When it was originally unveiled in March 2016, the Audi SQ7 became the world’s most powerful diesel SUV. It kept the TDI engine with the mid-cycle facelift introduced in July 2019, but it has since lost the oil-burner in favor of a gasoline engine. The European version now rocks the same TFSI unit as its American sibling, which is both good and bad news depending on which side are you on.
Some would argue a diesel with its copious low-end torque and better fuel economy is more suitable for such a large and heavy vehicle while others are against the idea of a performance vehicle running on Devil’s fuel. We can all agree it’s a bit odd Audi has refrained from doing a full-fat RS Q7 (there’s no RS Q5 either) since all the hardware is already available in the RS Q8. Not to worry as this amped-up SQ7 TFSI is a tuner’s take on the flagship version the Four Rings refuse to do.
Gallery: Audi SQ7 shot by Auditography
Shot by Motor1.com buddy Auditography in Warsaw, Poland, this Sepang Blue example is not your typical SQ7 as the twin-turbo V8 has been massaged to deliver more oomph. The 4.0-liter unit now packs a healthy 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque to perfectly match the RS Q8, although still down by 74 lb-ft (100 Nm) compared to the extinct SQ7 TDI diesel monster.
Horsepower has been boosted by 10 percent to 550 hp or 41 hp shy of the RS Q8’’s muscle. It now hits 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in a mere 3.7 seconds, which is mighty impressive given the sheer size and weight of the luxobarge. Some RS badges and dual oval exhausts would’ve brought it closer to a tuner’s take on an RS Q7, but at least the angry exhaust note is similar to what you would expect from a range-topping SUV developed by Audi Sport.
Since we mentioned weight, the chunky vehicle tips the scales at 2,399 kilograms (5,291 pounds), and while it doesn’t have the sharp handling of a proper performance car, its acceleration off the line is similar. As sleek and sporty as the RS Q8 is, the Q7 looks more imposing and muscular, therefore we believe it’s worthy of the fully fledged RS treatment. Thankfully, tuners will build you an unofficial one as long as your pockets can handle the premium.
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