The all-new Audi Q7 is already a hero model for the German marque, with a cutting-edge array of equipment and active safety technology. But there’s one particular variant that takes the Q7 to new heights: the e-tron plug-in hybrid. The second series production model in Audi’s e-tron range (the first was the A3 Sportback), the Q7 is the world’s first plug-in hybrid to combine electric power, a 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine and four-wheel drive. The Q7 e-tron employs lithium-ion battery technology and can be fully charged in two and a half hours. It can travel up to 55km on zero-emissions electric power, with a total range of 1,400km on battery and diesel power combined. It still offers rapid performance when required: with 700Nm of torque from the total powertrain system, it can accelerate to 100km/h in just six seconds. However, the Q7 e-tron also returns 1.4 litres per 100km in the official European Combined fuel economy test cycle. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of less than 50 grams per km. The Q7 has also been engineered to deliver the refinement expected of an electric vehicle, even when operating in hybrid mode. It’s the first diesel-powered vehicle in the world to feature active engine mounts, which eliminate unwanted vibrations by applying counter-pulses.