Audi has revealed the new sizzling hot SQ8 as its flagship SUV, featuring a 320kW mild hybrid turbodiesel V8 engine.
The 4 litre biturbo unit offered in the range-topping performance version of the coupe-inspired Q8 large SUV is the most powerful V8 offered by the firm in Europe. It produces 900Nm and powers the five-seater from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, with an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h.
The diesel, which automatically turns off one of the two turbochargers at low speeds to boost fuel economy, is mated to a 48V mild hybrid system, operated through a belt alternator starter connected to the crankshaft. It can generate up to 8kW under braking, and allow the SQ8 to coast without the engine active for up to 40 seconds at speeds between 50 and 160km/h.
Power is driven to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with an optional advanced suspension package including a sport differential that can balance torque between the rear wheels when cornering.
As standard, the car sits on adaptive air suspension, which can adjust the ride height by up to 90mm, and features electromechanical active roll stabilisation, which uses an electric motor to reduce body movement.
All-wheel steering is available as an option, either by itself or as part of the advanced suspension package.
The SQ8 comes standard with 21-inch wheels, with 22-inch available as an option. Carbon fibre ceramic brake discs are also standard.
The SQ8 features a number of design tweaks from the Q8, which is closely related to the more practical Q7 and built on the VW Group’s MLB Evo platform.
It gains a new S-specific grille featuring a matt silver frame and LED headlights, along with revamped air inlets and new aluminium-effect mirrors. At the rear, the diffuser is finished in a matt black colour, with quad exhausts. A black styling package will be offered to further differentiate the car.
Inside, as with other S machines the SQ8 is finished in black, with a mix of leather and Alcantara, and embossed S logos in the seats. Stainless steel pedals and footrest, along with aluminium inlays on the door sills, are standard.
As with the Q8, the SQ8 is offered with a twin touchscreen set-up and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, which features S-specific graphics and displays.
The SQ8 is due to go on sale in the coming months and pricing has yet to be announced.
While the SQ8 will only be offered in the UK and Europe with the turbodiesel powerplant, largely due to the need to meet EU CO2 targets, petrol engined-versions will be offered in other markets.