Audi has revealed the SQ8, its flagship SUV, which it says has “the most powerful diesel engine on the European market”.
The 4.0-litre V8 unit has two turbochargers and makes 429bhp and 900Nm of torque. With all-wheel-drive, that contributes to an impressive 0-60mph time of just 4.6 seconds.
To improve response, only one turbo spins up at lower engine revs, assisted by an electronic compressor, with the second turbo joining above 2,200rpm. A valve in the exhaust system allows the driver to choose between a more aggressive or more subdued exhaust note.
It uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which can take over ancillary functions and turn off the engine when the driver is slowing to a stop or freewheeling, which improves economy.
UK models are available in two trims, called SQ8 and SQ8 Vorsprung. The latter will have the sport differential fitted as standard, which controls the split of power between the front and rear axles, with up to 60 per cent of power transmitted to the rear. Mid-corner, it can also focus power to the outside wheels to minimise understeer.
Other features include adaptive air suspension, all-wheel steering and active roll stabilisation. The latter uses an electric motor between the anti-roll bars that can decouple when driving straight to reduce roll on uneven roads, and recouple to stiffen the body in corners.
Inside, there’s a mix of leather and Alcantara upholstery, as well as a twin touchscreen set-up. Pricing has not yet been confirmed but expect the SQ8 to command a decent premium over the current top-spec model, which starts at £80,815.