While many SUVs are adding pounds and inches, Audi is subtracting them in the next-generation Q7 that debuts in January at the Detroit auto show.
The redesigned, slightly smaller 2015 version of the three-row SUV features a body made from a mix of high-strength steel and aluminum. It weighs 716 pounds less than the outgoing model, Audi says.
The Q7 has an ultra-high-strength steel backbone in what Audi calls the "occupant cell." Aluminum castings, extruded sections and panels are used in the front and rear of the body.
Audi used aluminum for the doors, fenders, hood and rear hatch, saving 156 pounds. The doors alone shave 52 pounds from the curb weight.
Two engines will be available -- a 3.0-liter supercharged gasoline V-6 and a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V-6. Audi says the Q7's fuel economy will improve as much as 26 percent. All versions will be equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Q7 is expected to arrive at North American dealerships in early 2016, possibly as a 2017 model. Audi plans to offer a plug-in diesel hybrid version after the gasoline and diesel models are launched.