Audi Q8 (2018–)
Audi reveals Q8
A strong yet efficient 3.0 TDI with a mild hybrid system provides the dynamics which are implied by the muscular exterior design. With the permanent quattro all-wheel drive and a ground clearance of up to 254 mm, the SUV coupé can continue when paved roads end.
At 4,986 mm long, 1,995 mm wide and 1,705 mm high, it is 66 mm shorter, but has become 27 mm wider than the Q7.
In the UK, S line specification that is equipped with a host of standard features ranging from sport-configured adaptive air suspension and MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch to HD Matrix LED headlights, will be available from market launch. Soon after, an even more comprehensively specified Vorsprung version will join the line-up.
With a wheelbase of almost three metres, the Audi Q8 offers ample space for five people. The interior space exceeds that of the direct competitors in almost all relevant dimensions.
With its large luggage compartment and generously sized storage compartments and tray areas, the Q8 is ideal for longer journeys. The luggage compartment of the SUV holds 605 litres as a standard, which increases to 1,755 litres with the rear backrests folded down.
Two golf bags can easily fit in diagonally. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard. The electric luggage compartment cover is another convenience option. Guided on rails, it automatically retracts when the tailgate is opened and is extended again upon closing.
The upper MMI touch response display is the central element of the interior of the Audi Q8. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off. Simple, easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of the architecture and operation – simplicity replaces complexity. All fundamental lines originate from the large display, for example the continuous air vent strip with integrated chrome fins and an elegant aluminium-look strip.
The suspension makes a crucial contribution to the precise handling. The five-link front and rear suspensions are made largely of aluminium. The transmission ratio of the standard progressive steering becomes increasingly direct as the steering angle increases. In S line specification, the Q8 has 21-inch alloy wheels.
Wheels with size 285/40 R22 are fitted to the top-of-the-range Vorsprung model. Six-piston brakes with fixed aluminium calipers are fitted to the front axle.
Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is an standard feature, with a sport setup. It can be adjusted to four modes with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, varying the ride height of the body by up to 90 mm. High ride comfort and agile handling – the adaptive air suspension brings both together.
A dynamic option in the Audi Q8 (fitted as standard in Vorsprung specification) is the all-wheel steering which can turn the rear wheels by up to 5 degrees. At slow speed, they steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, reducing the turning circle of the SUV by a good metre and further increasing its agility. At high speed, they steer in the same direction as the front axle, supporting stability during lane changes.
The drive system in the Audi Q8 is strong and highly efficient at the same time, thanks to the new mild hybrid technology (MHEV). It integrates a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) into a 48-volt primary electrical system. The rechargeable battery is located underneath the luggage compartment floor and stores 10 Ah of electrical capacity. The dynamic SUV can coast between 34 and 99mph with the engine switched off, then the BAS restarts the engine quickly and very comfortably.
During deceleration, the BAS can recover up to 12 kW of energy. The start-stop range starts as low as 13mph. In customer operation, the technology package reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 km.
At launch, the Audi Q8 is fitted with a 3.0 TDI (Q8 50 TDI). It generates 286PS and delivers 600Nm of torque to the crankshaft. It accelerates the large SUV from 0 to 62mph in 6.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 144mph.
The 50 TDI offers sophisticated solutions for many technologies. The crankcase and the cylinder heads have separate coolant circuits so the ideal temperature level can be set for any driving situation. Cast-in channels cool the pistons with oil. Their rings and the wrist pins are designed for minimum friction, while the oil pump is fully variable.
Switchable hydraulic bearings connect the engine to the subframe of the front axle. In idling, they eliminate vibrations with soft characteristic curves while during driving they suppress vibrations from the power unit with higher damping – allowing the powerful TDI to always provide a highly refined ride. A smaller three-litre diesel with 231PS (Q8 45 TDI) and a 3.0 TFSI petrol-engine car with 340PS (Q8 55 TFSI) will follow early next year.
The transmission of forces is provided by an eight-stage tiptronic with fast and soft gear changes. A torsional vibration damper, which acts based on engine speed, mostly compensates the engine vibrations to allow efficient driving even at very low revs. Special ventilation allows off-road use. With its electric oil pump, the tiptronic can engage the gear required for restarting while coasting with the engine switched off.
The operating concept in the Audi Q8 needs almost no buttons or knobs. It focuses on two high-resolution touch displays. The upper display with 10.1 inch screen diagonal is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system. The lower 8.6 inch display allows the driver to manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as comfort functions and text input.
The driver’s wrist can rest comfortably on the tiptronic selector lever during operation. The MMI touch response concept allows fast and reliable operation. A confirmation click can be felt and heard when a function is selected with a finger tap. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favourites and start screens.
MMI navigation plus with MMI Touch also includes the Audi virtual cockpit as standard. Its high-resolution 12.3 inch display can be switched between two views – classic and navigation – with the multi-function steering wheel. After market launch, the Audi virtual cockpit plus will offer a third interface with a particularly focused look. The head-up display, a standard feature for Vorsprung models, projects important information onto the windscreen, including detailed lane guidance for navigation.
Audi SQ8 announced
The range-topping SUV is powered by a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 TDI engine with mild tech. With 435PS and 900Nm of torque, it can cover 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155mph.
Prices for the sporty SQ8 are yet to be confirmed, but expect it to start at around £85,000 when UK orders open in July.