Those who have been waiting for a petrol-powered Audi Q7 in second-generation form will be sated with the arrival of the new 55 TFSI grade.
German luxury automaker Audi announced today that petrol power would return to the Q7 large SUV in Australia in early 2021.
The Q7 will pick up the same three-litre single-turbo V6 petrol engine that is already available in the Q8 55 TFSI SUV and the A6 55 TFSI sedan. Badged 55 TFSI S line, Audi’s petrol six produces 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque.
The petrol will sit above the other mainstream engines in the 2021 Audi Q7 lineup, but below the performance-focussed SQ7. Like in some performance German SUVs, the Q7 55 TFSI’s twin-scroll turbo is nestled within the ‘V’ of the six-cylinders for faster response.
Priced at $121,300 before on-road costs, the 55 TFSI is pitched as slightly more premium offer than the Q7 50 TDI S line, a three-litre diesel V6 that produces 210kW/600Nm and costs $119,900 without on-roads. The 50 TDI can be had with the same outputs in more conservative, non S-line trim for $112,900.
A slightly more modest tune of the three-litre turbo diesel V6 is available in the entry-level 45 TDI, which makes 170kW and 500Nm but is available from $101,900 before on-road costs.
Based on the same athletic S line trim as the diesel it sits just above in the range, the 55 TFSI S line will arrive in Australia with a swag of luxury kit, including:
Safety kit will include standard-fit adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a 360-degree parking camera, plus AEB that operates in drive and reverse gears.
Compared to the diesels, the petrol is a bit quicker in a straight line. Offering up a 5.9 second 0-100km/h time, the 55 TFSI beats out the 50 TDI (6.5 seconds) and 45 TDI (7.3 seconds).
The new 55 TFSI six-cylinder petrol will allow the Q7 to compete more squarely with the BMW X5 xDrive40i ($122,900 before on-roads) and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 ($117,034 before on-roads). Those key rivals both use slightly smoother inline six-cylinder engines in contrast to the Audi’s V-arrangement.
However, the Audi SQ7 remains the daddy of the range. Kitted out with a four-litre twin-turbo diesel V8, the SQ7 produces 320kW of power and 900Nm of torque, and can complete the benchmark rest-to-100 sprint in just 4.8 seconds.
There is a strong chance that in 2021, the SQ7 will shift to petrol power with a four-litre twin-turbo gasoline V8 engine. That petrol V8 would be a detuned version of the bonkers unit employed in the new Audi RS Q8.
Audi says that the engine in the 55 TFSI petrol has been designed specifically for driving at partial throttle with increased response due to the hot vee configuration.
The engine should also heat up quickly on a cold start, while separate cooling channels in the cylinder heads and crankcase should keep it at an optimal operating temperature.
The 2021 Audi Q7 55 TFSI will join Australian Audi showrooms in the first quarter of 2021.
All prices are before on-road costs.
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