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There’s no doubt that the Audi SQ5 has been a notable success for Audi of America, so perhaps it is no surprise then that the brand’s American outpost is readying an S-car version dubbed SQ7 of its brand new Q7 7-passenger crossover to hit the market next year.
A new product diagram believed to be from Audi itself shows the placement of many upcoming new models from Audi. Specifically, the SQ7 appears to arrive in July of 2017, no doubt as a barely early MY2018.
What are the details on the SQ7? It depends on who you ask. We’ve heard rumors of a V8 TDI powering the SQ7, at least for Europe. That engine is likely one of the new range of TDI engines former Audi development boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed back when Ingolstadt pulled the wraps off of the off-roader Nanuk supercar concept.
All of this being said, it doesn’t seem immediately obvious that Audi of America will adopt the same strategy. Before the whole public perception problem associated with TDI in the wake of “dieselgate”, Audi still hasn’t adopted TDI engines for S-car status. The SQ5, sold only as SQ5 TDI, was changed for America in order to run the same supercharged 3.0 TFSI engine used in the S4 and S5. If the SQ5 is the example by which they’ll follow with SQ7, it seems reasonable to think that the North American SQ7 could make use of the U.S. spec engines for the S6/S7 duo.
So 4.0 TFSI then? Maybe. Maybe not. We’ve been reading rumors in the European press that the next S6 and S7 will make use of some form of the forced induction 3.0-liter V6. The 3.0-liter single turbo unit for the S4 seems as if it may not be powerful enough to impress in the larger and heavier Q7 body. However, it seems reasonable that a lower-impact version of the 3.0-liter biturbo slated for the RS 4 and RS 5 could also make the cut. Audi went with a lower output 4.0 TFSI for S-car duty and then a higher output quattro GmbH tuned version for the RS 6 and RS 7. This strategy could also be adopted in the case of the 3.0-liter.
Of course, the 4.0 TFSI from the current cars may also be an option. Even still, we’re wouldn’t bet the farm on that scenario. 3.0-liters means tax breaks in China and better fuel economy across the board. While we love the idea of a 4.0 TFSI powered SQ7, we’re betting it’ll be the V6.