Audi SQ8

The Q8 introduces a refreshing and civilized option in a segment full of a wide variety of offerings. All Q8s are powered by a 3.0L TFSI V6 producing 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. With standard rear-wheel bias, all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission for lightning quick shifts, the Q8 performs quite well for a large SUV with under 350 horsepower. All Q8s are also equipped with Audi's new 48-volt mild hybrid system, which permits extended stop-start functionality and extended engine-off coasting at highway speeds.

For those lusting for more power, the SQ8 utilizes a turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine mated to the same 8-speed automatic as the Q8. However, unlike the Q8, the SQ8 produces 500 horsepower and an even more impressive 568 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds for the SQ8.

But all versions of the Q8 share their same basic chassis architecture with vehicles such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Lamborghini Urus, so Audi knows the platform is capable of handling even more power. Enter the RSQ8, which has an even stronger version of the 4.0L V8 from the SQ8 along with adaptive air suspension for better handling. In RSQ8 form, the engine produces 591 horsepower for a claimed 0-60 time of just 3.6 seconds. When equipped with the optional carbon ceramic brakes, Audi says the RSQ8 should be able to achieve 190 mph on a racetrack.

Standard features on Premium models include 20-inch wheels, dual 10.1-inch infotainment multimedia touch screen and an 8.6-inch touch screen for climate control and data input, MMI Navigation plus with touch response and virtual cockpit, a panoramic moonroof, leather-appointed seats and Fine Ash wood inlays.

The athletic yet luxurious Q8 comes loaded features, including power folding heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control with separate rear controls, SiriusXM satellite radio, 10-speaker, Amazon Alexa integration, voice-activated navigation, Audi smartphone interface, keyless entry with push button start, refrigerated glovebox, ambient lighting, High Beam Assist, LED daytime running lights and power liftgate.

The Audi Q8 Premium comes with multiple safety features including front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning system, Audi Side Assist, pedestrian prevention, forward collision mitigation and other Audi pre sense safety systems.

The Audi SQ8 adds posher materials, diamond stitched seating, 21-inch wheels, illuminated sill plates and 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system

The RS Q8 is the most powerful model of the Q8 lineup. It comes with 590-horsepower, 22-inch alloy wheels and an interior that resembles many supercars on the market.

The Q8, SQ8 and RSQ8 feature a full roster of available advanced safety and driver assist features, lane departure warning system, Audi Side Assist, pedestrian prevention, forward collision mitigation and other Audi pre sense safety systems.

Editors' Review

Sometimes, you don't need all the power in the world to make a great car. While the eyes of most fast-SUV fans might be on the hot-to-trot Audi RS Q8, don't sleep on the middle-child SQ8. With a whole bunch of thrust and all the things that make the standard Q8 great, the 2020 Audi SQ8 makes a compelling case in the large luxury SUV segment.

Not much of a showoff

The Q8 isn't actually much of a peacock -- sure, there's a dramatic rear end and a whole lot of creases front and rear, but the overall visual impact of this large SUV is pretty under the radar. My Prestige-trim tester rocks 21-inch alloy wheels and has silver trim around the grille and on the mirror caps, neither of which deliver a heavy punch. The most obvious signs that there's something more nefarious happening under the hood come from the rear, where there's a sufficiently large SQ8 badge and a honkin' set of oval tailpipes. If you want to hustle without letting the whole universe know, this is the way to go.

While the outside may not be the flashiest, the SQ8's interior carries a whole lot o' theater. A flat leather panel rests atop a whole bunch of seamless high-gloss material, which makes for a premium look in combination with its "seamless" vents and silver trim. Piano black isn't my favorite material from a smudge-prevention standpoint, but hoo boy, it looks properly posh. I'd probably skip the $500 carbon fiber inlays if it were my car, but they do add an extra dash of sporting pretension. I wouldn't opt for dark red leather, either, but there's no denying that the quilted stitching on the S-specific sport seats is top-notch, making the front buckets look as comfortable as they actually feel.

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The Good ~ Twin-turbo performance punch ~ Smooth air suspension ~ Great cabin tech

The Bad ~ A little thirsty ~ Iffy 48-volt stop-start ~ Cool things cost money

The Bottom Line Is there anything the 2020 Audi SQ8 can't do? No, probably not.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9.5

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