The interior and exterior of the new Audi SQ7 has been captured by our team of spy photographers. As we reported last year, the SQ7 will be the first production vehicle from the four ring brand to feature an electric turbocharger. It will also be the second S vehicle from the luxury brand, after the SQ5, to be powered by a diesel engine. This is proven by our photo of the car's tachometer, which tops out at 6000rpm.
According to Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi board member in charge of technical development, the SQ7's motor will be boosted by an electric turbocharger, which is run off a separate 48V electrical system and recharged via regenerative braking.
This electric turbo is reportedly capable of reaching maximum boost in just 250 milliseconds and supplies forced induction at low engine speeds. As revs rise, the electric turbo is bypassed via a valve and its role is replaced by a gas driven turbocharger. Last year, Car Advice reviewed the RS5 TDI Concept, which featured an under-development version of the electric turbocharger drivetrain.
To go along with the car's increased performance and high-tech drivetrain, the SQ7 will likely feature the usual suite of go-faster accoutrements. Up front, the SQ7 sports a modified front bumper with a new grille, a bash plate and additional lower air intakes around the fog lights.
At the back, the prototype is kitted out with quad exhaust tips and a revised rear bumper. The SQ7 spotted by our photographers features drilled ceramic brakes behind its alloy wheels. The new Q7 will go on sale in Australia towards the end of 2015. Based on the Volkswagen Group's MLB component matrix for longitudinal-engined vehicles, the next-generation vehicle is claimed to be over 300 kilograms lighter than the outgoing model.
In addition to a selection of turbocharged diesel and petrol engines, the company has unveiled two e-tron plug-in hybrid variants: one with diesel engine, which has been confirmed for Australia, and another with a petrol motor that's targeted at China, Singapore and Japan. It's not yet known when the SQ7 will debut, nor when it will arrive down under.