Audis Queue­ing

– Big and Small

NZ Autocar - - Fyi -

Audi will have another niche filled when its new Q2 com­pact SUV ar­rives next year. The smallest mem­ber of the Q fam­ily wears a fa­mil­iar look­ing grille while large in­takes po­si­tioned out­board in the bumper give the lit­tle SUV a wider stance. It’s said to be the first model over­seen by new design di­rec­tor Marc Lichte so blame him if you don’t like the treat­ment of the C pil­lars.

The Q2 rides on the MQB plat­form and mea­sures 4.19m, putting it in- be­tween the A1 and A3 Sport­backs for length, and it is 1.51m tall. The 2.6m wheel­base is sim­i­lar to that of the A3. Audi says the Q3 has good all-round vi­sion typ­i­cal of an SUV and also ease of en­try but makes a point of the driver’s seat po­si­tion be­ing low in re­la­tion to the wheel, like that of an Audi sedan. Boot space is quoted at 405L, ex­pand­ing to 1050L with split fold­ing, and fea­tures in­clude a pow­ered tailgate and three­way split for the rear bench. Top mod­els will have the op­tion of Audi’s vir­tual cock­pit, head-up dis­play and ac­tive

cruise, though au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing (AEB) will be stan­dard.

The en­try-level mod­els will be front driv­ers, and there are six en­gines avail­able in Europe in­clud­ing a one-litre triple, 1.4 and 2.0 fours and three four-cylin­der diesels. A seven-speed twin-clutch will be stan­dard for NZ, while the top spec 2.0-litre mod­els are said to fea­ture a newly de­vel­oped ver­sion of the trans­mis­sion and both come with AWD. Front-wheel drive mod­els have a semi-in­de­pen­dent rear end while AWD ver­sions get a four-link set-up. Vari­able steer­ing is stan­dard, while adap­tive dampers can be op­tioned. The Q2 launches in Europe in Q3, and is ex­pected here early in 2017.

Com­ing later this year is the new SQ7 su­per-diesel, with a head­line fig­ure of 900Nm of torque from 1000rpm. It will be the first ve­hi­cle on the mar­ket with a 48-volt elec­tri­cal sys­tem which has en­abled the use of an elec­tri­cally driven com­pres­sor to boost torque right from idle. The 4.0-litre V8 also boasts two se­quen­tial tur­bos to push power out to 320kW. The in­stant thrust is said to have ban­ished turbo lag, and Audi quotes a 0-100km/h time of 4.8sec. That should make it the first pro­duc­tion diesel ve­hi­cle we will have driven to run 0-100 in un­der five sec­onds. Audi also states its com­bined fuel use av­er­age is 7.4L/100km in the test lab.

The elec­tric booster is said to re­quire 7kW of power to drive, which is pro­vided by the 48V elec­tric sys­tem, and this gets the com­pres­sor spin­ning up to 70,000rpm (full boost), in 250 mil­lisec­onds. It helps the con­ven­tional tur­bos to spool up faster, elim­i­nat­ing lag. The 48V sys­tem has its own lithium-ion bat­tery housed un­der the boot floor, while there is also a reg­u­lar 12V sys­tem for nor­mal op­er­a­tions. To fur­ther im­prove ef­fi­ciency the rail pres­sure for the in­jec­tion sys­tem is ramped up to 2500bar while boost pres­sure for the reg­u­lar tur­bos, which live in the V of the eight, is en­hanced by ac­tive valve tim­ing. While it is an ac­knowl­edged tech­nol­ogy leader, the SQ7 is likely to ar­rive here wear­ing rather a lofty price tag.

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