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SQ8 & Q3 sportback are taking the road by storm

Added: 30 October 2019

Audi presents the sporty top model of the Q family: the SQ8 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 (30.2 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km*: 205 - 204 (329.9 - 328.3 g/mi)). Thanks to the eight-cylinder diesel engine with biturbo charging, the large SUV coupe offers superior performance coupled with a high level of efficiency. The drive and suspension technologies, which include the sport differential, roll stabilization and all-wheel steering, ensure dynamic handling. The Audi SQ8 TDI** will be on the lots of European dealerships in the late summer of 2019. Its price in Germany starts at 102,900 euros.

Power and efficiency: 4.0 TDI with electric powered compressor

The biturbo V8 in the Audi SQ8 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 (30.2 US mpg); CO2 emissions combined in g/km*: 205 - 204 (329.9 - 328.3 g/mi)) is the most powerful diesel engine on the European market. It combines immense power with a high level of economy and integrates a whole package of high-tech solutions. The engine provides 320 kW (435 metric hp) and develops 900 Nm (663.8 lb-ft) of torque between 1,250 and 3,250 rpm. This allows the 4.0 TDI to accelerate the SUV coupe like a sports car: The 100 km/h (62.1 mph) mark is reached after 4.8 seconds, and the SQ8 TDI** only reaches its electronic propulsion limit at 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Power transmission takes place via an eight-speed tiptronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

An electric powered compressor (EPC) supplements the work of the two turbochargers when starting off and when accelerating at a low engine speed, allowing the V8 TDI to always build up its power spontaneously. The EPC draws its drive power from a 48-volt electrical system, which is also the backbone of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Its belt alternator starter can recuperate during deceleration and feed power to the lithium-ion battery.

High-end features: the suspension

As standard, the Audi SQ8 TDI** is equipped with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and the adaptive air suspension sport with regulated damping. The air suspension varies the level position of the body by up to 90 millimeters (3.5 in), thereby allowing the vehicle to be driven on different types of terrain. Three optional top technologies, including the sport differential, provide additional vehicle dynamics, traction and stability. When the vehicle is cornering at high speed, the sport differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, adding a self-locking center differential to the quattro drive. All-wheel steering is available as an alternative to the standard progressive steering. At low speed, it turns the rear wheels in the direction opposite that of the front wheels to increase agility. As from a speed of approx. 60 km/h (37.3 mph), they turn slightly in the same direction to improve stability.

The third high-tech element is the electromechanical active roll stabilization. There is a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer on each axle. When driving straight ahead, they largely act independently of each other, which reduces sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads. At sporty paces, however, the stabilizer halves work as a unit by being turned in opposite directions. This makes the handling of the SQ8 TDI** tighter and significantly reduces its roll angle when cornering.

S-specific details: the design

In short, the design of the Audi SQ8 TDI** can be described as impressive, sporty, and robust. The characteristic exterior elements are accentuated specifically and emphasize the special status of the top model: The octagonal Singleframe is structured by double louvers and surrounded by a large matt silver frame. The underbody protection gleams in the same color and makes the front and rear bumpers appear even more voluminous. The air inlets with their clear contours, the S-specific exhaust system and the distinct quattro blisters above the wheel arches also demonstrate power par excellence. The wheel arches house 21 inch wheels as standard, and exclusive 22 inch wheels are available upon request.

Intelligently connected: controls, infotainment, and driver assistance

In line with the sporty interior, the standard Audi virtual cockpit offers S-specific views with red graphical details. The driver can select a performance layout where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the performance and torque are shown as percentages. Two large touchscreens with haptic and acoustic feedback function as the main control elements. Alternatively, the driver can use the natural language control feature that understands freely formulated commands and questions. To respond to these, the system accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the knowledge in the cloud. Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, which is fully integrated in the MMI operating system, is a new feature.

As standard, data transfer in the SQ8 TDI** takes place via the standard LTE Advanced, which is part of the MMI navigation plus along with the Wi-Fi hotspot and the Audi connect services. The route planning feature offers many clever functions. For example, it recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and can therefore make intelligent suggestions. The navigation function is enhanced by Car-to-X services such as traffic sign and hazard information. They use the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet as well as the latest service, traffic light information. Audi is rolling out this feature step by step in selected European cities. The car receives data from the traffic light central computer, allowing the driver to choose their speed to match the next green light. While waiting at a red light, the Audi virtual cockpit shows the remaining time until the next green light. The system thereby contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic.

The adaptive cruise assist makes the journey even more safe and relaxed by assisting with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It incorporates the functions of adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and active lane assist. In conjunction with the efficiency assistant, the system predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi SQ8 TDI** on the basis of sensor information, navigation data and road signs. In the city, systems such as the intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning and the 360 degree camera add to the extensive portfolio. 

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Audi is adding a compact SUV in coupé shape to its model range: the Audi Q3 Sportback. The new model combines the strong presence and versatile everyday convenience of an SUV with the sporty elegance and agile handling of a coupé. This makes it the first compact crossover of the Audi brand.

Low roofline and a muscular body: the design

The Audi Q3 Sportback stands for strength and precision to an equal degree, and reflects this in all design details. The black grille of the octagonal Singleframe is strongly three-dimensional in design, and this makes it particularly sporty. The same applies for the trapezoidal air inlets and the expressive bumper with its flat blade. The coupé-like passenger cabin acts as a contrast to the distinctive attachments, which are painted in contrasting colors and thus emphasize the SUV character. The low roofline gives way to flat Dpillars and ends in a roof edge spoiler. As a result, the Audi Q3 -Sportback appears much longer than its sister model Q3. In addition, the SUV-coupé is almost three centimeters flatter and thus has a more muscular appearance. Above the wheels, strong contours hint at the quattro drive, which comes as standard with most engines. Many light and shadow effects arise on the plastic-formed rear. The low window, flanked by aero trims, and the sporty bumper, which takes up the look of the air inlets, emphasize the width of the Audi Q3 Sportback. The reversing lights contribute to this as well: They run inwards in a tapered shape, just like the flat headlights. Audi supplies the latter in three versions up to Matrix LED technology, whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation.

Variable comfort: Interior and space concept

The Audi Q3 Sportback is 4.50 m (14.8 ft) long, 1.84 m (6.0 ft) wide and 1.56 m (5.1 ft) high; its wheelbase measures 2.68 m (8.8 ft). This results in a large and highly variable interior. The rear seats offer space for three people. They can be moved 130 mm (5.1 in) longitudinally as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections, and their inclination can be adjusted in seven stages. The volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 530 l (18.7 cu ft) to 1,400 l (49.4 cu ft). The loading floor can be adjusted to two levels, and the rear shelf is located beneath it. As an option, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened and closed with a foot motion. The front seats – electrically adjustable and heated on request – offer a sporty position and a high level of comfort. Depending on the equipment, there are sport seats with contrasting stitching and colored stripes along the side panels. In addition, Alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests emphasize the progressive design philosophy. In the dark, the optional contour/ambient lighting package sets lighting accents with its 30 selectable colors.

Digital world: Displays and operation 

The operating and display concept proves how Audi is pushing ahead with digitalization: Even the basic equipment includes a digital instrument cluster with a 10.25-inch screen diagonal, which the driver operates using the multifunction steering wheel. In the top-of-the-line system, MMI navigation plus, the displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which offers many additional functions. A touch display measuring 10.1 inches is positioned in the center of the instrument panel. When a function is selected, it emits acoustic feedback. Just like in the brand’s full-size class models, it is surrounded by wide, high-gloss black trim. Together with the air-conditioning control unit located beneath it, the display is ergonomically tilted 10° towards the driver. On request, the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus is available with three selectable layouts, including a particularly dynamic view.

The flat menu structure is complemented by a control unit that uses natural language and can also understand free-form communication. Entering a navigation destination and the MMI search are based on free-form text input. The system recognizes the driver’s most frequent destinations based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable suggestions. When doing so, it takes into consideration statistical empirical values regarding the traffic load and time of day.

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