Crossovers; for the most part, they're sensible and practical, although excitement and performance aren't the first things that pop up in your head. But these days, we're seeing more and more of these 'wagons on tall tires' with acceleration figures that can challenge sports cars.
And now, we have another one. Audi has just introduced the all-new SQ8, and it's got quite the spec sheet. Under the hood of the SQ8 is a tuned 4.0-liter V8 engine. However, Audi chose to give it a turbodiesel, which helps give it an impressive torque figure. Just how much? It has a staggering, stump pulling 900 Nm. It's then supplemented by 435 PS, which can go toe to toe with high-powered sports sedans.
With all that power and torque, the SQ8 can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds. Top speed on the other hand is limited to 250 km/h, which is part of the 'gentleman’s agreement' among German automakers. As it weighs well over two tons, the SQ8 comes with pretty serious brakes. As standard, the big crossover is fitted with carbon ceramic brakes.
Interestingly, the SQ8 is a hybrid and even has the capability to run on pure electric power for up to 22.5 km/h, which should help fuel economy in stop and go traffic. However, Audi did not mention any fuel economy figures for the SQ8. But if we were to base it on the SQ7, which has the same engine, it is possible that the SQ8 can get close to the 13.8 kilometers per liter claim for its more upright sibling.
On to its looks and the SQ8 looks almost indistinguishable from a standard Q8 with the S Line appearance package. There are minor differences, albeit not immediately noticeable. Among the small visual cues are the redesigned air inlets, unique alloy wheels, and quad exhaust pipes. Yes, there are SQ8 badges on the car, but there is an option to delete it for extra stealth. Inside, there are 'S'-specific trimmings on the seats and other parts of the cabin. Speaking of the seats, it comes with a pair of deeper buckets, further hinting its performance intentions to showroom-goers.
As crossovers continue to blur the lines between cars and SUVs, we'll see more of the likes of the Audi SQ7, along with its other peers such as the BMW X5 M50d and Mercedes-Benz GLE 580. We're now living in an era of SUVs packing well over 400 horsepower, and it looks like it's a trend that won't go away soon.