Expect them to arrive by summer.
Hang onto your horsepower hats, all you SUV-crazy Motor1.com readers in America. Audi already impressed us by sending the evil-and-awesome RS6 Avant station wagon our way. As much as we want that car to take over the highways from sea-to-shining-sea, we know (as does Audi) that American buyers want SUVs. As such, the high-performance SQ7 and SQ8 are now on the docket for the U.S. market. And they will be a bit more powerful than their Euro-spec siblings. Actually, they’ll be a lot more powerful.
That’s because U.S.-bound models won’t offer a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo TDI V8. Instead, the diesel mill is swapped with a gasoline-burning 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that generates 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts) for blasting down open American highways. By comparison, TDI models pack 429 hp (320 kW) which certainly isn’t diminutive by any means, and the diesel does enjoy a significant torque advantage. Still, Audi says the power difference is enough to send both the SQ7 and SQ8 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds – a full half-second quicker than what you’ll get from the same models in Europe. Top speed is still electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
Otherwise, the U.S.-bound SQ7 and SQ8 are pretty much the same hi-po SUVs you’ll find across the pond. That includes the trick all-wheel-steering system for better maneuverability at low speeds and increased stability at higher velocities. A range of driving modes should allow the SQ twins to function well both on-road and off, and they carry the same technologies as well as the visual updates inside and out. Shifting is handled by an eight-speed Tiptronic and naturally, all-wheel-drive is standard.
Audi hasn’t announced pricing for the U.S. bound models, but being large luxury-performance SUVs, they will be pricey. The Euro-spec SQ7 starts at €94,900, while the standard Q7 in the U.S. starts at $53,550. Specific pricing for the SQ7 and SQ8 will be revealed closer to the on-sale date, which Audi says is coming late in the spring of 2020.
Gallery: 2020 Audi SQ7 TDI facelift
Sport, meet utility: 2020 Audi SQ7 and SQ8 SUVs coming to the US delivering premium performance and utility
- Packing 500 horsepower, 4.0-liter TFSI® V8 engines, Audi SQ7, SQ8 to make late spring U.S. arrival
- Electromechanical active roll stabilization available for added dynamic capabilities and comfort as well as standard all-wheel steering
- SQ7, SQ8 receive full S model performance design elements like Alu-optic trim and quad exhaust pipes
HERNDON, Va., January 13, 2019 – The 2020 Audi SQ7 and SQ8 premium SUVs are coming to the U.S. in late spring equipped with 500 horsepower and successful Q design language. With 4.0-liter TFSI® V8 engines, the SUVs can accelerate from 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. With the attention to detail and design for which the brand is known, the 2020 Audi SQ7 and SQ8 offer customers performance and practicality in a premium package.
The 2020 Audi SQ7 serves as the first performance variant of the brand’s newly updated three-row SUV to be sold in the U.S. The Audi SQ8 slots between the Audi Q8 flagship SUV, and the first ever RS SUV, the all-new RS Q8.
Both the SQ7 and SQ8 are equipped with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, capable of generating 500 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission and standard quattro® all-wheel drive. This allows both S models to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds on the way to a 155 mph top-track speed.
Strengthening cornering capabilities is an available quattro® sport differential, amplifying the capabilities of the standard vehicles’ 40:60 front-to-rear torque split and sending up to 80% of the vehicles’ power to the rear axle with the added strength of being able to transfer torque from side-to-side at the rear wheels to help enable better handling.
Other technologies empowering the driver include standard all-wheel steering that can turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels to aid low-speed maneuverability and handling, as well as stability at higher speeds. Available on SQ7 and SQ8 models will also be electromechanical active roll stabilization, which can stiffen the front and rear stabilizer bars when dynamic driving takes precedence over cruising.
The 2020 SQ7 and SQ8 are differentiated with Alu-optic or Black-optic design elements, including air intake blades, side sill blades, standard silver mirror caps and quad exhaust outlets. SQ7 models carry a new octagonal Singleframe® grille and will come with 20- or 21-inch wheel designs. The SQ8 will also feature an Alu-optic grille surround and will have standard 21- and available 22-inch wheel designs.
Inside, the SQ7 and SQ8 have standard front S sport seats each with heating and ventilation, keeping passengers comfortable. The seats feature cross-stitched leather, unique to the S models.
Balancing premium performance, utility and design, the SQ7 and SQ8 arrive in U.S. Audi showrooms in the late spring, with final pricing and packaging to be announced closer to their on-sale dates.