Does the world want one other coupe SUV? Should you ask Audi, the reply is unquestionably sure. Its present seven-seat Q7 flagship has now been joined by the five-seat Q8; decrease, wider and extra dramatically-styled, it’s set to compete immediately with vehicles just like the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.
The revised proportions and new particulars actually assist the Q8 stand out from the chunkier Q7 – even side-by-side you’d battle to see any similarity. The adjustments begin on the entrance, with a a lot wider and lower-mounted interpretation of Audi’s ‘singleframe’ grille. That is flanked by giant air vents on the decrease edge, with slim LED headlights sitting slightly below the bonnet line.
It’s all change down the facet, too, with outstanding wheelarch flares designed to evoke these of the enduring eighties ur-Quattro. The roofline begins to taper earlier than it does on the Q7, completed off by a roof spoiler and a full-width mild ingredient throughout the automotive’s tailgate. Big 21-inch wheels (in S line trim) end off the look. From some angles, there’s greater than a touch of the brand new Lamborghini Urus to the Q8’s creases – however you’d by no means mistake it for something aside from an Audi SUV on the open highway.
The identical may be mentioned of the Q8’s elegant inside, whose structure echoes that of Audi’s different flagship, the A8. The dashboard is neatly layered, with a pair of haptic touchscreens (10.1 inches for the higher display screen, and eight.6-inch for the decrease) under an air vent ingredient that runs the width of the whole sprint. Audi’s Digital Cockpit digital dials are commonplace, and are as clear and straightforward to interpret right here as they’re in different functions.
Regardless of the trimmed roofline, rear-seat passengers received’t need for area, with good head and legroom even when sat behind taller adults. Entrance-seat consolation is great, with loads of adjustment to the seats and three-spoke steering wheel. Materials high quality is as much as Audi’s typical excessive requirements, as effectively.
There’s room to throw stuff within the again, too; the 605-litre boot is 25 litres larger than you’ll discover in an X6. Proof, the truth is, that whereas the Q8 is decrease than the Q7, it’s nonetheless a near-5m lengthy automotive – and that has vital quantity advantages.
There are solely two trim traces to begin with, S line and the high-end Vorsprung. The latter bumps the wheels from 21-inch to 22 inches, swaps the Nappa leather-based and Alcantara sports activities seats for Valcona leather-based ‘tremendous sport’ seats, and provides four-wheel steering, a heads-up show, a panoramic roof and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. The upper-spec automotive additionally will get Audi’s ‘Tour Pack’, which incorporates adaptive cruise, lane departure warning and another goodies. Official pricing will probably be revealed when the automotive goes on sale later in the summertime.
The engine alternative is even easier at launch, utilizing the identical three.Zero-litre V6 turbodiesel (badged 50 TDI) and 48-volt gentle hybrid system as a number of of Audi’s different fashions. The agency’s quattro all-wheel drive system can also be commonplace. A 55 TFSI petrol and 45 TDI diesel will probably be supplied from 2019.
An SQ8 (and RS Q8, for that matter) are due later, however the 50 TDI already endows the coupe SUV with robust efficiency, reaching 62mph in a shade over six seconds and punching on previous 140mph. Economic system and CO2 information hasn’t but been confirmed, however the barely lighter Audi A8 with the identical engine sneaks over the 50mpg-mark, so count on the taller and heavier Q8 to publish figures within the excessive 40s.
‘Excessive’ was the operative phrase for the Q8’s South American launch occasion; the skinny air at 10,000ft doing its finest to strangle the 50 TDI’s efficiency potential. However even in these difficult circumstances the Q8 proved able to robust acceleration and sustained excessive speeds. Acoustic glazing means wind noise is minimal, and that’s regardless of the frameless home windows, which are sometimes a supply of rustling at greater velocities. In reality, the Q8 is among the quietest Audis but, and given the excessive requirements of the A6, A7 and A8 – that’s a powerful feat.
The eight-speed tiptronic computerized gearbox shifts easily and responds snappily to the wheel-mounted paddles too, although outdoors of the occasional A-road overtake, you’re unlikely to make use of them that continuously. Regardless of the Q8’s extra dynamic billing, nevertheless, it’s no extra entertaining to drive than every other latest Audi mannequin. Just like the Q7, the Q8 is a cruiser at coronary heart, prioritising consolation and silence over driving thrills; the numb steering and barely dulled responses imply the large SUV isn’t fairly as participating as a BMW X6.
It does journey effectively, nevertheless; the air suspension absorbing ripples within the highway with out floating over bigger undulations. However there’s one main caveat: UK fashions will get a Sport air suspension setup moderately than our German take a look at automotive’s common air suspension. Given the unsettled journey of different air-suspended Audis we’ve pushed lately, this might be the cozy automotive’s undoing.