Gone are the days in which the only premium mid-size SUV Coupes you could buy were the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Now, Ingolstadt has joined the mix with an SUV unlike any other Q-family member.
The Q8 will reach its European customers in the third quarter of 2018, bringing with it a “versatile, sporty and elegant” package that’s meant to be both dynamic as well as prestigious-looking, according to the German automaker.
Bumper to bumper, the Audi Q8 is 4.99 meters (16.4 ft) long, with a width of 2.00 meters (6.6 ft) and a height of 1.71 meters (5.6 ft), making it wider, shorter and lower than the Q7. As for the wheelbase, it’s nearly 3.00 meters long (9.8 ft), resulting in a more spacious interior than that of its direct competitors when it comes to cabin length and headroom.
If you want precise measurements, we can tell you that the Q8 is ever so slightly longer, wider and shorter than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, while also edging out the BMW X6 when it comes to length and width. Compared to the Urus, the Q8 is down a few cm all-round, except for height (the Urus is more rakish).
Looks were never deceiving
Unlike with some cars, we’ve had a pretty good idea regarding what the Audi Q8 would look like for some time now. Its exterior is highlighted by the imposing Singleframe grille with its octagonal design, a dynamic-looking spoiler, contoured air inlets, a sloping roofline and the so-called quattro blisters above the wheel arches, which by the way, house up to 22-inch wheels.
Other external features include the standard LED headlights (HD Matrix LED optional), a rear light strip and a black surface underneath, like in the original Audi quattro.
Speaking of ‘quattro’, the Q8 boasts a mechanical center differential moving power to the front and rear axle at a 40:60 ratio. It can also send more power to the axle with better traction whenever needed. Then there’s the 254 mm (10 in) of ground clearance, the short overhangs and the hill descent control system, which together should help make the Q8 quite adapt at going off-road – which is where the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping (optional) can really come in handy.
As for everyday driving, the Q8 boasts standard progressive steering, all-wheel steering (optional), and a new mild hybrid technology which can recover up to 12 kW of power under braking, while also enabling long coasting phases.
As techy as can be expected
Inside, the Audi Q8 is just as technologically advanced as any of the automaker’s other all-new models. Among its most impressive features we count the MMI touch response displays (10.1-inch on top, 8.6-inch bottom), 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, head-up display, optional contour lighting, Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, 3D lasered quattro badge above the glove box, optional contour seats with massage function and ventilation, four-zone automatic climate control and more.
Networking at its finest
In Germany, the Audi Q8 will come with the top of the line MMI navigation plus system as standard, which includes the Audi connect data transfer module with LTE Advanced standard and Wi-Fi hotspot. Meanwhile, predictive features are also available, such as the sat-nav recognizing driver preferences and making “intelligent suggestions”. Then there’s the optional Audi connect key which lets you lock/unlock the vehicle or start the engine via a compatible Android smartphone – as many as 400 preferred settings can be stored for multiple users.
As for safety, drivers can rely on systems such as adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, crossing assist, lane change warning, remote garage pilot (coming in 2019), curb warning and the 360-degree camera.
At first, buyers will have a choice of two 3.0-liter power units in the 55 TFSI and the 50 TDI, the former with 340 PS (335 HP) and the latter boasting 286 PS (282 HP) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) for a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 231 km/h (144 mph). In 2019, a less powerful 45 TDI engine will arrive, with 231 PS (228 HP).