2020 Audi SQ8

Release Date
Late spring 2020
Price Range

What to expect

  • New high-performance variant swaps Q8's supercharged V6 for twin-turbo V8
  • More aggressive styling on the outside and sporty flourishes inside
  • A sportier two-row version of the second Q7 generation introduced for 2016

2020 Audi SQ8 review
2020 SQ8 Is a Nice Midpoint Between Sprightly Q8 and Unhinged RS Q8
What is it?

We like the Audi Q8 more than other so-called SUV coupes, but we never felt its performance matched its good looks. The 2020 Audi SQ8 was seemingly created to silence our griping. The Q8's supercharged V6 goes out the window to be replaced with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Essentially a detuned version of the engine found in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, this throaty beast produces 500 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. On paper, the SQ8 looks to be a seductive middle ground between the pedestrian Q8 and the tire-melting RS Q8.

In our testing, the standard Audi Q8 with the optional supercharged V6 made the 0-60 mph run in a respectable 5.6 seconds. That's darn quick by midsize SUV standards, but it's not going to earn you a valet spot at Nobu. The SQ8, with its quad exhaust pipes, more aggressive body kit and 4.3-second sprint time, should make even jaded boulevardiers take notice.

But the SQ8 isn't just about straight-line speed. There's also an available sport differential, which can increase the ratio of power shunted to the rear axle from the standard 40:60 front/rear split to 20:80. You can also spec active stabilizer bars to reduce body roll in corners. Standard all-wheel steering helps keep the SQ8 pointed ahead at higher speeds and reduces the turning radius in the parking lot. Inside, passengers are treated to front sport seats to keep them in place when exploring the SQ8's dynamic possibilities.

Why does it matter?

The SQ8 gives you the ability to actually have some fun in your family hauler when you're flying solo. (As a side benefit, it comes with the inherent benefit of being able to keep the kids in line with one squeeze of your right foot.) As long as Audi doesn't sacrifice the Q8's impressively comfortable ride in the process, the SQ8 could prove to be one of the most desirable vehicles in the segment.

What does it compete with?

There is no shortage of hopped-up midsize SUVs. The Jaguar F-Pace SVR and Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR are both powered by supercharged V8 engines. There's also the new BMW X5 M50i, which boasts more power than the SQ8 and a marginally quicker 0-60 mph time. And while we wouldn't really consider it a luxury SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features a 707-horsepower engine that helps make up for the SUV's lack of subtlety and grace

Edmunds says

The 2020 Audi SQ8 starts with the attractive Q8 crossover and adds even greater levels of performance. Its relatively affordable price tag means you can get Porsche performance at Audi cost.