Is the Audi SQ7 Faster Than an Old Q7 V12 TDI?

Is the Audi SQ7 Faster Than an Old Q7 V12 TDI? 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot/AutoTopNL
If you think Audi is a naughty company that needs to be put over the knee for cheating on its emissions tests, wait until you see what they've done in the SUV department. Not only is the current SQ7 packing the largest oil-burner of any German car, but back in the day, the original Q7 had a V12 TDI.
Yes, that's right, a 12-cylinder that's powered by diesel. Take that Ferrari, bet you've never made one of those! In any case, the 6-liter bi-turbo was crazy for its time, offering a monster output of 500 horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque. That was on par with some Lamborghinis and Ferraris of its time. Back about a decade ago, they even planned to put the V12 TDI inside the R8 and produce a supercar unlike any other.

This project comes from a time when Audi's bosses and engineers had more to prove. They wanted better luxury cars that could travel at higher speeds in ultra-comfort. The Q7 itself was a pretty novel idea too and was seen by many at the time as obscenely large. Its modern-day counterpart is a pretty common sight on the school run, and nobody would ever know that it could have a TDI monster under the hood.

Revealed a couple of years ago, the 4.0 TDI replaces a 4.2-liter system and was used briefly by Porsche in the Panamera as well. Though Stuttgart is done with it, the Bentley Bentayga Diesel relies on this 435 HP, 900 Nm powertrain.

The official numbers would lead you to believe that despite having more power and torque, the old Q7 V12 TDI is slower than an SQ7. This could be put down to the increased weight or the abilities of the older automatic gearbox. But this independent test from AutoTopNL shows their performance is pretty much identical up to about 130 km/h. After that, the more streamlined modern SUV secures a lead, though it's a tiny one.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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