The new Audi SQ8 has been revealed, with the local arm of the Ingolstadt-based firm confirming the diesel-powered performance SUV is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2020.
While the standard Q8 offered locally is powered by a 250 kW/500 N.m 3,0-litre V6 turbopetrol (and an oil-burning 183 kW/600 N.m Q8 45 TDI variant is set to join the line-up soon), the fresh-faced SQ8 is set to take things a step further.
Yes, the 4,0-litre V8 twin-turbodiesel engine under the swoopy S-badged SUV’s bonnet is effectively borrowed from the SQ7 (which didn’t ever make it to SA) and Bentley Bentayga Diesel, offering 320 kW and a stonking 900 N.m. That grunt it directed to all four corners via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
But the powertrain also includes a 48 V mild hybrid system that hands some electric assistance to the turbochargers at low revs. The result is a sprint from standstill to three figures in a claimed 4,8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
Of course, the SQ8 – which will ship standard with adaptive air suspension – furthermore features a handful of updated design cues, including more aggressively styled bumpers, model-specific alloys and as many as four (real) tailpipes. Inside, you’ll find a mix of leather and Alcantara trims along with stainless steel pedals and aluminium door-sills.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.