That thing has a twin-turbo V8 under the hood.
Reports from earlier this year suggested the first-ever Audi SQ8 will debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, but, obviously, that’s not happening. The star at the German company’s stand in LA is the E-Tron GT electric vehicle but, in the meantime, folks from the automaker are performing final evaluations of the performance coupe-SUV in Europe.
The attached video above has been filmed in Copenhagen yesterday and shows a completely undisguised prototype of the 2019 SQ8. Simply put, that’s exactly the car you will be able to see in Audi’s showrooms very soon. Given that, we are tempted to believe the debut of the SUV is just a couple of weeks away.
A look at the rear of this pre-production prototype reveals it’s a diesel-powered trial car. The TDI badge at the back refers to the 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine under the hood that’s also used in the SQ7 and was used by the now discontinued Bentley Bentayga Diesel. The electrified mill pushes out 429 horsepower (320 kilowatts) and mountain-moving 900 Newton-meters (664 pound-feet) of torque from just 1,000 rpm.
This is the motor the SQ8 will receive for the European market but word on the street is the performance coupe-SUV mashup will also get a gasoline powertrain for the U.S. market. Our guess is Audi will install a 3.0-liter turbo V6 in the U.S.-spec SQ8 with power close to or above the 400-hp (298-kW) mark. A range-topping V8-powered SQ8 is also in the cards.
The next major automotive show is in January, when the 2019 NAIAS in Detroit will take place. Audi won't be there so, hopefully, the company is giving its fast SUV some final touches before it makes at least an online debut in the next few weeks.
Note: Another SQ8 prototype is pictured in the gallery below.