The petrol-engined SQ8 TFSI quattro model will be priced from $169,600 before on-road costs and will replace the previous turbo-diesel V8 model
These two models have undergone a significant transformation in the engine department, moving from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol one.
While that might not seem like such a big deal, the new petrol version delivers more power (up 53kW) but less torque (down 130Nm), and is far thirstier than the diesel, consuming 12.2L/100km on the combined cycle compared to just 7.6L/100km of the outgoing diesel.
But this new twin-turbo petrol engine does have an upside – it’s substantially quicker. Packing 373kW of power and 770Nm of torque, the 2022 SQ8 can launch from zero to 100km/h in a claimed 4.1 seconds – 0.7sec faster than the diesel and an impressive feat for a 2195kg SUV.
The SQ8’s newfound petrol punch is transmitted to the road via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
The SQ8’s change in fuel diet results from the Volkswagen Group’s decision to move away from diesel powertrains during the 2020s. The deletion of the diesel V8 from Audi Sport’s largest SUVs follows a similar removal from the related Bentley Bentayga luxury SUV, and the Volkswagen Touareg 310TDI R-Line.
On the exterior, the SQ8 features significant ‘S’ styling elements including 22-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, aluminium-look exterior mirrors and Matrix LED headlights.
Inside the vehicle, standard specification includes Valcona leather upholstery, ‘S’ sports heated front seats, a 10.1-inch screen for infotainment, an 8.6-inch haptic touch screen for vehicle functions and a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit screen for the driver.
Also included is a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The SQ8 has plenty of advanced driver systems onboard including adaptive cruise control, 360-degree cameras including a kerb view, front and rear parking sensors, Audi pre-sense front and rear including AEB, and Audi’s active lane, side and cross-traffic assist all equipped as standard.
All Audi’s purchased from 1 January 2022 now come with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty along with a 12-year warranty for bodywork corrosion and perforation.
The Audi SQ8 is expected to arrive in dealerships in May 2022, while the closely related SQ7 will also arrive soon.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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