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The Audi SQ8 is a rapid diesel SUV

SQ8 gets V8 diesel engine with two turbos and an electric compressor

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Welcome to one of the most powerful diesel cars on sale in Europe – the Audi SQ8, a supposedly more stylish, five-seat version of one of our favourite performance SUVs.

Which is, of course, the Audi SQ7. The SQ8 borrows its powertrain – a 429bhp, 664lb ft twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre diesel V8 that uses an electrically-powered compressor (EPC) and witchcraft to all but eliminate turbo lag. 0-62mph takes 4.8 seconds – a tenth of a second quicker than the bigger SQ7 – and the top speed is 155mph.

The EPC is powered by a 48-volt electrical system, which also helps save fuel by enabling engine-off coasting at speeds of up to 99mph. It also powers an electromechanical roll stabilisation system, which uses electric motors to keep things upright in the corners. Together with the optional four-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension (that can change the ride height by as much as 90mm), it ought to make the SQ8 pretty wieldy. The SQ7 is a tough act to follow.

Naturally power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. An optional sports diff is supposed to help balance torque between the rear wheels. In the SQ7 it aids power-oversteer (yep, in a seven-seat family SUV). We hope Audi hasn’t engineered this out of the 8…

Everything is standard SQ8 – from the dual-screen infotainment system to the full-width taillights - and it’s available to order next month for an as-yet undisclosed price (comfortably more than £80K). Fancy one?

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