Audi Q8 is the new flagship SUV from the Ingolstadt-based brand; production version based on MLB-Evo modular platform
The German luxury automaker Audi’s flagship Q8 SUV concept, amidst much expectations, debuted at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With production Audi Q8 revealed right now, it will reach Europe in third quarter of this year and India will likely be an important market for its sales aspirations when it could get introduced sometime in 2019 or an year later.
The Q8 incorporates design language in line with current-gen Audis and essentially it’s a Q7 with bigger singleframe grille, crafted windows and sits two inches shorter while having a rakish coupe-styled roofline with 3.0-metre long wheelbase. The full-sized SUV is based on the MLB-Evo modular platform that underpins the Q7, A4 and A5. Design Chief of the German brand, Mr. Marc Lichte, described this car as a cross between a SUV and a sports coupe. It locks horn with rivals like BMW X6, Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe and Range Rover Sports Coupe.
Up front, it gets a large octagonal front grille, sharp LED headlamps and a massive front bumper complemented by large air dams on both sides as some design cues have been taken from the Audi Prologue Concept that was displayed at 2016 New Delhi Auto Expo in February. At the side profile, the Audi Q8 sports large alloy wheels, sharp character lines, sleek ORVMs with integrated turn indicators chrome trim around the glass area and nice sloping coupe-ish roofline.
The rear fascia of the car receives a sporty appearance with integrated roof spoiler, sleek LED strip and taillights and a muscular bumper. The Q8 has a distinctive interior with top-notch instruments and premium quality materials with MMI touch displays, 10.1-inch on top and 8.6-inch at the bottom, HUD, 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, contour lighting as option, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, 3D lasered quattro badge above glove box, four-zone automatic climate control, optional contour seats with massage function and ventilation, etc.
For the German market, the Audi Q8 will get range-topping MMI navigation plus system with Audi connect data transfer module, LTE Advanced, Wi-Fi hotspot, sat-nav recognising driver preferences and making intelligent suggestions, optional Audi connect key and much more. Safety wise, the new model features adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, curb warning, 360-degree camera, crossing assist, lane change warning and remote garage pilot.
For power source, the Audi Q8 will use a range of conventional V6 and V8 petrol and diesel engines. Alongside those, it would also receive plug-in hybrid and a pure electric powertrains as well. The drivetrain from the Q8 concept was a plug-in hybrid setup and it could be used in the future as well.
It pairs a 3.0-litre TFSI V6 with a 17.9-kWh lithium-ion battery making 333 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque, and a single electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic gearbox elevates it by adding 134 hp and 317 Nm torque more. Customers will get a choice of two 3.0-litre engines in the 55 TFSI and the 50 TDI variants making 335 hp and 282 hp respectively. Next year, the 45 TDI engine will arrive with 228 hp.
The Audi Q8 measures 4.99 m long, 2.00 m wide and stands 1.71 m tall as it is wider, shorter and lower than the Q7. Comparatively, it is slightly longer, wider and shorter than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. The Q8 gains mechanical center differential as power splits in the ratio of 40:60 between front and rear axles. When more power needed for better traction, the electronics kicks in.
It boasts 254 mm ground clearance and has short overhangs as well as hill descent control system and adaptive air suspension with optional controlled damping. It also comes equipped with standard progressive steering, optional all-wheel steering, new mild hybrid tech that recovers up to 12 kW power under braking enabling long coasting.