With the V8 diesel in the SQ8 TDI, Audi has raised the level of self-ignition to new heights. The high-tech highlight of traditional combustion culture leaves no doubt that the diesel still has the best days ahead of it despite all the doom calls.
The PR heralds of the automakers have to master the communicative balancing act between a still questionable electrical future and the development peaks of conventional piston engines. This is also the case at Audi, where the innovative e-tron was only recently launched and a legendary V8 diesel in the SQ8 TDI has now raised the self-igniter crossbar to a level where the air is very thin. The communicators of these contradictory approaches are not to be envied. Let's hope that none of the ladies and gentlemen drifts into schizophrenia.
Electric future or culture of combustion?
We motorists have an easy time praising this technology, sometimes this technology. We do not have to set a strategic course for an entire company that is responsible for hundreds of thousands of employees who still want to be employed in the future. Personally, I think the focus, even ideological fixation on the battery automobile, is at least questionable, if not wrong. Desired by politicians who submit to the noise and pressure of left-green populists, the narrow view of the battery car is not a market-based element of technology-open development. The customer should, no must keep the choice, to decide with what he wants to get mobile. And the SQ8 TDI is definitely an offer for those who are only too happy and loyal to the high-performance diesel.
The V8 diesel in the SQ8, with its 435 hp and 1250 Nm of torque already available from 900 rpm, represents an engine that presents itself as an explosive propellant with highly dynamic capabilities. 4,8 seconds from standing at 100 km / h are worthy of a sports car. In a 2,5-ton SUV, this persistent feeling of acceleration leaves you speechless. The fact that the car is locked at 250 km / h is due to political correctness rather than physical limits.
Euro 6 temp approval is a matter of course
The strongest diesel on the European market offers not only driving pleasure, but also fuel economy. As usual, we can assign the officially combined 7,8 liters (WLTP measuring method) as a standard value to gray theory. But the fact that we only had 9,2 liters on the clock at the end of our swift test drive signals the fuel economy of the diesel. We could not have reduced consumption to 8,5 liters with a reserved driving style, but so far we did not want to give reason. It goes without saying that the power diesel complies with all current exhaust gas laws. The Euro 6 Temp approval should be able to ignore all diesel driving bans of the future if the EU politicians do not come up with surprising further restrictions.
The Audi engineers have given this engine so many high-tech details that we can only reproduce the complexity here in short form. There is the electric compressor that helps the two turbochargers to skip the usual "turbo lag". The sustainable traction is impressive, and something like that. This electric compressor draws its energy from a 48-volt electrical system, whose belt starter generator generates electricity when it decelerates and charges it into the battery. This system reduces consumption by up to half a liter. This is also a piece of the mosaic for increasing efficiency.
Expressive forward dynamics alone should not be mentioned here. It meets exceptional driving stability, which should be balanced against all requirements on the road. Adaptive air suspension, the driving dynamics system Audi drive selectThe four-wheel steering system installed in our test car and the electromechanical active roll stabilization ensure a very special driving experience. The standard quattro drive and the eight-speed tiptronic ensure a driving experience that is controlled at all times and that also handles provocative driving maneuvers precisely.
The fingertips report the best feel
Yes, and then there is the view of the luxurious interior, which, like the exclusively designed exterior, features distinctive design individuality (dominating the excessively elegant face with the typical, broadened single frame). The interior quality has meanwhile reached an optimum that is “unparalleled”. Materials and workmanship are second to none, as we can only repeat. Wherever you touch, your fingertips report: Ahh, Mhh, top quality ”. The matt brushed aluminum inlays somehow radiate sovereign elegance, but the customer can also get carbon or oak wood if desired, which does not quite have the technological appearance of the aluminum.
The space is ample, which is also thanks to the 3-meter wheelbase. Both front and rear offer luxurious comfort. The rear seat bench can optionally be moved. There is space for 605 liters of luggage space, with the backrests folded up to 1.755 liters.
The design of the digital fittings is impressively new. The two superimposed touch displays with haptic feedback and that Audi virtual cockpit offer a high level of information. The upper display is used for navigation (the Google Map setting is simply fabulous) and infotainment, while the lower screen is used to operate air conditioning and other comfort functions. Voice control understands freely formulated commands and questions. And she understands that pretty well. It seems that the development and fine work has progressed here too. Unfortunately, on our day test drive through the Pyrenees, we were unable to try out what Audi is gradually doing in European cities Audi connectwill set up: traffic light information with which the Audi driver can be efficiently steered through the city on a green wave. The connect portfolio also includes the cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated in the MMI operating system of the SQ8. The system provides access to 80.000 Alexa skills.
A base price of 102.900 euros is a high hurdle
Conclusion: The Audi SQ8 TDI is undoubtedly a top class SUV. Suitable for long distances, luxurious and equipped with the highest level of automotive intelligence. The base price of 102.900 euros is a high hurdle, with the emphasis on “base”. We have no doubt that there will be many customers who will treat themselves to this super diesel.