GUEBWILLER, France -- Audi's SQ7 large SUV is the world's first production vehicle equipped with an electric powered compressor (EPC), which the automaker says helps eliminate turbo lag and ensure smooth acceleration.
The compressor, whose high power needs are met by a 48-volt electrical system, supports one of the car's two turbochargers when it cannot draw enough energy from exhaust gases at low revs, avoiding the momentary pauses in available power known as turbo lag.
The compressor enables the SUV's newly developed 4.0-liter V-8 TDI diesel engine to accelerate from 0-100kph (62mph) in 4.8 seconds. The second turbocharger kicks in at higher revs to help maintain the power flow.
The 48-volt system, the first of its kind in an Audi vehicle, currently also supports the electromechanical active roll stabilization feature which increases the car's maneuverability in corners, but its surplus power could also later also be used to drive other electrical features, Audi says.
"The EPC has many future uses that could include [powering] a plug-in hybrid and other systems that use high amounts of power such as heating," Klaus Bugelnig, the SQ7's project leader, told Automotive News Europe.
The 48-volt system is powered by a lithium battery stored in the trunk and is complemented by a conventional 12-volt system, which is used to run less power-hungry features such as lighting and infotainment.