429bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine is firm's most powerful V8 in Europe
James Attwood, digital editor
10 September 2019

Audi's hot new SQ8 has made its Frankfurt debut as the firm's flagship SUV, featuring a 429bhp mild hybrid turbodiesel V8 engine.

The 4.0-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 664lb ft and powers the five-seater from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, with a limited top speed of 155mph. 

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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 11bhp under braking, and allow the SQ8 to coast without the engine active for up to 40 seconds at speeds between 34 and 100mph.

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.

Our Verdict

Audi SQ8 2019 road test review - hero front

Doesn’t offer as much pace or fun-factor as some in the class, but does technology, dynamic versatility, refinement and cruising range better than most.

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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 sits on 21-inch wheels as standard, with 22-inch available upon request. Carbon fibre ceramic brake discs are available as 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 UK in the coming months. Pricing has yet to be set, but will likely be an increase on the current range-topping Q8, the 55 TFSI, which costs £80,815.

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.

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Comments
13

21 June 2019
Ugly as hell

22 June 2019

Hard pass.

Where are all the ( real, not this 48V, glorified stop-start stuff  ) hybrids and PHEVs they said they where going to start selling?

 

And personally i don't think this is ugly. With the right spec ( a color coded or black grille helps things quite a bit  ) imo it's actually the best looking Audi in the range.

 

 

22 June 2019

I agree, where are all these electric marvels promised by VAG at the height of the Dieselgate scandal? I suspect that it was mostly pie-in-the-sky marketing BS to help the VAG directors suspected of fraud. Once the US authorities started to actually take action and impose huge fines and penalties the urgent need for the BS subsided and VAG thought they would be able to still soldier on, particularly in Europe due to the cronyism of the EU, with Diesel engines. It was only later that VAG directors realised that the world really had changed and that they needed to actually develop their electric cars. They found that with billions of Dollars in fines and penalties left them with insufficient funds to develop the electric cars on their own and so progress has been slow and VAG is having to look for development partners to share the costs. So we end up here where in a world where diesel is dying and will probably be banned as a fuel that VAG are introducing diesel powered “halo” models. Utter madness. Just a theory though. 

22 June 2019

And people complain about the new BMW Grills!?!?

22 June 2019
A hulking great lump of conspicuous consumption.

Evil on wheels.

Steam cars are due a revival.

22 June 2019

What a beast. It seems as though Audi might have to invent a Q9, or move its model down the numbers a bit since they will soon need something to compete with the BMW X8.

The Q8 doesn't even match the X7 in terms of luxury.

Jameson

22 June 2019

At least some of the 2.5 tonne SUV's have space going for them.  Or go anywhere ability.  Even perhaps a modicum of style.

 

Then you have the SQ8.

22 June 2019
Do they not see the impossoble contradiction of something so grossly wasteful and inefficient pretending to have some green mini-hybrid credentials?

22 June 2019

 It’s an Urus, can’t hide that fact, it’s just a re-skin on a modular platform used within the VAG family.

Peter Cavellini.

22 June 2019

its a diesel.. Now if if it was a petrol V8, it might be of interest.. 

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