints from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds.

But the more critical comparison of the new version of the Q7 is with its German rival SUVs. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL 320 CDI, which is on sale in most of the U.S., is equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that makes 215 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes-Benz has three of its Bluetec diesel SUVs on the U.S. market.

Audi says the Q7 4.2 TDI is available as a five-, six- or seven-seater. In an intriguing footnote, it says a "four-seater version will be available at a later date," a clear indication that Audi intends to further push the envelope when it comes to positioning the Q7 as an SUV with the "drivability of a sports car."

The Q7 diesel also rolls out some new technology: Audi lane assist. It lets the driver know if he inadvertently crosses the lane marking at a speed of around 40 mph. The system alerts the driver by making the four-spoke multifunction steering wheel vibrate.

The Q7 4.2 TDI also has an adaptive air suspension that allows five ground clearance settings. A leather "design package" in the cabin is standard and includes inlays of three different types of wood or aluminum and leather seats. Options include 21-inch wheels and an "open sky system" glass roof.

© Source: article on insideline
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