The top-tier Audi luxury SUV is now showing a harder-edged side to its character as a brawny V8 TDI with 320 kW and 900 Nm of torque – the most powerful diesel engine available on the European market, according to Audi – thrusts its performance squarely into S-model territory.
The 4.0-litre biturbo V8 in the SQ8 TDI delivers its mammoth torque between 1,250 and 3,250 rpm, enabling it to propel the SQ8 from rest to 100 km/h in only 4.8 seconds. The turbos operate according to the principle of sequential turbocharging with only one charger active at low engine speeds and the second charger exerting its influence from around 2,200 rpm.
An electrically powered compressor (EPC) assists the turbochargers on take-off and when accelerating at low engine speeds. The driving force behind the EPC is the 48-volt electrical system, also the backbone of the mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a compact lithium-ion battery as energy storage unit. Power transmission takes place via an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and the drive select dynamic handling system with seven modes and adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping.
The octagonal single-frame grille, pronounced quattro blisters above the wheel wells, and striking underbody protection underline its statement of intent, and behind all the dynamic systems of the SQ8 TDI lies a high-tech module: the central driver assistance controller, or zFAS for short. The high-powered S-version is expected to reach South Africa late this year.