The race towards alternative propulsion solutions that hedge the bets against a future without fossil-fuels has only intensified in recent years. Even against dropping fuel prices, car makers remain fully committed towards reducing their dependence on regular fuel engines. Fully electric or hydrogen fuelled vehicles are still some time away from becoming mainstream though. Plug-in hybrids have emerged as a desirable middle ground, being highly practical to implement and use, while offering tangible benefits in terms of higher fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
The Audi Q7 E-Tron is one such plugin hybrid that’ll blow your socks off with all that it has to offer. The regular Q7, among the largest vehicles in its class, has great road presence and a loyal customer following in every market that it is sold. The distinctive shape and styling recently got a facelift and now, with the plugin electric version, Audi has given customers the future with the present day car.
The Audi Q7 E-Tron is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine along with an electric motor that generates 94 Kw of power. Both motors together means that the car generates over 373 bhp and 516 Nm torque. While it does come with a 500 kilogram penalty over the regular Q7 and weighs 5200 kilograms, the fact that it is a parallel hybrid means that the Q7 in E-Tron guise will do zero to sixty in 6.0 seconds.
What makes the plugin variant of the Audi Q7 so special is the fact that it uses a Predictive Efficiency Assistant (PEA) system to manage the power characteristics. Based on the destination that you’ve keyed into the system, it then analyses the change in altitude over the intended route, the amount of highway and city driving, among other factors to maximize the chances of you doing the distance solely on battery power. Audi estimates that most people would have charging facilities at their destination. Thus, by powering the car primarily on battery power, they would be able to drive down emissions while maximizing the fuel-efficiency figures of their car. Moreover, Audi is also offering visual prompts in the form of green foot icons that would indicate to drivers that it is time to go easy with the throttle inputs.
Thus, through some canny engineering & thoughtful integration of dual power-sources, the Audi Q7 E-Tron is proof that one can have the benefits of a full-size SUV while keeping the environmental impact down to a minimum.