Published on July 4th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair0
Audi SQ8 TDI is a Performance Behemoth
Just when you thought the Germans would hit the brakes on heavy, high-performance diesels, Audi come along and release a 4-litre biturbo SQ8. This diesel performance SUV takes the luxury flagship of the Audi line, the Q8, and gives it the kind of performance figures fit for a supercar. Except it’s a diesel. And something this heavy has business going this fast.
Under the hood is a 4.0 V8 with an electric compressor (supplementing the twin turbochargers) that produces 435PS and 900Nm of torque. Let those figures simmer if your mind a little while.
Ok, now consider the fact that the standard Q8 already weighs 2145kg! Still, Audi thought it was a good idea to add a few performance upgrades and make it go from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
But don’t worry too much about efficiency. The 48V MHEV system is still around, and that brings average fuel consumption down to 7.8L/100km. While not great, it’s actually pretty incredible for a car of this size and weight.
An 8-speed tiptronic automatic and quattro all-wheel drive are, of course, present too. There’s also adaptive air suspension (in its sportier flavour) with regulated damping. They were also nice enough to include all-wheel steering and a self-locking centre differential.
Being a pretty expensive car, Audi have equipped with nice goodies like electromechanical active roll stabilization, 21″ wheels (22″ optional), LED headlights with high-beam assist and HD matrix technology too. Other options like climate control and massage functions ON THE SEATS themselves can be optioned. Being an S model, you get equipment like an S-specific exhaust, S-sport seats and more such goodies and details.
For more details on this new Audi SQ8 TDI, check out the press release below.
Audi presents the sporty top model of the Q family: the SQ8 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 (30.2 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 205 – 204 (329.9 – 328.3 g/mi)). Thanks to the eight-cylinder diesel engine with biturbo charging, the large SUV coupe offers superior performance coupled with a high level of efficiency. The drive and suspension technologies, which include the sport differential, roll stabilization and all-wheel steering, ensure dynamic handling. The Audi SQ8 TDI will be on the lots of European dealerships in the late summer of 2019. Its price in Germany starts at 102,900 euros.
Power and efficiency: 4.0 TDI with electric powered compressor
The biturbo V8 in the Audi SQ8 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 (30.2 US mpg); CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 205 – 204 (329.9 – 328.3 g/mi)) is the most powerful diesel engine on the European market. It combines immense power with a high level of economy and integrates a whole package of high-tech solutions. The engine provides 320 kW (435 metric hp) and develops 900 Nm (663.8 lb-ft) of torque between 1,250 and 3,250 rpm. This allows the 4.0 TDI to accelerate the SUV coupe like a sports car: The 100 km/h (62.1 mph) mark is reached after 4.8 seconds, and the SQ8 TDI only reaches its electronic propulsion limit at 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Power transmission takes place via an eight-speed tiptronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
An electric powered compressor (EPC) supplements the work of the two turbochargers when starting off and when accelerating at a low engine speed, allowing the V8 TDI to always build up its power spontaneously. The EPC draws its drive power from a 48-volt electrical system, which is also the backbone of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Its belt alternator starter can recuperate during deceleration and feed power to the lithium-ion battery.
In real-world customer operation, MHEV technology reduces consumption by up to 0.5 liters (0.1 US gal) per 100 kilometers. In the WLTP cycle, the large SUV coupe consumes an average of 7.8 liters (30.2 mpg), which corresponds to 205 to 204 grams of CO2 per kilometer (329.9 – 328.3 g/mi) – depending on the tire/wheel sets used.
High-end features: the suspension
As standard, the Audi SQ8 TDI is equipped with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and the adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping. The air suspension varies the level position of the body by up to 90 millimeters (3.5 in), thereby allowing the vehicle to be driven on different types of terrain. Three optional top technologies, including the sport differential, provide additional vehicle dynamics, traction and stability. When the vehicle is cornering at high speed, the sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, adding a self-locking center differential to the quattro drive. All-wheel steering is available as an alternative to the standard progressive steering. At low speed, it turns the rear wheels in the direction opposite that of the front wheels to increase agility. As from a speed of approx. 60 km/h (37.3 mph), they turn slightly in the same direction to improve stability.
The third high-tech element is the electromechanical active roll stabilization. There is a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer on each axle. When driving straight ahead, they largely act independently of each other, which reduces sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads. At sporty paces, however, the stabilizer 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.
S-specific details: the design
In short, the design of the Audi SQ8 TDI can be described as impressive, sporty, and robust. The characteristic exterior elements are accentuated specifically and emphasize the special status of the top model: The octagonal Singleframe is structured by double louvers and surrounded by a large matt silver frame. The underbody protection gleams in the same color and makes the front and rear bumpers appear even more voluminous. The air inlets with their clear contours, the S-specific exhaust system and the distinct quattro blisters above the wheel arches also demonstrate power par excellence. The wheel arches house 21 inch wheels as standard, and exclusive 22 inch wheels are available upon request. Horizontal lines, for example the light strip at the rear and an eye-catching strip above the black diffuser, emphasize the width of the SUV coupe. Standard LED headlights that include high-beam assist illuminate the road, with HD matrix technology available as an option.
As is typical for an S model, the interior is kept in dark colors. The standard sport seats are decorated with an S embossing and contrasting stitching. The S-sport seats plus with integrated head restraints and high side bolsters, which can be equipped with climate control and massage functions as an option, can be fitted upon request. Covers in rotor gray or arras red underline the vehicle’s sporty character. The inlays are made of matt brushed aluminum; carbon or oak are available as alternatives.
Intelligently connected: controls, infotainment, and driver assistance
In line with the sporty interior, the standard Audi virtual cockpit offers S-specific views with red graphical details. The driver can select a performance layout where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the performance and torque are shown as percentages. Two large touchscreens with haptic and acoustic feedback function as the main control elements. Alternatively, the driver can use the natural language control feature that understands freely formulated commands and questions. To respond to these, the system accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the knowledge in the cloud. Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, which is fully integrated in the MMI operating system, is a new feature.
As standard, data transfer in the SQ8 TDI** takes place via the standard LTE Advanced, which is part of the MMI navigation plus along with the Wi-Fi hotspot and the Audi connect services. The route planning feature offers many clever functions. For example, it recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and can therefore make intelligent suggestions. The navigation function is enhanced by Car-to-X services such as traffic sign and hazard information. They use the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet as well as the latest service, traffic light information. Audi is rolling out this feature step by step in selected European cities. 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.
The adaptive cruise assist makes the journey even more safe and relaxed by assisting with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It incorporates the functions of adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and active lane assist. In conjunction with the efficiency assistant, the system predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi SQ8 TDI on the basis of sensor information, navigation data and road signs. In the city, systems such as the intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning and the 360 degree camera add to the extensive portfolio.