Audi's Range Topping SQ8 SUV Will Be A 470 HP Hybrid

Rumor

Unlike the diesel SQ7, this one makes sense for the US market.

We've known for a while now that Audi is working on a new range-topping SUV called the Q8. Based on the Q7, the Q8 will feature a more coupe-like body, similar to the BMW X6. Rumors of an RS Q8 model have also surfaced, claiming the hi-po coupe-SUV could have as much as 600 hp. Another, more likely variant, is an SQ8 that could utilize the 4.0-liter tri-turbo diesel from the current SQ7. However, a new report from Autocar claims that the SQ8 won't be a diesel, but will instead be a 470 hp hybrid. This definitely sounds more US market friendly.

The SQ8 would use a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 444 hp combined with a 20kWh electric motor, producing a total of 469 hp and 516 lb-ft. This is not quite as powerful as the 600 hp rumors, but there could still be a faster RS model that uses a twin-turbo V8. Based on concept versions of the Q8, the production SQ8 should hit 60 mph in around 4.7 seconds, which puts it below high performance models like the X6M and Cayenne Turbo. The SQ8 won't be the fastest SUV on the market, but it will have a few other goodies that will make it a pretty nice SUV. The SUV should ride on an aggressive air suspension, which will have a lower stance than other Audi SUVs.

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A hybrid SQ8 won't have as much torque as a diesel, but the electric motor will probably give the SUV instant throttle response. We'd still rather experience the madness that is the SQ7's tri-turbo diesel engine, but the hybrid drivetrain is far more likely to actually be sold in the US.

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