You read that right, three turbos! And it's a diesel!
The new Audi Q7 has some stiff competition. Not only does the German giant have BMW and the bonkers X5M to worry about, but now even Volvo is building a beautifully styled SUV with 400 horsepower on tap. Now Audi is firing back with the first ever SQ7. This all-new SUV features an equally all-new engine. The SQ7 is powered by a 4.0-liter tri-turbo V8 diesel. This brute of an engine produces 435 hp and 664 ft-lb of torque. Since it's a diesel it can achieve 31.8 US mpg. It really is the best of both worlds.
The SQ7 gets even more fascinating when you discover something special about that third turbocharger. The first two turbos are conventionally driven by exhaust gasses, but the third turbo is electrically powered. In typical Audi fashion, the two turbos are mounted in the V of the engine. The first turbo is used for light acceleration and cruising, while the second spools for the hard driving. The electric turbocharger is powered by a 48-volt motor than can spool up in less than one quarter of a second. This turbocharger is used to help augment the work of the other two, virtually erasing turbo lag. The SQ7 can reach 60 mph in just 4.8 second and hit a limited top speed of 155 mph. This is not the first time that Audi has built an extreme diesel Q7.
Audi used to offer an insane V12 diesel in Europe only. We can only hope that this high-performance Q7 won't be forbidden fruit. Given the whole reputation of diesels in the US it's unlikely we'll get this exact powertrain if the SQ7 ever does make it stateside. Audi, you keep the diesel and we'll take the three turbos. Does that sound fair?