We really love the Audi Q8 for its beautiful design, and now it's got the power to match in the form of the SQ8 TDI. Of course, the standard Q8 isn't some slouch. Its turbocharged V6 emits 335 horses and 386 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. But the upgraded powertrain in the SQ8 is a 4.0-liter V8 turbodiesel that uses two sequential turbochargers with 429 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. That's almost 100 more horses and 278 more lb-ft of torque. That's yuuuge.
The brand plans on launching two trims in Europe. One is the standard SQ8, and the Vorsprung is a special edition with a black trim package. The SQ8 gets S trim that includes a big matte silver grille with matching lower lip, faux skid plate, rear diffuser, and side mirrors. Standard wheels are 21 inches, with 22" wheels as optional equipment.
The U.S. version will definitely be gas-powered only with no diesel option. What engine that actually is remains to be seen since we have yet to get a U.S. version actually confirmed. Power might just come from a turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that's now in the SQ5. It might get massaged for more power in the SQ8, a move that would make sense.
In terms of performance enhancements, the SQ8 gets an adaptive air suspension that can adjust a full 3.5 inches. The Vorsprung trim goes further by adding active roll stabilization, agility-enhancing four-wheel steering, and a sport differential for torque splitting across the back end.
The question remains as to whether or not the SQ8 will come to the states, which we think it will. The fact that the Q8 is selling really well here is an indication that the performance version will get here but not in turbodiesel form since that will be a hard sell here for the VW-owned brand.
The cabin of the SQ8 is even prettier than the base crossover's (which is stunning, to begin with). Diamond quilted leather, huge twin touchscreens for the MMI system, copious amounts of aluminum trim, stainless steel pedals, and aluminum door sills punctuate one of the best interiors in the business. You can get red leather for more drama when guests enter the handsome confines of the SQ8.
Audi will also likely create a monstrous RS Q8 with over 600 horses from a gas-powered twin-turbo V8 or even a hybrid V8 powertrain. The likelihood of it coming to the states is slim since we don't even get an RS Q5 or RS Q7. We'd be happy enough to see the SQ8 show up on our shores. Pricing for the SQ8 has not been released for Europe, but we're guessing it will be awfully close to six figures, if not more.