Audi Using Carbon Fiber for Next Q7

Audi's biggest crossover is no lightweight, but its replacement could be. At least relatively speaking, anyway.

At 5,000 lbs, the Audi Q7 is no lightweight. But the next-generation model could shed some considerable heft off the current version's curb weight. That could, according to the latest reports, come from the strategic use of carbon fiber. Although the lightweight material has been increasingly used for supercars, its application for a full-size SUV would be something of a first. Combined with aluminum in the next-genetation Q7, it could stand to cut some 770 lbs off the bottom line.

The development was previewed by the Crosslane concept, which was a much smaller vehicle than the Q7 but could be adapted towards the larger form. Aside from its construction, some design elements from the Crosslane could find their way into the next Q7 as well, which is expected to be wider than the current model, with a single-frame grille and narrower headlights. With less weight to motivate, the next Q7 wouldn't need an engine as big as the 6.0-liter V12 TDI that tops the current model's catalog, but with nearly 500 horsepower and 740 lb-ft of torque, wouldn't it be a blast to see that engine shoehorned into a lighter vehicle?

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