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Audi presents the SQ8 with a V8 diesel engine in the high-performance SUV segment. Aggressive and sporty design as well as their connectivity and technology features has rounded off the package really well. The large S model is available in South Africa as part of a limited, once-off TDI engine launch opportunity.

The V8 TDI has an easy job making its South African debut, this engine is Audi’s most powerful diesel engine currently available. 310kW and 900Nm of torque, the twin-turbo V8 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.

A quickly shifting eight-speed tiptronic and the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive put the power of this 4.0 TDI onto the road. In regular driving operation, the purely mechanical centre differential distributes the drive torque to the front axle and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60. If traction decreases at one axle, it directs most of the torque to the other axle – up to 70% to the front or up to 85% to the rear axle.

Audi provides the SQ8 TDI with the adaptive air suspension sport system which integrates controlled dampers. It is capable of varying the ride height of the body by up to 90 millimetres. The optional all-wheel steering consists of two components. A spindle drive influences the rear wheels: At low speed, it turns them by up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction, which makes it easier to manoeuvre. From a speed of about 60 km/h, it turns them slightly in the same direction for improved stability during fast changes of direction in particular.

As standard, the SQ8 is fitted with 21-inch Audi Sport wheels with an option to upgrade up to 23-inch. Brake discs measuring 400 millimetres in diameter are fitted to the front axle, with 350 millimetre discs on the rear axle. The red brake callipers feature an S logo on the front axle and are standard for both models.

An elegant sporty look is carried out through the SQ8, the sport seats are upholstered with top-quality Valcona leather and come standard with a heating function in the front and memory function for both front seats. The S sport seats can be further refined with ventilation and a massage function. The contour/ambient lighting package, which is also another standard feature, illuminates contours and surfaces in 30 colours that can be adjusted to the driver’s individual taste via the MMI.

In terms of controls, infotainment, and connectivity, the Audi SQ8 is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The MMI touch response control system integrates two large displays in the centre of the instrument panel.

A head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield is available as an option. The standard Audi virtual cockpit plus with S-specific views is controlled via the multifunction steering wheel and serves as the standard display instrument. The driver can activate different screens, including an “S-Performance” look. It shifts the focus to the rev counter and displays the power output and torque as percentages.

The Audi smartphone interface embeds iOS and Android smartphones on the MMI display in their native environments Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound is also available and integrates an amplifier that outputs 1,920 watts and actuates up to 23 speakers.

The adaptive cruise control takes over steering, accelerating, and decelerating for the driver in many situations. The improved restarting comfort is a new feature: Even after a longer standstill, the adaptive cruise control gets the car start rolling again if the car in front starts moving. It takes only a slight touch for the car to detect that the driver is taking responsibility for steering and automatic lateral guidance can remain active.

Audi SQ8 TDI quattro                               R1,848,500

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