The new Audi SQ8 TDI has been revealed ahead of an Australian launch in the first half of 2020.
Power comes from a 4.0-litre turbocharged diesel V8 producing 320kW of power and 900Nm of torque, the latter is available between 1250 and 3250rpm. An eight-speed tiptronic transmission sends power to Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
Audi claims the SQ8 TDI can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds, on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h.
The powertrain also incorporates 48-volt mild hybrid technology to reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres. The system uses an electric compressor to supplement the work of the two turbochargers when starting off and when accelerating at a low engine speed. There’s also a belt alternator starter that can recuperate power during deceleration to feed the lithium-ion battery.
The SQ8 TDI will also get Audi’s adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping that varies the level position of the body by up to 90mm depending on the driving situation.
Buyers can option a sport differential which brings torque vectoring and all-wheel steering.
Electromechanical active roll stabilisation is also available which uses a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabiliser on each axle. According to Audi, “when driving straight ahead, they largely act independently of each other, which reduces sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads.”
The brand goes on to say, “at a sportier pace 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.”
Differentiating the SQ8 TDI from the wider range is a unique grille, front and rear bumper underbody protection, air inlets, an S-specific exhaust system and 21-inch alloy wheels.
LED headlights that include high-beam assist are standard, with HD matrix technology available as an option.
On the inside, the SQ8 is dressed up with sport seats that are decorated with S embossing and contrasting stitching, rotor grey or arras red leather trim and brushed matte aluminium inlays with carbon or oak available as alternatives.
Audi’s virtual cockpit is standard and offers S-specific views with red graphical details, while Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa, is fully integrated into the MMI operating system.
The navigation system is enhanced by Car-to-X services such as traffic sign and hazard information. Audi is rolling out this feature in selected European cities.
If working correctly “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.” There’s no word yet on when the tech will reach Oz.
Safety kit includes adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, active lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.
The all-new Audi SQ8 TDI is expected to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2020. Local specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
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