The 2020 Audi SQ8 has been unveiled after what seems to have been an eternity.
Powering the performance-focused version of the sleek Audi Q8 is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged diesel V8 engine also used by the SQ7. With a total of 429 hp and 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque from as low as 1000 rpm, the SQ8 is able to sprint off the line and hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds before topping out at an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
The vehicle’s powertrain incorporates a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack which powers an electric compressor to virtually eliminate all turbo lag. Customers can drive the SUV on pure electric power at speeds of up to 14 mph (22 km/h). It’s not just the engine which distinguishes the SQ8 from other models.
Audi has fitted the SUV with carbon fiber brakes at all four corners as standard while also installing adaptive air suspension and its Drive Select dynamic handling system. Should customers wish, four-wheel steering can be optioned alongside a sport differential and electromechanical active anti-roll bars.
Visually, the SQ8 features a series of alterations over lesser Q8 models. There are quad tailpipes, a silver rear diffuser, sporty wheels, ‘S’ badges, and new air intakes. The interior includes custom touches like stainless steel pedals, aluminium door sill inlays, embossed S logos as well as leather and Alcantara finishes.
Audi is said to be working on a petrol-powered version of the SQ8 which will be sold in select markets, potentially including the United States. Prices for the model pictured start at £80,815 ($103,031).