The most ardent Audi admirers are awestruck by the Q8, Audi’s full-size luxury crossover SUV coupé. While Audi has always been known to be at the forefront of auto design and technology the Q8’s stylish and aggressive stance sets it apart from its competition. From its statement making grill to the single LED lighting that cuts through the tailgate, the Q8’s design is commanding. Just like the Audi A8, our Q8 quattro test car, in Glacier White Metallic finish, featured Audi’s all-wheel steering system which allows the car to steer the rear wheels by up to 5-degrees, making both the navigation of tight spaces in NYC’s city streets as well as changing lanes on the highway an easier task. The spacious interior gave us a coupé feel in the front seats, and our guest in the back reported the same. The “quattro” badge above the glove compartment, a further example of finely placed interior detail by Audi, reminded us of the distinctiveness of performance and comfort that is pure Audi. A new 3.0-liter TFSI® V6 engine, which generates 335 horsepower is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic® transmission and with it’s eight gears provide quick, smooth shifts. This new V6 engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger positioned directly inside the “V,” paired with a revised Audi valvelift system, to help ensure improved engine responsiveness and performance. The Q8 delivers more power and elasticity over a wider range of RPMs than the Q7. As a result, the Q8 can travel from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
Our Q8 came standard with Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology. The 48-volt system is extremely compact and stored under the rear cargo floor. Power is supplied from the 10Ah battery to a belt alternator starter (BAS) to enhance the comfort of the start/stop system. A conventional pinion starter is used for cold starts only. Also to note, every Q8 comes standard with quattro® all-wheel drive system and a standard Panoramic Sunroof. The interior design of the Q8 is a great expression of premium design, built to showcase “the evolution in Audi digital precision.” Our test car, with the available Luxury Package, adds Valcona leather and individual contour front seating surfaces with ventilation and massage function and passenger seat memory, dual pane glass, extended leather on center console and door armrests. The standout inside the cabin is the all-new MMI touch response® system which replaces the rotary dial and the conventional buttons and controls with two large, high-resolution touch displays. Featuring both haptic and acoustic feedback, I can hear and feel a click as confirmation when my finger triggers a function. The system allows easy access to various vehicle functions and can be personalized using configurable and movable “favorites” buttons. Natural-language control help turn the Q8 into an intelligent travel assistant. All I said is “I’m hungry,” to which the Q8 will suggest nearby restaurants, and at that point it was up to me pick the best match for my cravings. The Q8 is a driver’s SUV, without really feeling like a burdensome weighty SUV, and the Q8 is exactly what the next level flagship ride should be. A masterfully engineered ride, with bespoke feeling comforts and technology, both visible and hidden, that propel you into the future, and to the grocery store, with verve. Audi Q8. Story by Jason Medlen Photography by David Lewis Taylor.
The Dark Side