Audi has taken the wraps off the Q8, the new member not only to the Q family but also to the coupe-SUV segment.
The SUV measures 4.99 meters long, 2.00 meters wide and 1.71 meters tall – wider, shorter and lower than the Q7. Wheelbase measures nearly 3.0 meters, and Audi claims that the Q8 offers a spacious interior that beats its direct competitors in most relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom. Ground clearance is at 254 mm.
Riding on the same MLBevo platform as the Q7, the Q8 is built using large amounts of aluminum as we can see in the picture above. The pale green, red and blue sections indicate the components made from aluminum while the purple and greyish-white indicate steel.
As for the design, the production model doesn’t look all that different from the concept that was revealed over a year and a half ago, which is a good thing. Audi calls the Q8 as the new face of the Q family not just because it’s a new one, but due to the brawny radiator grille, narrow headlamps and highly contoured air inlets. The rear-end of the vehicle sports connected tail lamps; in fact, the design of the headlamps and taillamps reminds us of the new A7 Sportback.
The Q8’s wheel arches can house up to 22-inch wheels. Standard LED headlights illuminate the road while HD Matrix LED technology is available as an option. Q8 owners can use myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions to experience them from the outside.
As with all the latest Audis, the Q8’s interiors get a fully digital 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, upper 10.1-inch display for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system, an 8.6-inch display below that for heating and air conditioning, convenience functions and text input. There is also Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound.
Options include customized contour seats with massage function and ventilation, four-zone automatic air conditioning and air quality package, and contour light that traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlight for the 3D lasered quattro badge above the glove compartment.
With the seatbacks folded down, the luggage compartment under the power rear hatch holds up to 1,755 liters.
As seen in the latest Audi models, the Q8 is a mild-hybrid too and gets a 48-volt electrical system which comprises of a lithium-ion battery pack and a belt alternator starter. During braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. The MHEV technology enables long coasting phases with the engine deactivated and start-stop kicks in at 22 km/h.
As for the powertrains, the Q8 is powered by 3.0L TDI and 3.0L TFSI engines, paired with an 8-speed automatic sending power to all four wheels. The SUV’s 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 better traction.
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 mm (3.5 in).
There is also the all-wheel steering in the options list. It can turn the rear wheels as much as 5 degrees – counter to the direction of the turn at low speeds to increase agility and at higher speeds in the direction of the turn for better stability.
Audi connect and driver assistance systems
In the German market, the Q8 comes standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system, MMI navigation plus. It includes the Audi connect data transfer module with LTE and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and can make intelligent suggestions. The online services from Audi connect add predictive features to the route planning process. This lets the two Car-to-X services for traffic sign information and hazard information benefit from the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
The optional Audi connect key lets the driver lock/unlock the vehicle, and start the engine using a compatible Android smartphone. Individual user profiles allow as many as 400 preferred settings to be stored for multiple drivers. With the myAudi app, drivers can also transfer special destinations to the navigation system, stream music or transfer the smartphone calendar to the MMI, Audi said.
Assistance systems include the adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, crossing assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360-degree cameras. One highlight is the remote garage pilot, which will follow in early 2019. Under the supervision of the driver, it guides the SUV into a garage and back out again autonomously. The driver gets out of the car beforehand and activates the process using the myAudi app.
The (remote) parking pilot offers a similar level of convenience. Behind all of these features is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated model of the surroundings and uses this to manage the assistance systems. The required data are obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner, Audi said.
The Q8 launches in Europe in the third quarter of 2018, and will be built at VW Group’s Bratislava plant, Slovakia.