Saturday, March 24, 2007

Audi Q7 SUV Hybrid Concept

The Audi Q7 SUV Hybrid Concept is due to rollout as a production vehicle for the 2008 season. This high-performance luxury SUV combines the styling and performance of the standard Q7 SUV with hybrid technology garnering 13-percent better mileage.

The Audi Q7 SUV Hybrid also has more power and performance than the standard Q7 with 0 - 60 mph acceleration in only 6.8 seconds (standard Q7 is 7.3 seconds). The 32 Kw (43 hp) electric motor adds an additional 148 lb-ft of torque to the power of the 4.2 liter FSI V8 engine.

Besides the hybrid technology, one of the most environmentally friendly features of the Audi Q7 Hybrid is a set of solar panels embedded into its "Open Sky" sunroof. The solar panels provide power for the air conditioning system, so that when it's hottest outside, the sun's energy can be converted into a very cool inside. The air conditioning system on the Q7 hybrid has been switched over from hydraulic to electrical operation.

Audi Q7 SUV Hybrid Concept

The electric motor is positioned in-between the V8 engine and the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission's torque converter. Start-ups are quicker than the standard Q7 since the electric motor doubles as a starter. Lightweight nickel-metal hydride batteries are housed in the rear of the vehicle beneath the cargo floor and provide enough juice for 1.5 miles of all-electric operation. The battery pack is recharged by both regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine, if needed.

A separating clutch is linked to the electric motor and allows the vehicle to operate in electric-only, gasoline-only or combination modes. As in the standard Q7, the hybrid's all-wheel drive is still the Torsen quattro system.

Similar to other hybrids, the Audi Q7 SUV Hybrid will shut off its gasoline engine while coasting or decelerating. Unlike the other hybrid models presently on the market, the Q7 Hybrid will shut down its gasoline engine when it has been idling for 3 seconds, saving more fuel.

With the introduction of the Q7 Hybrid, Audi is introducing a vehicle that provides the best of all worlds to SUV enthusiasts. Power, style and increased fuel economy is sure to make this vehicle a show-stopper when it hits showroom floors in the not too distant future.

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