A prototype for Audi’s second-generation Q7 SUV was recently spotted at the Nürburgring, and we have an exclusive spy video of it. Audi was originally due to unveil its new Q7 at the end of last year but a late change in its design
meant the vehicle’s release date needed to be pushed back.
The automaker recently confirmed that its current Q7 will continue into the 2015 model year, meaning the new one won’t be in showrooms for some time still. The good news is that we’ll get a look at it soon, as the unveiling is expected to take place at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October.
With all of its rivals currently in their second generation or later, the new Q7 can’t come soon enough. Anyone considering the current Q7 may like to wait until the new one arrives because it will be the first model to ride on the Volkswagen Group’s next-generation MLB platform, the so-called MLB Evo.
The platform is an evolution of Audi's existing MLB structure but is lighter thanks to multi-material construction. It will also be capable of adopting alternative drivetrains; the new Q7 has been confirmed to be getting an e-tron plug-in hybrid option.
Thanks to lightweight materials such as aluminum and even some carbon fiber in the construction of the mostly-steel vehicle, engineers should be able to shed close to 650 pounds
compared to the curb weight of the current Q7, which tips the scales at more than 5,300 pounds in its lightest variation. The prototype in the video certainly looks quite nimble for a large SUV.
In the engine department, the U.S. market should have access to 3.0- and 4.0-liter TFSI units and a 3.0-liter TDI. As mentioned, a plug-in hybrid option will be available for the first time. In the U.S., this will be a gasoline-electric drivetrain but in other markets Audi may offer an even more frugal diesel-electric setup. We could also see a sporty 'S Q7' launched for the first time.
For more details on the new Q7, including additional spy shots, click here for our previous report
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