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Audi SQ8 TDI 2020: performance SUV confirmed for Australia

Is the SQ8 TDI the ultimate SUV?

Audi has revealed a new S version of the Q8, which is the latest addition to its stable of performance SUVs which already includes the SQ5 and SQ7. 

Using the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine as the larger SQ7, the 320kW/900Nm SQ8 TDI (as it's officially known) is claimed to be capable of a 4.8 second 0-100km/h sprint - 0.1 seconds quicker than the SQ7 - and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. 

The SQ8's interior features leather and aluminium trim. The SQ8's interior features leather and aluminium trim.

Like the SQ7, the SQ8 uses a mild-hybrid system that uses a 48-volt lithium-ion battery, as well as a clever alternator that recovers up to 8kW of energy during braking to aid both performance and efficiency when accelerating.

The SQ8 uses the same adaptive air suspension system with optional four-wheel steering as the SQ7, as well as a rear-biased sports differential with rear axle torque vectoring and new active anti-roll bars. 

Naturally, Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission

The SQ8 features 21-inch (or optional 22-inch) wheels. The SQ8 features 21-inch (or optional 22-inch) wheels.

Some global markets such as North America will receive a V6 turbo-petrol, but Audi Australia has confirmed that we will join Europe in only receiving diesel.

More stylistically aggressive than the standard Q8, the SQ8 features deeper air intakes, a more pronounced grille, quad tailpipes and 21-inch wheels (22s are optional) to set it apart from regular Q8 models. Optionally available are carbon ceramic brakes and matrix LED lighting. 

Inside, the SQ8's changes are more subtle than the exterior with unique interior trims and colour combinations, an S-specific version of the company's 'Virtual Cockpit' 12.3-inch digital dials, embossed S logos, stainless steel pedals and aluminium door sill inlays. Amazon Alexa has also been integrated into the multimedia system for the first time in an Audi. 

The SQ8 uses quad tailpipes. The SQ8 uses quad tailpipes.

Audi Australia spokesperson Shaun Cleary has confirmed with CarsGuide a “first half of 2020” local arrival for the SQ8 TDIPricing and specifications are yet to be announced, but expect a healthy premium over the $128,900 Q8 55 TFSI quattro.

Is the Audi SQ8 TDI the ultimate performance SUV? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.