D u have to look very carefully to to see that a plug-in Q7 is refusing to get smaller in your rearview mirror. Visually, the new top model of the Q7 fleet disguises itself as an off-the-peg S-Line SUV. Only with the E in the license plate can it be seen that a 456 PS horse gallops through its territory, which at least temporarily cuts out the combustion engine.
Sportily interpreted plug-in
On paper, the Q7 60 TFSI e is just a Another component of Audi's electrification strategy, which is to bring around 30 electrified models onto the road by 2025, 20 of them with battery-electric drives, the rest in a plug-in hybrid configuration. In the here and now, the partially electrified Q7 is a real announcement. If it has to, the two-and-a-half-ton truck should stamp out to 100 km /h in 5.3 seconds, leaving no doubt that they are interpreting the topic of plug-in hybrids in Ingolstadt in a sporty way. The permanently excited electric motor, which is integrated in the housing of the eight-speed Tiptronic, has an output of 105 kW and delivers a maximum torque of 350 Newton meters at its tip.
Very quiet for a sporty top model
That is easily enough to push you into the wide S-Line seating when the alarm starts, and gives the V6-TFSI enough time to reach its torque peak of 500 Nm to swing. The rest is organized by the eight-speed automatic, which has no problem managing the 700 Newton meters of system torque without jerks. The transition from electric to combustion engine is practically imperceptible and, honestly, hardly audible. You have to get used to it, but overall the whisper drive goes well with the partially electric Q7.
Electrical minimum range
But reducing the big Audi only to its maximum performance is far too short. Its big hour strikes in everyday commuter life, when you can say goodbye to gasoline consumption almost completely thanks to an electric WLTP range of 40 kilometers - and not just in theory. After a simulated commuter lap of just over 30 kilometers, including a short motorway detour, the on-board computer showed that the 17.3 kWh battery still had a range of nine kilometers. But it also means that anyone who commutes 50 kilometers every day and cannot charge at work will not be entirely happy with the Audi. The Bavarian competition is a little better, at least on paperset up, the likewise new BMW X5 45e with a significantly larger battery can cover up to 90 purely electric kilometers. Either way: As a company car, all plug-in hybrids with a range of at least 40 kilometers benefit from a tax rate reduced by 50 percent.
Save with foresight
What is really possible in terms of economy is shown by the predictive efficiency assistant (PBA), which has been specially optimized for plug-in use and searches the navigation maps for gradients, speed limits and curves, evaluates traffic data and derives route and driving recommendations from it. In addition, the PBA plans routes in such a way that a destination in the city center can be approached with an electric drive, if possible, and thus locally emission-free. Before the electric unit draws the last joule, the combustion engine switches on and at the same time charges the battery accordingly.
Audi Q7 TFS e - the prices
At the start in the fourth quarter of 2019 The Audi Q7 is initially available as a decidedly sporty 60 TFSI e, including S-Line equipment. The slightly weaker comfort variant 55 TFSI e (381 PS) will follow later. Both versions can be ordered immediately, and according to Audi, the market launch should begin in December 2019. The basic price for the Audi Q7 60 TFSI is 89,500 euros, the Audi Q7 55 TFSI e quattro starts at 74,800 euros.