Audi has presented the sporty top model of the Q family: the SQ8 TDI. Thanks to the eight-cylinder diesel engine with biturbo charging, the large SUV coupe offers superior performance coupled with a high level of efficiency.
The drive and suspension technologies, which include the sport differential, roll stabilisation and all-wheel steering, ensure dynamic handling.
The Audi SQ8 TDI will be on the lots of European dealerships in the late summer of 2019. Its price in Germany starts at 102,900 euros.The biturbo V8 in the Audi SQ8 TDI is the most powerful diesel engine on the European market. It combines immense power with a high level of economy and integrates a whole package of high-tech solutions. The engine provides 320 kW and develops 900 Nm of torque between 1,250 and 3,250 rpm.
This allows the 4.0 TDI to accelerate the SUV coupe like a sports car: The 100 km/h mark is reached after 4.8 seconds, and the SQ8 TDI** only reaches its electronic propulsion limit at 250 km/h. Power transmission takes place via an eight-speed tiptronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. An electric powered compressor (EPC) supplements the work of the two turbochargers when starting off and when accelerating at a low engine speed, allowing the V8 TDI to always build up its power spontaneously.
The EPC draws its drive power from a 48-volt electrical system, which is also the backbone of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Its belt alternator starter can recuperate during deceleration and feed power to the lithium-ion battery.
As standard, the Audi SQ8 TDI is equipped with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and the adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping. The air suspension varies the level position of the body by up to 90 millimetres, thereby allowing the vehicle to be driven on different types of terrain.
Three optional top technologies, including the sport differential, provide additional vehicle dynamics, traction and stability. When the vehicle is cornering at high speed, the sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, adding a self-locking centre differential to the quattro drive.
All-wheel steering is available as an alternative to the standard progressive steering. At low speed, it turns the rear wheels in the direction opposite that of the front wheels to increase agility. As from a speed of approx. 60 km/h (37.3 mph), they turn slightly in the same direction to improve stability.
The third high-tech element is the electromechanical active roll stabilisation. There is a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer on each axle. When driving straight ahead, they largely act independently of each other, which reduces sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads.
At sporty paces, however, the stabiliSer halves work as a unit by being turned in opposite directions. This makes the handling of the SQ8 TDI tighter and significantly reduces its roll angle when cornering.
In short, the design of the Audi SQ8 TDI can be described as impressive, sporty, and robust. The characteristic exterior elements are accentuated specifically and emphasise the special status of the top model: The octagonal Singleframe is structured by double louvers and surrounded by a large matt silver frame.
The underbody protection gleams in the same colour and makes the front and rear bumpers appear even more voluminous. The air inlets with their clear contours, the S-specific exhaust system and the distinct quattro blisters above the wheel arches also demonstrate power par excellence.
The wheel arches house 21-inch wheels as standard, and exclusive 22-inch wheels are available upon request.
Horizontal lines, for example the light strip at the rear and an eye-catching strip above the black diffuser, emphasiSe the width of the SUV coupe. Standard LED headlights that include high-beam assist illuminate the road, with HD matrix technology available as an option.
As is typical for an S model, the interior is kept in dark colours. The standard sport seats are decorated with an S embossing and contrasting stitching. The S-sport seats plus with integrated head restraints and high side bolsters, which can be equipped with climate control and massage functions as an option, can be fitted upon request.
Covers in rotor grey or arras red underline the vehicle’s sporty character. The inlays are made of matt brushed aluminium; carbon or oak are available as alternatives.
In line with the sporty interior, the standard Audi virtual cockpit offers S-specific views with red graphical details. The driver can select a performance layout where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the performance and torque are shown as percentages.
Two large touchscreens with haptic and acoustic feedback function as the main control elements. Alternatively, the driver can use the natural language control feature that understands freely formulated commands and questions.
To respond to these, the system accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the knowledge in the cloud. Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, which is fully integrated in the MMI operating system, is a new feature.
As standard, data transfer in the SQ8 TDI takes place via the standard LTE Advanced, which is part of the MMI navigation plus along with the Wi-Fi hotspot and the Audi connect services. The route planning feature offers many clever functions.
For example, it recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and can therefore make intelligent suggestions.
The navigation function is enhanced by Car-to-X services such as traffic sign and hazard information. They use the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet as well as the latest service, traffic light information.
Audi is rolling out this feature step by step in selected European cities. The car receives data from the traffic light central computer, allowing the driver to choose their speed to match the next green light. While waiting at a red light, the Audi virtual cockpit shows the remaining time until the next green light.
The system thereby contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic.
The adaptive cruise assist makes the journey even more safe and relaxed by assisting with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It incorporates the functions of adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and active lane assist.
In conjunction with the efficiency assistant, the system predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi SQ8 TDI on the basis of sensor information, navigation data and road signs. In the city, systems such as the intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning and the 360-degree camera add to the extensive portfolio.