Dynamics as standard: progressive steering, sport air suspension, Audi drive select
As the sporty top model of the Q8 family, the Audi SQ8 TDI offers outstanding vehicle dynamics. It is quick to respond in tight curves, confident on the highway and robust off road. As standard, the large SUV coupe is equipped with progressive steering that responds spontaneously and works with a high level of precision. It features a sporty ratio of 14.6:1 in the center position and becomes even more direct with increasing steering angle.
Another important standard feature is the adaptive air suspension sport air suspension with adjustable damping. It changes the level position of the body depending on the speed and according to the driver’s request: There is a difference of 90 millimeters (3.5 in) between the raised level for off-road driving and the low level for driving on the highway.
The adjustment is performed via the standard dynamic handling system Audi drive select, which influences the air suspension as well as the function of other drive and suspension components and thereby changes the character of the SQ8 TDI. The driver can vary between seven profiles here: auto, comfort, dynamic, individual, efficiency, allroad, and offroad. In the last two modes, the ground clearance of the Audi SQ8 TDI is increased by 15 mm (0.6 in) compared with the normal level. The driver can use the “raise” function to increase the ground clearance by an additional 35 millimeters (1.4 in) to a maximum of 254 millimeters (10.0 in) up to a speed of 30 km/h (18.6 mph). As the speed increases, the suspension automatically lowers the body gradually. This results in a reduction of aerodynamic drag and increased vehicle dynamics.
If the driver chooses offroad mode in Audi drive select, the electronic stabilization control automatically switches to stability, traction and braking control modes that are optimized for off-road driving. The standard hill descent control system is also activated. It provides support by means of automatic brake interventions when driving down a steep gradient that exceeds six percent. The electronic chassis platform captures the tilt angle of the car and displays this information for the driver on the MMI. Due to the specific design of the front and rear end, the angles of approach/departure of the Audi SQ8 TDI are even larger than those of the Audi Q8: 23.2 degrees at the front and 24.3 degrees at the rear at off-road level.
Five-link suspensions are used at the front and rear axles of the SQ8 TDI so that longitudinal and lateral forces can be handled separately. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminum. The SUV coupe has a track width of 1,679 millimeters (5.51 ft) up front and 1,687 millimeters (5.53 ft) at the rear. 21-inch cast aluminum wheels with 285/45 tires are mounted as standard. Audi and Audi Sport deliver 22-inch wheels with a 285/40 tire format as an option. Powerful six-piston fixed-caliper brakes work at the front axle; the internally ventilated gray cast iron brake disks have a diameter of 400 millimeters (15.7 in) here. The diameter at the rear axle is 350 millimeters (13.8 in). Upon request, Audi will install red brake calipers or carbon fiber ceramic disks, which are lighter and more abrasion‑resistant than steel disks.
High-tech systems: all-wheel steering and roll stabilization
Audi offers all-wheel steering in the advanced suspension package or individually; it operates at the rear axle with a spindle drive and two tie rods. At low speeds, for example during maneuvering and parking operations, it turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to increase agility and reduce the turning radius. It reaches its maximum angle of 5 degrees at around 5 km/h (3.1 mph). At driving speeds upwards of 60 km/h (37.3 mph), it is the opposite: The rear wheels then turn slightly in the same direction. This improves the steering response and further increases stability when changing course at higher speeds.
The third high-tech system of the advanced suspension package, along with all-wheel steering and the sport differential, is the electromechanical active roll stabilization. There is a compact electric motor that generates up to 1,5 kW of power between each of the two halves of the stabilizer on each axle. When driving straight ahead, the suspension control ensures that both halves of the stabilizer act largely independently of one another. This reduces the sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads and thereby increases ride comfort. At sporty paces, however, the focus is on optimum roll compensation. The halves of the stabilizer act as a unit and are twisted in opposite directions by the transmission of the electric motor; the roll angle is reduced significantly when cornering, and the handling of the SQ8 TDI becomes even more firm and dynamic. The electromechanical active roll stabilization draws its power from the powerful 48-volt main electrical subsystem. Using the forces of the stabilizers as a basis, the electric motors can generate power and thus feed power back to the battery.
Management of all adjustable suspension systems is integrated into the control unit for the electronic chassis platform (ECP). As the central suspension controller, it collects all key data about the movement of the car and about the systems involved. The integral dynamic handling controller then uses these data to compute the optimal function of these components.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.