Audi has reworked its three-litre V6 TDI engine for lower power output to produce a more fuel efficient variant of the new Q7.

Audi says that the new Q7 also jettisons up to 325kg in weight compared with its predecessor and is well placed to capitalise on the fuel-saving capabilities of advanced new engines like the 218PS V6 TDI, which has just joined the range.

Complementing the 272PS version of the 3.0-litre unit, which spearheaded the launch of the re-engineered seven-seat luxury SUV, Audi says the new lower output option is capable of returning in excess of 49mpg with CO2 emissions of as little as 148g/km. The new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro 218PS is available in SE and S line specification priced from GBP47,755 OTR, and is due with its first UK customers in October.

Audi has employed a number of measures to take weight out of the new Q7. Ultra-high-strength parts made of hot-shaped steel form the backbone of the occupant cell. Aluminium castings, extruded sections and panels are used in the front and rear ends as well as the superstructure. They account for 41 percent of the body structure. Other parts made entirely of aluminium are the doors, which shave 24 kilograms (52.9 lb) of weight, the front fenders, the engine hood and the rear hatch.

The Q7 is the first vehicle for a new Volkswagen Group architecture known as both MLB Evo and PL73. The first deliveries in European markets were in July 2015, with cars for North America’s 2016 model year following in the fourth quarter of 2015.