Audi SQ8 review


What is?

Audi announced it as a change of heart. It was, in more ways than one. The Q8 arrived in 2018, a lifestyle alternative to the Q7, fewer seats, more “image”. Read in quotes what you want. We were a bit cold. But the following year came the SQ8 and most were spared because Audi had inserted an almighty tri-turbo super diesel with more power than Anthony Joshua.

Because it screamed a little louder, the SQ8 diesel (664 pound-feet of torque, people!) didn’t have the stealth-bomber punch of the SQ7, but the engine almost did it with the car and wasn’t it nice to have a alternative to all those other 18-mpg gas-powered performance SUVs? Unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed to play for long, as Audi, waking up from a long sleep along with the rest of the auto industry, realized that diesel was less socially acceptable than ordering beer at a wine bar in the US. circles where he set. , and should be prohibited.

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Banned in favor of?

Another super coupe SUV powered by another twin-turbo petrol V8. And yes, that means 18 mpg, regardless of Audi’s misfire claims. Compared to the diesel, power is up by 70 bhp and 0-62 mph drops a few tenths to 4.1 seconds. But torque is down nearly 100 pound-feet, fuel consumption is down 5 mpg, and CO2 emissions are up 40 g/km. When it comes to environmental impact, this thing swings an ax at least as big as its predecessor. There are no hybrid systems here, just a pure turbocharged V8 pushing 2270kg in 22s.

It comes with the full wow-that-the-he-a-lot-of-weight-to-keep-under-control technology suite. There’s four-wheel steering, active roll stabilization and air suspension, all of which, like the engine, can also be found in the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga.

Same chassis underneath as those two, right?

Correct. And we’re going to highlight the positives here. The weight is very well controlled and it changes direction much more sharply than it should be given its size and weight. The steering is reassuringly in your hands, you have full confidence that the wide 285 front tires will keep their grip.

And as long as you don’t mind turning it, it doesn’t work halfway. Just look at the turbo lag and a gearbox that really should be more focused. It takes twists and turns to get the most out of it, in which case 18 mpg will be a distant dream. Worry? Have a regular Q8 instead; you can still have it as a diesel. But at least the SQ8 gives you freedom in social situations, where you can explain that you’re a good person because you didn’t have the RS Q8.

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What about other rivals?

Both the Merc GLE coupe and the BMW X6 are cutting edge and not as visually executed as the SQ8 nor as practical inside. It is not that they are SUVs that are full of corpses or luggage. Probably just fancy shopping bags. But to give it its due, the SQ8 is very well finished inside, it has a 605-liter trunk and rear seats that easily swallow two.

What’s the verdict?

Lost some charisma in the switch to gasoline and no longer has such a strong USP

It lost some charisma in the switch to gasoline and doesn’t have as strong a USP anymore. It’s also, at £85,585, a great deal of money (though twenty thousand cheaper than an RS Q8, which isn’t much faster). But how long will it stay like this? There is a hybrid TFSI e Q8. Sure money says the SQ8 is sure to get hybrid tech soon.

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2021 Audi SQ8 Top Gear Review2021 Audi SQ8 Top Gear Review2021 Audi SQ8 Top Gear Review

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