Spend 46 minutes with the most powerful diesel vehicle available in Europe.
Following the launch of the Audi SQ7, Bentley Bentayga Diesel, and the VW Touareg Diesel V8, it’s now the SQ8’s turn to get the mountain-moving torque. Arguably the most stylish of the lot, the temporary flagship SUV from Ingolstadt has travelled to the lovely city of Tarbes in France where Motor1.com friend Auditography was given the opportunity to immortalise the luxobarge.
Say what you will about these SUVs being wrongly labelled as coupes, but you have to admit the Audi Q8 stands out from the crowd and it looks even more special in SQ8 specification. These videos give us the chance to have a closer look at the exterior with those controversial quad exhausts. Why “controversial”? Because it looks like only the inner tips are the real ones, with the exterior ones not being linked to the actual exhaust. That’s still better than the SQ5 where you can spot all four faux exhausts from a mile away.
Exhausts aside, the SQ8 does have a polarising design and sends out a Lamborghini Urus vibe. With the two SUVs sharing many of the bits and pieces, it’s no coincidence there’s a sense of familiarity when putting the two side by side. Audi Sport’s SQ8 diesel SUV is by far the more attainable of the two since it “only” costs €102,900 in Europe or approximately £85,000 in the UK where it’s effectively the most powerful diesel production vehicle available.
As a refresher, it packs 429 bhp and 664 pound-feet of torque from a twin-turbo 4.0-litre diesel V8 with a mild hybrid system and an electric-powered compressor assisting the turbos during low revs. The tech specs sheet also includes all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, an eight-speed auto, and air suspension with an optional sport differential.
Noticed we said “temporary flagship” in the beginning? That’s because the RS Q8 is right around the corner and will likely pack a petrol twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine as seen recently in the new 563-bhp S8 saloon, although it could have even more power to justify its RS badge. Expect the wraps to come off before the year’s end taking into account Audi Sport has already promised two “particularly sporty versions” of its coupe-SUV, with one being the SQ8 and the other likely the RS Q8.