The automotive industry is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to diesel engines. On one hand, carmakers are doing everything they can to promote electric mobility, but at the same time, they’re not willing to give up on oil burners just yet.
Audi is playing both sides and is betting big on electrification. As far as diesels are concerned (and despite the Dieselgate), though, they are using them in all types of models, including high-performance ones such as the 2020 SQ8 sports crossover.
The SQ8 gets quad tailpipes, a chunky rear diffuser, large alloys, new air intakes, carbon brakes, adaptive air suspension with a Drive Select dynamic handling system, while four wheel steering can be had as an optional extra, along with a sports diff and electromechanical active anti-roll bars.
Inside, there are stainless steel pedals, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum door sill inlays, embossed ‘S’ logos, and an upholstery of leather and Alcantara. Audi’s latest MMI is also present, working within three main displays, one of which the Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster.
As for its performance, we’ve learned a long time ago that, when it comes to diesels, premium German cars are quite efficient at extracting serious amounts of pulling power from such units – and the SQ8 is no exception.
It is powered by a 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 diesel that also sports an electric compressor that eliminates turbo lag. With 429 HP (435 PS) and 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque on tap, the stylish crossover can accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds. Meanwhile, its official average fuel consumption figure is 7.8 l/100km (30.2 mpg US / 36.2 mpg UK), although don’t expect to hit that number unless you’re just cruising around at very low speeds. Which kinda defeats the purpose of having an SQ8, doesn’t it?