Audi has announced that the next-generation Q7 (spied here) will be its next e-tron model, which is also its first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid and only the second production e-tron model following the Audi A3 e-tron that launched this year.
Audi says the Q7 e-tron will be shown later this year, and will offer upwards of 50km of electric-only driving range.
The announcement came at an Audi TDI technology workshop in Sweden, organised both to commemorate 25 years since the brand developed its first turbocharged direct-injected diesel engine in the Audi 100, and to explain its future diesel strategy.
“It will be the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015,” said Oliver Stohbach, Audi technology communcations manager of the timing for Audi Q7 e-tron.
Strohbach explained that the Q7 will be the first Volkswagen Group product built on the modular MLB platform that will spawn the crucial next-generation Audi A4 among others. He said Audi was in charge of developing the MLB platform in the same way Volkswagen has developed the MQB platform for the Golf, A3 and others, and Porsche will develop the modular rear-wheel-drive-based MSB platform for the next Panamera “and others”.
“The first model of the new MLB will not be an A6 and not an A8, it will be a Q7. The Q7 will be the first model with TDI e-tron drivetrain,” he told.
“We will then bring A4, and A7, and A8, and all the family.”
Weight loss measures will be a big part of the MLB program, particularly relevant for the next-generation Q7, the outgoing model of which weighs a hefty 2300-2440kg.
Strohback could not confirm whether the Q7 e-tron will seat seven, but in terms of fuel efficiency, he says “we do not have the exact number, but in theory less than 4.0 litres [per 100 kilometres].”