Audi's upcoming SQ8 will rely on hybrid tech to rival the X6 M.Audi will take on the BMW X6 M with a high-performance hybrid version of its forthcoming Q8 SUV, a new report claims.
Audi is planning to jump into the growing SUV coupe segment with a new range-topping Q8 model, with a performance SQ8 variant to follow soon after. Although the SQ8's current competition relies on conventional powertrains, Autocar says the SQ8 will employ a hybrid setup.
The SQ8 will likely use the mild hybrid system showcased beneath the hood of the Q8 Sport Concept (pictured) that debuted in Geneva earlier this year. That setup featured a 3.0L TFSI V6 paired with a 20kWh electric motor to combine for 470 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Audi said the show car could accelerate from 0-62 in 4.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 170mph.
In addition to its hybrid drivetrain, the SQ8 will feature a more hunkered-down stance, a sport-tuned suspension, unique styling and standard carbon ceramic disc brakes. The interior of the SQ8 will be extremely well equipped, including Audi's Virtual Cockpit gauge display as standard.
The Audi Q8 is expected to launch next year, but the SQ8 might not arrive in dealer showrooms until 2019. When it finally lands, expect the SQ8 to carry a sticker price in the neighborhood of $100,000.
Photos by Ronan Glon.