Audi has been busy of late, and while the focus seems to be on the electric offerings in the stable, the brand hasn't ignored ICE models entirely. The Q8 and SQ8 arrive for 2024 with a new look and some added tech, while the familiar 500-horsepower V8 does duty under the hood of the sportier derivative. We're not ungrateful for the update, but some added punch would've have made the competition between the SQ8 and BMW's X6 M60i a little more entertaining. Still, there's lots to love about Audi's halo SUV.
See trim levels and configurations:
The release date for the Audi SQ8 in the USA will be in the first quarter of 2024.
The 2024 Audi SQ8 has a starting price of $96,600 for the Premium Plus, increasing to $103,600 for the Prestige.
Rivals from fellow German automakers include the BMW X6 M60i with its 523-hp V8. It has a sticker price of $93,600 for 2024. The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is less powerful, with 429 hp, but it's also cheaper to buy at around $90k.
Both the Audi Q8 and the SQ8 receive styling updates, but the sportier SQ8 is further distinguished from its more elegant sibling by means of an underride guard at the front and a prominent diffuser at the rear. These models also get vertical L-shaped inlays in the Singleframe grille, and there are bigger air intakes with a honeycomb pattern across the surface. There's a redesigned spoiler lip on the front apron, too. You'll find chrome accents on the exterior mirrors, the grille inlays, and at the edges of the air intakes.
The headlight clusters have been refreshed, too, with the DRLs positioned higher than before, and, at the rear, exterior changes to the Audi SQ8 include new light signatures in the taillights that pick up elements of the headlights. These taillights are also able to warn drivers behind the SQ8 of any hazards, as we saw debut on the Q6 e-tron.
Both the Black and Black Plus optics packages are available for those who want to add blacked-out exterior goodies for a meaner look. As for the color palette for the 2024 Audi SQ8, new hues include Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red.
Standard 21-inch wheels are equipped, but buyers can choose from other 21- and 22-inch designs, with even 23-inch wheels available in a bespoke design that accentuates the sporting aspirations of the SQ8. Black brake calipers are the standard fare, but you can switch these out for red - the S logo is imprinted on these in both cases.
US-spec dimensions for the Audi SQ8 include a length of 197 inches (an inch longer than the Q8), a height of 67 inches, and a width with the mirrors of 86 inches. The wheelbase is 118 inches.
There has been quite a weight gain for this 2024 model, which now starts at 6,000 lbs.
Nothing has changed in terms of what engine the Audi SQ8 comes with, and it's still the same 4.0-liter V8 TFSI twin-turbocharged engine with specs of 500 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. It's coupled to a snappy eight-speed automatic transmission and sends power to all four wheels, enabling the 2024 version to sprint from 0-60 in four seconds.
Whereas the base Q8 can be enhanced with optional suspension upgrades, the SQ8 comes with standard adaptive air suspension and all-wheel steering, which the manufacturer says makes it safer to drive, but also more comfortable. The back wheels can turn up to five degrees to reduce the turning circle and make urban cruising and parking lot management a lot easier. It also means the car is more stable at high speeds. And, to ensure the driver enjoys the experience, the steering system has also been optimized.
Historically, the Audi SQ8 has had an impressive towing capacity of up to 7,700 lbs, something that is unlikely to change. And when you need to bring the hefty SUV to a halt, there are 15.7-inch front and 13.7-inch rear brakes to do the job.
We'll have to wait for official gas mileage figures for the SQ8 in the US, but the automaker suggests 14/20/17 mpg city/highway/combined.
With a 22.5-gallon tank, range for the SQ8 comes in at around 382 miles.
While the interior of the Audi SQ8 hasn't received quite as much TLC, there are some tweaks to note - although how much carries over to US-bound models remains to be seen. The regular Q8's interior is pictured below. While the overall look and space inside the SQ8 remain the same, there are some new decorative trims that include Carbon Twill Matte and Aluminum Linear Silver Grey. The standard seats in the Audi SQ8 for 2023 are wrapped in Valcona diamond-stitched leather in Black, Rotor Gray, or Arras Red. A panoramic sunroof will probably still be standard.
The dashboard design remains the same, and it still hosts Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which comprises a 12.3-inch digital driver display and a 10.1-inch infotainment screen. The latter is imbued with MIB3 but can now access more apps than ever before via third-party providers. This includes Spotify and Amazon music. The Virtual Cockpit has also been upgraded and now shows lane change warnings, the distance to other road users, intersection assist, and traffic light info in high definition.
As for cargo space in the SQ8, that amounts to 30.5 cubic feet behind the second row, which can be expanded by folding down the back row - this opens up 60.7 cubes of trunk space. For smaller items in and around the cabin, there are door bins, a center console stowage compartment, and dual cupholders in the rear armrest and beside the shifter in the front of the cabin.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Audi SQ8: