Audi Q7 TD

    The clean-diesel technology derived from the Audi R10 TDI Le Mans–series racecar is finally making its way into the German automaker’s U.S. production line. The Audi Q7 TDI (www.audiusa.com) was the first diesel-powered model to arrive stateside last year. Though a 3-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that produces only 225 hp may seem a bit lackluster on paper, the diesel-powered motor churns up an impressive 406 ft lbs of torque—more than 80 ft lbs over the current top-range Q7. Better still, the car gets 25 mpg on the highway, which translates to more than 600 miles on the highway on a full tank. Much like the R10, the diesel SUV is surprisingly quiet and responds with plenty of thrust when prodded with heavy throttle. Priced at $50,900, the Audi Q7 TDI may not be the sportiest vehicle in its segment, but with a towing capacity of 6,600 pounds, the seven-passenger SUV makes very few compromises when it comes to utility.

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