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.