V12 Diesel Audi Q7 Drag Races New e-tron Electric SUV, the Gap Is Clean


Over the past couple of years, we’ve been re-discovering the Audi Q7 6.0 TDI, a V12 diesel SUV unlike any ever built. Videos like the ones made by AutotopNL have revealed this is a fast vehicle for its age and size. But you know what they say, never drag race your idols!

The V12-powered Audi was quite a statement piece back in the day. Buying any Q7 was already pretty bold, as luxury SUVs weren’t yet mainstream. But then in 2009, Jeremy Clarkson made it famous with a review where he described it as ludicrous. In his words, having this engine in an SUV is like turning off the central heating and burning Rembrandts to stay warm.

Lots of 3.0 TDI owners wanted the brakes, wheels and oval exhausts from this V12 TDI to be fitted to their Q7. Now, we’re not saying that a 6.0-liter bi-turbo diesel V12 engine should be glorified. But those who forget their history are destined to relive it, and the Q7 super-SUV came from a glorious period of Audi over-engineering.

Compared to that, the Audi e-tron seems pretty normal. Sure, it’s an all-electric SUV from a company known for making TDI engines. But it’s not the most expensive, powerful or anything like that. It is fast, though, as you’ll see in the following drag race.

Officially rated at almost 500 horsepower and 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm of torque), the V12 SUV is supposed to shoot from zero to 62 mph (100 kph) in 5.5 seconds. That was quick back in 2009. Meanwhile, the e-tron Sportback is rocking its “55” powertrain, which means the dual motors produce 405 horsepower and 490 pound-feet (664 Nm) of torque.

The newer e-tron model is quite heavy, but the Q7 is heavier still. It sounds like the EV might lose, right? Well, Mat Watson rarely puts himself in the losing car when drag racing for Carwow. And after a failed launch, the e-tron 55 win all its drag races.

This isn’t because of the instant torque which usually accompanies electric cars. No, the e-tron creates a lead all down the runway. Unless we’re mistaken, the Q7 comes with an old ZF 6-speed, and those things don’t like to be rushed.