The Audi SQ7 and SQ8 performance SUVs will switch over from V8 TDI diesel to V8 TFSI petrol power next year, with the local division confirming both models will arrive “later in 2022” – confirming CarExpert’s report from earlier this year.
Boasting 373kW of power and 770Nm of torque from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, the new SQ7 TFSI and SQ8 TFSI will accelerate to 100km/h from rest 0.7 seconds quicker than the existing diesels, claiming a 4.1-second sprint.
Drive is sent to a quattro all-wheel drive system via an eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ torque converter auto, while cylinder-on-demand tech can turn the hulking SUVs into four-cylinder fuel misers under low engine load.
The petrol V8 replaces the 4.0-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 with e-compressor that’s slowly being discontinued across the Volkswagen Group. We’ve already seen the VW Touareg lose its V8 TDI option, and the Bentley Bentayga Diesel has been dropped for a plug-in hybrid.
It offers 320kW and a whopping 900Nm, also driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic. The TDI’s combined fuel claim of 7.6L/100km is quite a bit thriftier than the 12.0-12.1L/100km claimed by the V8 TFSI petrols.
Pricing and specifications are still to be confirmed for the Australian market, but we don’t imagine the SQ7 TFSI and SQ8 TFSI will stray far from the $162,377 and $166,377 starting prices of the existing TDI versions (excluding options and on-road costs).
Should Audi Australia be able to keep the V8 petrols within the same price bracket, the SQ7 and SQ8 TFSIs will massively undercut the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S ($220,600) and BMW X5 M Competition ($212,417), both of which claim 3.8-second sprints to 100km/h.
The SQ7 TFSI in particular will be unique in offering a third row of seating, where the GLE63 and X5 M don’t offer a third-row option despite being available on lesser variants. Mercedes-AMG’s larger GLS63 is even pricier at $267,100.
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