The Audi SQ8 TDI is here, wrapping the same diesel-hearted powertrain from the SQ7 TDI in a more lissome package. That means a 4.0-liter V8 oil-burner with two sequential turbochargers terrifying the roadways with 429 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That twist-a-licious torque figure is on tap from 1,000 rpm to 3,250 rpm. An eight-speed tiptronic handles the shifting, and a 48-volt mild hybrid system enables green running at 14 miles per hour or less.
There'll be two versions for the UK market, in standard and Vorsprung trims. Every model gets the S cosmetic treatment, starting with the matte silver frame around the grille with matching lower lip, skid plate, and side mirror housings. In back, quad pipes frame a matte silver diffuser. Carbon ceramic brakes are automatic, behind 21-inch standard wheels or optional 22-inchers. The Vorsprung trim gets a black styling package.
The interior comes mainly in black, with Alcantara, diamond-stitched Valcona leather, and aluminum inlays. Available sprucing touches include rotor gray or Arras red trim, rock gray or anthracite cross-stitching, and carbon or oak gray inlays. Aluminum door sills impress the eyes, stainless steel pedals and footrest keep the feet happy. MMI navigation plus is standard, with those two beautiful touchscreens filling the center console.
Adaptive air suspension is a given, the dampers able to move the SQ8 through a height range of 3.5 inches. Built for harder running, the Vorsprung models add active roll stabilization, four-wheel steering, and a sport differential to move torque across the rear axle. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the regular 337-hp Q8 Vorsprung edition costs £82,810 ($105,469 U.S.), so expect a healthy premium on top.
There are rumors that a gas-powered SQ8 will head to the U.S., perhaps with the turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6. Behind that, an RS Q8 should be on its way with more than 600 horses, likely coming via a standard twin-turbo V8 or hybrid V8 powertrain.