Inside, the changes are more discreet and consist of leather and Alcantara finishes, S branded aluminium treadplates, sport seats with S badging and in a choice of Rotor Grey or Arras Red leather upholstery, faux carbon fibre inserts, bespoke S displays for the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit Display instrument cluster and alloy pedals.
Riding on the same MLB Evo platform as the regular Q8 and Q7 as well as the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, the SQ8’s under-the-skin revisions includes a sports-tuned Adaptive air suspension, the multi-mode Audi Drive Select system and from the options list, rear-wheel steering with Active Torque Vectoring on both axles, a sports differential and an electro-mechanical active anti-roll bar setup making use of two electric motors.
As evident by its name, the SQ8’s motivation comes provided by a twin-turbodiesel engine displacing 4.0-litres and with eight-cylinders, combined with a 48-volt electric motor for a mild-hybrid setup.
Essentially the same used in the now discontinued Bentayga Diesel, SQ7 and Touareg V8 TDI, the bent-eight oil-burner produces a mammoth 320kW/900Nm, allowing the SQ8 to get from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 4.8 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 250 km/h.
While pricing has not yet been revealed, reports indicate that the SQ8 TDI will become available in South Africa next year.