New Audi SQ7 and SQ8 offer storming diesel performance
Another week, another batch of performance Audis unleashed upon our shores. This time around it's a pair of rapid oil-burning SUVs in the shape of the SQ7 and SQ8 TDI.
Something of a rarity in this post-Dieselgate era, both are powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine that twists out 310kW and a planet-slowing 900Nm worth of torque. This enviable amount of muscle is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Audi claims that both models will scamper to 100km/h in 4.8-seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250km/h - all while returning a claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 8.7l/100km in the case of the SQ7 and 8.3l/100km in the SQ8 TDI.
Before we move on, just a quick note about that all-wheel drive system. In this application Audi has fitted their ubiquitous quattro drivetrain with a mechanical centre differential that from the factory delivers a standard 40:60 front-to-rear torque split. However, in certain scenarios, it can send as much as 70% to the front axle and 85% to the rear axle.
Both derivatives come equipped with an adaptive air suspension sport system that can vary vehicle ride height by up to 90mm. It also rides 15mm lower to the asphalt than Audi's standard air suspension system, which ensures more direct handling when exploring the limits on wriggly back roads. Optional on both the SQ7 and SQ8 is all-wheel steer that improves manoeuvrability at low speeds and ensures greater stability at higher velocities.
21-inch Audi Sport wheels come fitted as standard equipment on both model variants but customers have the option of upgrading to 22-inch wheels on the SQ7 or 23-inch wheels on the SQ8. Braking duties are taken care of by 400mm discs on the front axle and 350mm discs at the rear. The front calipers have been painted red and feature the Audi “S” logo.
Dive into the cabin and you'll discover exclusive features such as electronically controlled and heated sports seats wrapped in luxurious “Valcona” leather, a 30-colour ambient lighting package, stainless steel foot pedals and Audi virtual cockpit plus with S-specific views. There's also Audi's flagship MMI touch response control system that integrates two large displays (10.1-inch and 8.6-inch respectively) in the centre of the instrument panel.
The SQ7 and SQ8 TDI are now officially available for sale in SA in limited numbers, as part of a one-off launch opportunity. The models are priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes):
Audi SQ7 TDI quattro: R1,679,500
Audi SQ8 TDI quattro: R1,848,500
Pricing includes a five-year Audi Freeway Plan.