Audi is testing a super-hybrid SUV with a petrol-electric drivetrain producing around 470bhp.
Set to be named the SQ8, it’ll sit atop the Q8 range, which is due to be launched next year as the new flagship SUV model.
The Q8 Sport Concept from earlier this year gives insight as to what will be under the bonnet of the all-wheel-drive performance model. It uses a 3.0-litre TFSI V6 petrol engine that produces 444bhp, with electronic assistance from a 20kWh motor, boosting total output to 469bhp and 516lb ft.
The concept is claimed to be capable of hitting 62mph in 4.7sec and powering on to a top speed of 171mph. This suggests the production car will rank in close contention with the BMW X6 M, which makes use of a more traditional turbocharged V8 set-up.
As shown by a recent sighting of a development car, the SQ8 will have a squatter stance than its non-performance siblings, largely due to a more aggressive air suspension set-up.
It’ll also come with more aggressive bumpers and its own wheel design. A standard equipment list is likely to include carbon ceramic brake discs and Audi Virtual Cockpit technology.
When the Q8 range launches next year, it could start from around £60,000, making it a natural rival to the BMW X6. The SQ8’s price is therefore likely to reflect that of the X6 M, which begins at £97,810.