If you thought there was already plenty of performance SUVs on sale, you haven’t seen anything yet.
MOTOR’s European Editor, Georg Kacher, has informed us Audi is preparing to unleash a performance SUV onslaught over the next three years, which will give every current and future high-riding model a fast halo variant.
First up are the four-cylinder models, using variations of the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and quattro underpinnings from the S3. By the end of this year we should see a 200kW SQ2 and 240kW SQ3 and SQ4, the latter pair based on the overdue all-new Q3, which will sit on the latest VAG MQB platform.
Those who need to have five cylinders will need to wait a little longer for the RS Q3 and RS Q4, powered by the all-alloy 2.5-litre turbo five which produces 294kW/480Nm under the bonnet of the RS3 and TT RS.
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The V6 petrol SQ5 hasn’t proved as popular as its diesel predecessor, but perhaps punters will be enticed by the swoopier SQ6, scheduled to arrive in 2019 using the same 260kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbo V6. An RSQ5/Q6, using the 331kW/600Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 from the RS4/RS5? Possible, but unconfirmed.
Next in line is the SQ7. Despite Audi’s investment in the clever 48-volt 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel , it appears the forthcoming WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) has forced the engine’s demise in Europe.
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Expect the SQ7 to switch to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 at the same time as the reveal of the identically-engined SQ8, however, it’s unclear whether the diesel will continue in international markets such as here in Australia, as Audi is tight-lipped on the subject.
Last, but certainly not least, topping the range will be a monster RS Q8, scheduled for 2020, and seven-seat RS Q9, to follow in 2021. These will use the increasingly ubiquitous 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 currently used by the Porsche Panamera/Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus and set for the next-generation RS6/RS7.
Expect 465kW for the RS Q8 and a Urus-matching 478kW for the RS Q9, which will give Audi an uber-SUV to take the fight to the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and forthcoming Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Essentially, if you want to haul your family with pace, Audi will have you covered, regardless of your budget (or garage size).