Turbo-engined cars are always a challenge when it comes to lag from when you put your foot down to when you actually get some sort of feedback. It gets even worse for SUVs because all the weight you’re carrying would require more work. This is not the case for Audi’s latest SUV, the SQ7 TDI; deemed the R8 of SUVs, it’s very fast, it handles corners like nobody’s business and generally fun to drive with the ability to reduce body roll when cornering, and still provide the comfort needed when driving in straight line, like on the motorway. So how did Audi make this possible?
EPC (Electric-powered Compressor)
Usually when at a junction or roundabout, what I would do when I have a fast car is have the confidence to just go when the opportunity or gap presents itself, however you lose that confidence when you have a car with obvious turbo lag as by the time your turbo kick in, it may be too late.
With Audi’s EPC engineering, the SQ7’s 4.0-litre V8 TDI engine, gets a little boost with electric-powered compressor doing the work before the first of its two conventional turbochargers kicks in, the result? no turbo lag, you put your foot down and it feels like the turbochargers are functioning straight away.
If you’re wondering if it works side-by-side the turbochargers all the time, the good news is that it’s not designed to, it’s only there to fill in the gap and once the chargers kick in, it stops, leaving the turbochargers in charge to do the rest. With a 48v lithium ion battery now present along the middle of the car, it doesn’t just power the new compressor, but also ensure nothing electronic in the car is affected – things like your infotainment system and other car electronics.
If you’re looking for a true performance SUV or have been sitting on the fence about upgrading your sport coupe to something bigger without compromise, how about a car that will deliver 900Nm of torque from 1000rpm? Audi claims the SQ7 will surge from 0-100km/h (about 62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and that is not just a claim. Driving it around the winding road of the French mountains, we truly put its power to a real test, and this brings us to discussing the added electromechanical anti-roll system which works better than the traditional system.
Electromechanical anti-roll stabilization system
Although this is an extra, it’s definitely worth option for. Combined with a differential, a four-wheel steering system and a three-stage planetary gearbox, the electromechanical roll stabilization system uses an electric motor powered by the same 48-volt system to improve ride quality over rough surfaces, and this is even more noticeable when cornering as it enables you to get into those tight corners at higher speed for such a large vehicle. Stick the drive-select to dynamic mode, and you are ready for the drive of you life (not Peugeot).
The SQ7 TDI is a packed with all kinds of technology innovation working to ensure efficiency without compromising on performance. If anything it has the performance anyone who doesn’t want to compromise that opt for. It’s a super SUV and that’s what it should be marketed as – you just have to driver it, feel it and hear the sound of the roaring engine as you put the pedal to the floor.