While Audi believes there’s hope for the sedan, it knows Americans are more interested in SUVs and crossovers. It will consequently add the SQ7 and the SQ8 to its range of high-riding models in the coming months.
Both nameplates are already part of the company’s portfolio in Europe, where they’re powered by a mighty, 4.0-liter TDI V8 fitted with two turbos and an electric supercharger, but they’re new in the United States. Here, they share a gasoline-burning, 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbocharged to 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. Both take 4.3 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, which is on par with the S5. Their top speed checks in at 155 mph.
The Quattro system sends 60% of the engine’s power to the rear axle in normal driving conditions, and up to 80% when needed. All-wheel steering and torque vectoring come standard, and electromechanical roll stabilization is available at an extra cost to keep the body flat during cornering.
Both models look like their diesel-powered European-spec siblings inside and out. Silver mirror caps, four exhaust outlets, and an array of S-specific trim pieces help the SQs stand out from the Qs they’re based on. The SQ7 rides on 20-inch alloys, and it’s optionally available with 21s, while the SQ8 adds an extra inch to both figures. Heated and ventilated front sport seats wrapped with cross-stitched leather round out the visual changes.
The SQ7 and the SQ8 will reach American showrooms in the spring of 2020. Pricing information and additional details like standard and optional equipment will be published closer to their on-sale date. Audi doesn’t make an RS Q7, so the SQ7 will be the quickest and most powerful member of the range, but the SQ8 will slot between the standard model and the RS Q8, which packs a 600-horsepower evolution of the company’s 4.0-liter V8.