Reports from earlier this year suggested the first-ever Audi SQ8 will debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, but, obviously, that’s not happening. The star at the German company’s stand in LA is the E-Tron GT electric vehicle but, in the meantime, folks from the automaker are performing final evaluations of the performance coupe-SUV in Europe.
The attached video above has been filmed in Copenhagen yesterday and shows a completely undisguised prototype of the 2019 SQ8. Simply put, that’s exactly the car you will be able to see in Audi’s showrooms very soon. Given that, we are tempted to believe the debut of the SUV is just a couple of weeks away.
A look at the rear of this pre-production prototype reveals it’s a diesel-powered trial car. The TDI badge at the back refers to the 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine under the bonnet that’s also used in the SQ7 and was used by the now discontinued Bentley Bentayga Diesel. The electrified mill pushes out 429 bhp and mountain-moving 664 pound-feet of torque from just 1,000 rpm.
This is the motor the SQ8 will receive for the European market but rumour has it the performance coupe-SUV mashup will also get a petrol powertrain for the U.S. market. Our guess is Audi will install a 3.0-litre turbo V6 in the U.S.-spec SQ8 with power close to or above the 400-bhp mark. A range-topping V8-powered SQ8 is also in the cards.
The next major automotive show is in January, when the 2019 NAIAS in Detroit will take place. Hopefully, Audi is giving its fast SUV some final touches before its world debut in less than two months from now. Fingers crossed!
Note: Another SQ8 prototype is pictured in the gallery below.