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Audi SQ7 gets electric compressor, 664 lb-ft of torque

The 48-volt electrical system provides enough power to run an electromechanical roll-stabilization system.

On the heels of the Geneva Motor Show, Audi has introduced the SQ7 with several powertrain and chassis innovations.

The most notable feature is an electric compressor that complements the two exhaust-driven sequential turbochargers. An electric motor allows the system to deliver boost at low rpm, virtually eliminating turbo lag.

The electric powered compressor (EPC) is said to be the first to arrive in a production vehicle, requiring up to 7 kW of power via a new 48-volt electrical system. A 470 Wh battery has been placed under the rear cargo area, while a MOSFET generator charges the cells with an efficiency over 80 percent.

Billed as the most powerful diesel SUV on the market, the SQ7 is powered by a 4.0-liter TDI mill with 435 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. Audi promises acceleration to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Despite the impressive performance figures, the fuel-sipping engine and eight-speed transmission achieve the equivalent of 31.8 mpg in European driving cycles.

Fully taking advantage of the 48-volt circuitry, Audi engineers implemented an optional electromechanical stabilization system to mitigate body roll and understeer when cornering. A compact electric motor and a three-stage planetary gearbox join the stabilizer halves, providing a claimed improvement in speed and power compared to hydraulic actuators.

Management for suspension control systems has been integrated and centralized, coordinating body-roll stabilizers, air springs, differential engagement and all-wheel-steering. Other tech-focused features include standard Matrix LED headlights, optional head-up display, a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, tablet docks in the back of the front headrests, and a full range of safety and driver-assistance technologies.

The SQ7 is slated to arrive in Europe this spring, offered in Germany with a base price of €89,900 (~$98,280 USD). The company has not signaled any intention of a US launch.

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