As of yesterday, the SQ7 TDI is officially a thing of the past in Europe where Audi has finally decided to give customers what they really wanted from day one – a V8 4.0-liter twin-turbo gasoline engine. That doesn’t mean we should simply ignore the old TDI since it was an absolute beast. With 435 horsepower on tap and a colossal 900 Newton-meters (664 pound-feet) of torque, the diesel-fueled SQ7 could haul mountains.
The SQ7 TDI did not ride solo in its niche as it had to face the BMW X5 M50d, another performance luxury SUV feeding on Devil’s fuel. While the Bimmer has a smaller six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine, it makes up for the lesser displacement by packing a whopping four turbochargers, giving it 395 hp and 760 Nm (560 lb-ft).
YouTuber Audi Power had access to both vehicles and put those impressive output numbers to the test by doing an acceleration test. It’s worth mentioning that while the X5 M50d is down on power compared to the SQ7 TDI, it’s a little bit lighter, tipping the scales at 2,275 kilograms (5,015 pounds) whereas the Audi weighs an extra 45 kg (100 pounds).
Even with four turbos and a slightly lower curb weight, the BMW was no match for the Audi in the acceleration test. The SQ7 TDI pulled harder right from the start, and by the time it hit 150 km/h (93 mph), it already was ahead by more than 10 km/h compared to the X5 M50d. The Audi’s advantage of having a larger and more powerful engine was gradually more obvious as the SUVs were approaching their top speeds, with the model from the Four Rings reaching 220 km/h (137 mph) when the Bavarian SUV was just hitting 200 km/h (124 mph).
The end result shouldn’t surprise anyone given the Audi’s beefier powertrain, not that the BMW is a slouch considering the sheer size and weight of the X5 M50d.