While coupe-crossover designs remain controversial within the automotive community, the numbers don’t lie. Coupe SUVs have proven to be immensely popular around the world, and now, there’s a brand new one straight outta Ingolstadt.
It’s the Audi Q8, a car whose looks could by no means take us by surprise, seen as how it’s nearly identical to the Q8 Sport Concept, itself a variation of the Q8 Concept unveiled in January of 2017 in Detroit.
Sure enough, just because we knew what the final product would look like, doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate its appearance. Although we’re sure that a case could be made in favor of either the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe or the BMW X6 as being better looking than the Q8.
In fact, let’s go ahead and do just that, starting with the Bimmer.
The X6 kicked off this whole luxury Coupe SUV trend back in 2008, which just goes to show how long Audi have waited until coming up with a direct reply. Now in its second generation, the X6 (F16) has a more dynamic appearance compared to its predecessor thanks to its muscular profile, large haunches and less rounded edges.
It certainly looks aggressive, like it’s ready to pounce. On the other hand, we’re pretty sure we’ve never heard anybody call it “beautiful” or “gorgeous” or any other similar superlative.
While Mercedes followed a very similar recipe with the GLE Coupe (C292), if you look at all the glass surfaces, you’ll notice that they follow the sloping roofline all the way down to the shoulder line, giving the Merc a sleeker appearance than you get with the X6 and its overly exposed C-pillar.
The Audi Q8 is playing a different game
You know what? You can make a case for the Q8 as more of a high-riding wagon, rather than a Coupe SUV. Or you could just say it’s a crossover and call it a day. It’s form factor is a lot more conventional than that of its two German rivals, from the B-pillar rearwards.
Sure, the roof does slope down a bit, but then again, so does the roof of the all-new VW Touareg, which is just as tall as the Q8. Interesting, isn’t it?
But, the Q8 is what Audi is going with in their battle against the X6 and the GLE Coupe, so it’s not like we have a choice here – the three nameplates will now forever be tied together.
Other notable styling features of the Q8 include the octagonal singleframe grille, aggressive spoiler, contoured air inlets, the quattro blisters above the wheel arches and the light strip at the rear with the Audi quattro-like black insert.
Overall, it’s sporty, somewhat aggressive and modern, sure. Is it in any way elegant/beautiful though? Hopefully you guys can chime in on that.
It’s an inside job
If you’re a gadget hound, then the new Audi Q8’s dashboard has probably already stolen your heart. It mirrors what the Ingolstadt-based automaker has been doing with its latest models, boasting three massive displays. Two of them are for the MMI infotainment system, with a 10.1-inch screen on top, and an 8.6-inch one right underneath. And then there’s the virtual cockpit display, which measures a massive 12.3-inches.
By comparison, the cockpit design of the GLE Coupe is downright antiquated. In fact, it’s no wonder Mercedes chose the movie Jurassic World for the GLE Coupe’s first big screen appearance – it’s a dinosaur compared to the Q8 when it comes to on-board tech.
Playful banter aside, the GLE Coupe’s cabin is nothing more than an updated version of the third-gen 2011 Mercedes ML-Class’ cockpit. It’s very well put together and all, but if this was a poker game, both the Q8 as well as the BMW X6 would have better hands.
Latest and greatest?
Since the Audi Q8 is the newest car here, logic dictates that it’s also the most advanced. It’s hard to argue against that. But if your goal is to simply drive the best-looking Coupe SUV, would that still be the Audi? Discuss.