Lightweight construction allows Audi to offer the Q7 with a frugal turbo four

Ronan Glon
Lightweight construction allows Audi to offer the Q7 with a frugal turbo four
Audi has introduced an entry-level variant of the full-size Q7 SUV powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Also found in a number of Volkswagen and Porsche models, the turbo four makes 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Audi went to great lengths to make the second-generation Q7 as light as possible. The weight shed allows the behemoth to receive a frugal four-cylinder engine for the first time.

The four-banger in question is a familiar 2.0-liter gasoline-burning unit that’s also found in a number of Volkswagen, Audi, and even Porsche models sold across the globe. In the Q7, it generates 252 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque over a broad band that stretches from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. Its power is transferred to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Audi points out the Q7 2.0T is nearly 500 pounds lighter than the 3.0T version it replaces. Consequently, it takes half a second less to hit 60 mph from a stop. Official performance figures haven’t been published yet, but the Q7 3.0T performed the benchmark sprint in 7.7 seconds, so the new model should only take a little over seven seconds.

Related: Audi’s new A5 Sportback tones up, sheds weight, could head for U.S.

Fuel economy checks in at an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in a combined cycle, a 22-percent improvement over the old 3.0T model. In spite of its relatively small engine, the 2.0T is capable of towing up to 4,400 pounds when it’s equipped with the towing package that’s available at an extra cost.

Engine aside, the Q7 2.0T is identical to its more expensive sibling. It continues to offer space for seven passengers and a tech-focused cockpit. The list of options includes a digital instrument cluster called virtual cockpit in Audi-speak, navigation, and a Bose 3D sound system.

The 2017 Audi Q7 2.0T quattro will go on sale early next year with a base price of $49,000, while the better-equipped Premium Plus trim will cost $53,000 before a mandatory $950 destination charge is factored in. In comparison, buyers who order the Q7 with a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 engine need to write a check for $54,800.