The Audi Q8 exudes sporty dynamics and upscale prestige like no other SUV from the brand with the four rings. 4.99 metres long, 2 metres wide and 1.71 metres tall, the SUV coupe is wider, shorter and lower than its Q7 sister model. With a wheelbase of nearly 3 metres, the Q8 offers a spacious interior that beats its direct competitors in most relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom. There is a three-seat system in the rear with longitudinally adjustment upon request. With the seatbacks folded down, the luggage compartment under the powered rear hatch holds up to 1755 litres.
With the imposing Singleframe in octagonal design, the Q8 is the new face of Audi’s Q family. The brawny radiator grille stands upright and, together with the spoiler that has been drawn toward the front and the large, highly contoured air inlets, emphasises the self-confident look. The elegantly sloping roofline terminates in gently inclined D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel-arches, which house up to 22-inch wheels.
Standard LED headlights illuminate the road, with HD Matrix LED technology available as an option. Both the three-dimensional signature of the daytime running lights and the tail-lights have a digital character. A light strip connects the units at the rear. As on the original Audi quattro, a black surface underlays this strip. Q8 owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions and experience them from the outside.
Audi is quattro and quattro is Audi – of course, this applies in particular to the Q8, the top SUV of the brand. The purely mechanical center differential transfers the forces to the front axle and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 as standard. When required, it transfers the majority to the axle with the better traction. That, plus as much as 254 millimetres of ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control, means the Q8 can keep going even after the pavement ends. The suspension with damper control is standard. Audi offers the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as an option, with either comfort or sport setup. It adjusts the ride height depending on the driving situation and the driver’s preference by as much as 90 millimetres.
All Q8 drive systems are particularly efficient thanks to the new mild hybrid technology (MHEV). The 48-volt primary electrical system incorporates two important technology modules: a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter. During braking, it can recover up to 12kW of power and feed it back into the battery. The MHEV technology enables long coasting phases with the engine deactivated and a start-stop range that begins at 22km/h .
Easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of architecture and operation. The central element is the top MMI touch response display. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off. All elements refer logically to one another, from the flat air vent strip to the wide console on the centre tunnel bearing the Tiptronic selector lever.