Audi SQ8 Boasting ‘Bonkers’ SUV Performance

Heading up the line-up range of the refreshed Audi Q8, is a SQ8 TFSI boasting an eye-watering 0 to 62mph of just 4.1 seconds for an SUV weighing nearly 2.3 metric tons.

This, frankly, bonkers amount of performance from an SUV that will still struggle against its weight in corners is achieved with the brand’s established turbo-charged V6 4.0-liter TFSI but now with 373 kW (500bhp) and 516ft-lbs of torque with fast-shifting eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. With its firing order of 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8, the engine provides a distinctive sporty and sonorous sound.

At low to medium loads and acceleration speeds, from 118 to 184ft-lbs and between 950 and 2,500rpm with a maximum torque requirement of 106ft-lbs, the cylinder on demand system deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 in the upper gears by shutting off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points in the active cylinders shift to higher load, which boosts thermal efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders follow, essentially with no losses, like gas springs. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the deactivated cylinders reactivate immediately.

However, the base Q8 range opens with the 45 TDI quattro, a three-liter diesel engine that has 170 kW (227bhp) of output and delivers 368ft-lbs of torque, at a range between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. It boasts a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. This engine is followed by the 50 TDI quattro, a more powerful version with 210 kW (282bhp) and 442ft-lbs of torque, enough to allow the large SUV to accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds reaching a top speed of 150 mph.

Next up is the Audi Q8 55 TFSI features a turbo-charged V6 Otto gasoline engine with three liters of displacement and direct fuel injection that delivers 250 kW (335bhp). It delivers a maximum torque of 368ft-lbs in a broad engine speed range from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. This accelerates from standstill to 62mph in 5.6 seconds and its tops speed is limited to 155mph.

All V6-engines in the Audi Q8 work together with an eight-speed tiptronic, quattro permanent four-wheel drive, and the mild hybrid system, which can achieve a fuel-consumption advantage of up to 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers in customer operation. Its key components are a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that supplies power to the SUV coupé’s 48V main electrical system. When decelerating, the BAS recuperates up to eight kW, which it feeds into the battery. Between 34 and 99 mph, the Q8 can coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds when the driver takes their foot off the gas. After braking, the BAS restarts and the start–stop begins as low as 14 mph. Available to order in European markets from September, prices from $92,426.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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