In a nutshell - NEW AUDI SQ7 AND SQ8:
- New generation Audi SQ7 and SQ8 models available in the UK from the autumn.
- OTR prices from circa £78,000 and £83,000 OTR respectively.
- 4.0 TFSI engine brings increased power and enhanced performance: 0–62mph in 4.1 secs.
- Also available in the UK with comprehensive ‘Vorsprung’ specification.
- Sport air suspension and all-wheel steering standard across the range, active roll stabilisation for SQ8 Vorsprung.
Audi has ditched the diesel to put new fire into the bellies of its flagship SQ7 and SQ8 cars.
And with a thumping 500 hp V8 petrol engine to play with, the Bavarian smile-makers are promising ‘breathtaking acceleration’.
One look at the stats and you can see they’re not wrong.
The old TDI diesel in both the SQ7 and the SQ8 has been swapped out for a 4.0 TFSI biturbo petrol mill which boosts power by 72 PS to 507 PS, alongside a 770 Nm (567.9 lb-ft) torque peak.
The grunt is married to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
Audi points out that the uprated performance stats would give any two-seat sports car a run for its money, let alone a domineering SUV.
And both the SQ7 and the SQ8 will sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 4.1 seconds. Both cars also surge from 50 to 75mph in just 3.8 seconds and need to be electronically restrained at 155mph.
Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle reveals: “Petrol engines are becoming increasingly prevalent in the high performance SUV segment on the strength of the great efficiency gains made in recent years, and we are acknowledging that trend with these upgraded models.
“By equipping the SQ7 and SQ8 with a new TFSI unit which enables them to break through the 500PS barrier for the first time and deliver even more stirring performance we are ensuring that they remain firmly rooted among the front runners in the pack.”
Audi doesn’t just want to ensure your back is firmly planted in the seat when your right foot is depressed - the firm also wants to keep money in your back pocket.
Fuel economy is boosted thanks to a cylinder on demand (COD) system, which temporarily deactivates four cylinders under low to medium load.
Maximum response at low revs is achieved through two twin-scroll turbochargers, positioned at a 90-degree angle to the V of the cylinder banks, to make the gas paths as short as possible.
Audi says the ‘horizon-pummelling performance of the V8’ is accompanied by a ‘classic V8 soundtrack’, which you can alter according to the different driver modes available.
Meanwhile your posterior is well and truly cosseted, too, thanks to S-specific adaptive air suspension and all-wheel-steering, which is now standard in both the SQ7 and the SQ8.
An Audi spokesperson explains: “At low speeds, it turns the rear wheels by as much as 5 degrees in the opposite direction, reducing the turning circle to improve manoeuvrability. At speeds of 37mph and above, they turn slightly in the same direction to boost stability during fast changes of direction.”
The range-topping SQ8 Vorsprung also features electromechanical active roll stabilisation (eAWS) and a sport differential - the stabilisation mechanism offering a high level of ride comfort and reduced roll during fast cornering, while the sport differential shifts torque between the rear wheels as needed during fast cornering to increase handling adjustability.
The SQ7 has 21-inch alloys while the SQ8 features 22-inch rims.
And when it comes to infotainment, connectivity and driver assistance features, Audi says there’s ‘virtually no box unticked’.