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Future models - Audi - Q7 - V12 TDI

Audi debuts king of diesels

Diesel force: Audi's Q7 V12 TDI sprints to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds.

Audi reveals details of its 368kW/1000Nm Q7 V12 TDI super-SUV, due here next year

9 Sep 2008

AUDI has released details this week of its Q7 V12 TDI quattro, flexing even more muscle than that offered by its sister SUV – the Volkswagen Touareg – with the “world’s most powerful diesel engine” that is due to arrive in Australia next year.

Claimed to be the world’s first V12 diesel engine in a series-production vehicle, the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged oil-burner delivers 368kW of power and 1000Nm of torque – with the latter available between 1750rpm and 3250rpm.

Driving all four wheels on a permanent basis through an “enhanced” six-speed Tiptronic automatic, the 5934cc common-rail diesel (which runs maximum pressure of 2000-bar) enables the 2.5-tonne Q7 to reach 100km/h from rest in a claimed 5.5 seconds. Official fuel consumption is quoted at 11.3L/100km on average.

By comparison, the similar-sized Touareg V10 twin-turbo TDI manages a “mere” 230kW at 3750rpm and 750Nm at 2000rpm, completes the 0-100km/h dash in 7.4 seconds, and is more gluttonous on fuel, returning 12.6L/100km.

The even wilder R50 version produces 258kW at 3500rpm and 850Nm at 2000rpm for a 0-100 time of 6.8 seconds and the same official fuel consumption result as the standard V10 TDI. Both VWs also use a six-speed Tiptronic gearbox.

Chassis modifications to the Q7 V12 TDI include the standard fitment of adaptive air suspension and electronic shocks, 10-spoke 20-inch cast aluminium wheels (with 21-inch rims in three different designs available as an option), and 20-inch carbon-fibre ceramic brake dics with eight-piston callipers up front and four-piston grippers at the rear.

The exterior gets an aggressive makeover, with prominent features including LED daytime running lights in the headlights, wider wheel-arches (blistered a further 26mm at the front and 30mm at the rear) and a redesigned grille and bumper.

The interior is highly equipped and fully decked out with sports-oriented trim, including carbon-fibre inlays in the seats.

Considering that the R50 Touareg is priced from $130,000 and the current Q7 4.2 TDI starts at $123,900, expect the V12 Q7 to roll in at around $150,000 – between BMW's forthcoming X6 xDrive50i and Porsche's Cayenne GTS.

The Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG remains the quickest luxury SUV available, employing its naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 to sprint to 100km/h in just five seconds - one-tenth faster than the Cayenne Turbo and 0.4 seconds quicker than the X6 50i, both of which are powered by twin-turbocharged petrol V8s.

Read more:

Geneva show: It’s diesel day for Audi

First drive: Audi's ambitious A4 Avant attack

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The Road to Recovery podcast series

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