A new Audi with an oil burner? Are they serious?
Now that the Audi Q8 has debuted, we're already bracing for the more performance oriented SQ8 variant. Slated to be unveiled potentially as soon as this October at Paris, the SQ8 could be offered with two different powertrains, depending on the market. According to Autocar, one of those powertrains will be a 4.0-liter V8 diesel, the very same engine found in the SQ7 and Bentley Bentayga Diesel, where it produces 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Interestingly, this engine would replace the previously planned hybrid V6 powertrain Audi had been hinting. But why on earth is Audi about to offer a diesel instead of a hybrid gasoline engine following the whole Dieselgate fiasco? Because demand is apparently still strong in certain markets for high-powered diesels. Also, as this engine is already good to go in other VW Group vehicles, it's relatively easy to drop it under the new SQ8's hood. But what about the US where diesel was never especially popular? We'll instead receive a 3.0-liter TFSI V6-powered version. So as it stands, the SQ8 won't be offered in hybrid form, though that could change at a later date.
However, an even more potent RS Q8 is slated to happen and it'll supposedly come powered by the same electrified V8 currently in use in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. It's expected to produce somewhere around 670 hp and will go up against the likes of the BMW X6 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe. As far as the upcoming SQ8 goes, we doubt there'll be much controversy surrounding its diesel V8. Why not? Because no one is complaining about the Bentley Bentayga Diesel. In fact, it's been selling very well, hence the decision to drop the SQ8's hybrid V6. Meanwhile, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler continues to sit in jail for his alleged role in the Dieselgate cover up. There's an irony to that.