Audi SQ7 spied for the first time

From autoblog: Audi isn’t really hiding that its engineers are hard at work on a high-performance version of the latest Q7. However, we haven’t seen any of the fruits of this labor, until we got these fresh spy shots of the SQ7.

With seemingly no camouflage on the car, these photos might give a very good idea of what to expect from Audi’s speedy SUV. One big tip-off of the model’s performance aspirations is the redesign of the front end’s lower portion. New ducts beside the foglights send cool air to what appear to be intercoolers. This test model rides on a very cool-looking set of basket-weave style wheels, and the big, cross-drilled brakes are easy to spot behind them. At the rear, the quad exhaust tips also signal something special.

Our spies also snapped some shots of the interior. If there is any question about whether this is the SQ7, these photos certainly assuage it. The badging is plain as day on the gauges, but at this point the changes appear to be fairly minimal beyond that.

We know the SQ7 is going to get more power, but the method isn’t officially confirmed yet. Although, Audi technical boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg said bluntly last year that it would use an electrically turbocharged engine, possibly an evolution of the V6 diesel in the RS5 TDI Concept.

Hackenberg also suggested that the SQ7 would go on sale in 2016. Though, the actual debut might come earlier. Regardless, the tweaks should make the SUV quite a performer. Even on the standard version, it weighs 700 pounds less than the previous generation, while remaining about the same size.

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