The launch of the first ever Audi Q8 is upon us, and already there have been multiple sightings of the SUV “coupe”. However, our European spy photographers managed to capture what appears to be a higher performance version of the Q8, dubbed the SQ8.

It’s unclear what engine will power this range-topper, but our best bet is the new 4.0 litre V8 TDI motor that is currently fitted to the SQ7. There, the eight-cylinder oil burner produces 435 hp and 900 Nm thanks to twin-turbocharging and features an electric powered compressor (EPC) to improve low-end performance. The SQ7 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.

Other rumours suggest that the SQ8 will get a petrol alternative, which is the high-output 3.0 litre TFSI V6 engine producing 450 hp. This engine will then be paired to a 20 kWh electric motor, making for a combined system output of over 470 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Expect a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission to send drive to all four wheels through the company’s quattro system, as well as a new four-wheel steering system.

Going by Audi’s track record, the SQ8 looks set to feature a more aggressive exterior styling, most notably a new grille, front and rear bumper and larger wheels. The cabin, which we first saw last September, will follow in the footsteps of the new Audi A8. Liking what you see so far, guys? Share your thoughts with us below.