If you appreciate the commanding driving position of an SUV, but you don’t have a big family or need to lug around loads of kit, perhaps a ‘sports activity coupé’ is more your thing? And if so, and you love the Audi
design language, quattro all-wheel drive and impeccable built quality, we recommend you take a close look at the newly-announced Audi Q8.
The Audi Q8 is broadly a more coupé-shaped version of the range topping Q7, sharing the same wheelbase and cabin width but with a sportier profile. The looks are dominated by the bold new evolution of the Audi grille, while the roofline tapers gently back to a sloping fastback tailgate. HD matrix LED headlights fitted as standard There’s still plenty of room for five plus all their luggage, but if you’re the owner of a couple of boisterous Great Danes your canine pals would probably appreciate the extra headroom of the Q7
Inside, it’s beautifully-appointed with Audi’s trademark balance of restrained design and fine materials. The centre console features two landscape-oriented touchscreens with a minimum of switchgear, while driver information is displayed on Audi’s fully digital Virtual Instrument panel.
Chassis and suspension
The Q8 features height-adjustable adaptive air suspension that’s tuned for sporting handling. The quattro all-wheel drive is centre diff-based and features torque-vectoring, while four-wheel steering is optional. First road tests indicate that the main difference between Q8 and its Q7 big brother is that the Q8 is set up for more sporting response and more driver involvement. Refinement and suppleness are still excellent.
The Audi Q8 has quattro as standard. The quattro system used for the Q8 is the Self-locking centre differential system. This system has a power bias of 50:50, dividing the power equally between front and rear wheels in normal driving conditions. quattro in the Audi Q8 constantly monitors the road conditions, and has the ability to send up to 100% of the power to the front or rear wheels, if it’s needed.
Power and performance
The first Q8 models to reach the UK showrooms will be powered by a 282bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, badged 50 TDI. 48-volt electrical architecture, an extra-large lithium ion battery and an extra-powerful engine starter-generator alternator make it a mild hybrid in Audi speak. 0-62mph takes 6.3 seconds. A turbocharged 3.0 V6 petrol is rumoured to be in the pipeline.