We had high hopes for the Audi SQ8 coming to America. We had heard rumors that Audi planned on bringing an SQ8 across the Atlantic and it sort of made sense, considering how much Americans love massive, performance SUVs. However, it doesn’t look like it’s actually in the cards, as a test mule of the SQ8 has just been spotted and it’s powered by a diesel engine. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)
It was always rumored that the Audi SQ8 would be diesel-powered, following the Audi SQ7 TDI and its triple-turbocharged diesel. However, nothing was certain and there were also rumors of maybe it having two engines; a diesel for Europe and a gas engine for America. But now that we’re seeing these photos of an Audi SQ8 TDI, we’re losing hope in a second flavor for America.
In these photos, we can clearly see that this is an Audi SQ8 and not just a regular Q8. Although, there’s really only one giveaway, even if it’s a dead giveaway — the exhausts. Rather than the fake exhausts that come on the standard Q8, this tester has quad pipes. Real quad pipes. Which is an indicator of it being an Audi ‘S’ car, as they all get quad exhaust. So it’s certainly an Audi SQ8 but it doesn’t look much different than the standard car.
But it also has a “TDI” badge on the back of it. So that would signify that it packs the same 4.0 liter V8 diesel that’s in the Audi SQ7 and Bentley Bentayga. If that’s the case, it’s a V8 diesel with three turbochargers; two traditional exhaust-driven turbos and one electrically-driven one. In the SQ7, it makes 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
We doubt Audi would make a separate Audi SQ8 model for America but we do hope the rumors are true. If they are, rather than the triple-turbo V8 diesel, we’d likely get a variation of Audi’s new 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6, from the Audi RS4, which makes 450 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.