And an even more hardcore RS Q8 could be on the way.
The recently revealed 2019 Audi Q8 SUV is set to battle coupe-style SUV models such as the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe when it hits the streets later this year. Though it hasn't been announced, we have already spied a hotter SQ8, which from the looks of these pictures should debut in the coming months or even weeks. Rumors about the SQ8 have been circulating based on camouflaged test mules, but we may have a much clearer picture of the hotted up SUV based on a new test mule that was spotted without any camouflage.
For starters, the SQ8 looks like it will retain the grey trim around the grille. This test mule is also running on the same wheels as found on the standard Q8, though this may just be for testing purposes. The SQ8 differs in the rear, where the Q8's dual exhausts have been replaced with quad tips. We still don't know what will sit under the hood of the SQ8. Some rumors point to a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 mated to a hybrid drivetrain to produce 470 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. There may also be a diesel version with a 4.0-liter tri-turbo V8. This engine produces 435 hp and 664 ft-lb of torque in the SQ7.
Judging by the TDI badge on the back of this test mule, we assume that is the diesel version, which will likely be for Europe only. We'll have to wait and see if a second test mule emerges without the TDI badge. If not, the SQ8 may end up being another Audi model meant for Europe only. Luckily, an even hotter RS Q8 is rumored to use the V8 hybrid drivetrain from the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, producing 680 hp.