Ingolstadt - The Audi SQ7 was first revealed three years back, packing one seriously impressive V8 twin-turbo diesel engine, but the performance SUV never made it to South Africa. But now there’s some good news from Audi SA, with confirmation that the updated SQ7, which was revealed on Monday, will be arriving along with the facelifted range in the first quarter of 2020.

The 4-litre V8 diesel carries over unchanged, and produces a mammoth 320Nm and 900Nm of torque, from just 1250rpm. The engine, which is also fitted to the new SQ8, is mated to Audi’s 48-volt mild hybrid system, which not only reduces consumption by up to 0.5 litres per 100km, but also powers an electric compressor, which helps get the car off the mark lag-free.

Audi quotes a 4.8 second 0-100km/h sprint for the SQ7 TDI, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

Power is put to the road by an eight-speed Tiptronic autobox and Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, while handling is further sharpened by a sport differential that apportions torque between the rear wheels and an all-wheel-steering system. A sport-tuned air suspension system and Progressive Steering are standard on the SQ7.

Audi has sharpened up the exterior design for 2020, most notably with a redesigned front end that takes inspiration from the Q8 with its wider and more angular grille and pointy headlights. The SQ7 is further set apart from regular Q7 models through its 20-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels, twin-slat grille pattern, alloy-look mirror housings, quad exhaust pipes and other S-specific details - both outside and in the cabin.

For the latter we’re speaking of matt brushed aluminium inlays as well as sports seats upholstered in a dark leather and Alcantara upholstery combination, stainless steel pedals and illuminated S-branded door sill plates. ‘S’ sports seats and carbon look inlay trimmings are optional. 

As with the exterior, Audi has given the cabin a major overhaul, the SQ7 now featuring a redesigned dashboard that houses the latest dual-screen MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system.

South African prices and specifications will be announced closer to launch.

IOL Motoring