Audi takes the sports diesel one step forward with news that its Q7 SUV range will soon be bolstered with a new V12 TDI quattro model.
The 6.0-litre V12, which is described by the manufacturer as being the most powerful diesel powered passenger vehicle in it class, goes into series production in the second half of this year. The vehicle was previewed at the Detroit Motor Show in January.
1 000 Nm
Producing 368 kW and an almighty 1 000 Nm of torque between 1 750 and 3 250 r/min, the engine is said to endow the SUV with "superior power and efficient fuel consumption".
Power is transmitted to the four wheels via a six-speed tipronic transmission developed to deal with the V12's monstrous torque supply.
With the six-litre powerplant in place, the Audi Q7 hurtles from zero to 100 km/h in a supercar-scaring 5.5 seconds and has a top speed limited to 250 km/h.
The 12 cylinder powerplant apparently returns a fuel consumption figure of 11.9 l/100 km, which is rather impressive considering its output and the way in which this is likely to be exploited.
The compact V12 is located on a 60-degree bank and is just 684 mm long. Bore and stroke measurements are identical to those in the 3.0 TDI at 83 mm and 91.4 mm, respectively.
Its high-pressure common-rail injection system creates up to 2 bar pressure for an intensive fuel mix in the combustion chamber.
Twin turbochargers apply a maximum boost pressure of 1.6 bar to the two cylinder banks.
As expected, the new V12 is closely related to the 480-kW 5.5-litre V12 that has twice powered Audi's R10 race car to victory in the Le Mans 24 hour race.
The Q7 V12 TDI gets a sports chassis constructed mainly of aluminium components and a modified body with a maximum ground clearance of 205 mm.
The adaptive air suspension works with the sports tuning and can be adjusted in five stages.
For greater assurance under spirited driving conditions, the 20-inch wheels are fitted with a powerful 20-inch brake system. Discs are made of carbon fibre-reinforced ceramic for a low-weight, high fade resistance formula. Eight-piston calipers at the front are complemented with a four-piston set at the rear.
State-of-the-art assistance systems on the production model include adaptive cruise control, lane and side assist and a park distance control system.
Perhaps more importantly, this model could signal that the V12 TDI version of the R8 sports car concept shown at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year is not too far off... And keep your eyes pealed - this Q7 may be coming to South Africa, too.