The 4.0-litre diesel V8 in the snout puts out a healthy 320kW, but it’s the 900Nm figure (peaking between 1250 and 3250rpm) that’s properly impressive.
That diesel-induced torque allows the SQ8 to hit 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds, Audi says, with the eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox putting power to, of course, all four wheels thanks to Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The SQ8 TDI then goes on to a top speed of 250km/h, given enough runway.
All-wheel steering helps keep the SQ8 stable at such speeds, turning the rear wheels very slightly in the same direction as the fronts for extra stability, providing the same effect as lengthening the wheelbase, while at lower speeds (under 60km/h) they turn slightly opposite for more agility in parking and city driving situations.
Without that steering assistance, agility doesn’t come easily to the SQ8, which weighs in at 2365kg and has a 2996mm wheelbase. It’s also 2190mm wide with mirrors, and the body is 5006mm long.
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Air suspension is also standard on the SQ8, which allows for a greater degree of adjustability over the steel springs (as in the Q8 not optioned with air suspension), and lets drivers take the SQ8 be driven on different types of terrain with 90mm between its lowest and highest clearance settings.
The SQ8 goes on sale in the third quarter of 2019 internationally, but Australian availability and pricing is yet to be confirmed.