Audi has announced the all-new Q8, which it describes as an SUV coupé. The company says it remains faithful to the dramatic styling of the original Q8 Sport concept first revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The series production car will join UK roads this summer.
A 3.0 TDI with a mild hybrid system combines with the permanent quattro all-wheel drive and a ground clearance of up to 254 mm. With its coupé-style roof line it appears much lower than its Q7 sister model. It is 66 mm shorter, but has become 27 mm wider.
In the UK, S line specification that is equipped with 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, a more comprehensively specified Vorsprung version will join the line-up.
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 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.
With the Singleframe in octagonal design, the Audi Q8 debuts the new face of the Q family. Six distinctive vertical chrome fins are designed to make the radiator grille appear upright and solid. Thanks to the frameless doors, the coupé-type roof line stretches low across the vehicle body visually, ending in the a long roof spoiler.
For the headlights, Q8 customers can enjoy the benefits of HD matrix LED headlights fitted as standardg. In future, Q8 owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions and experience them from the outside.
Each headlight unit consists of 24 individual LEDs and, from afar, the two-part lights appear very flat, as only their top part is visible. They integrate the daytime running light and the low beam, among other functions. The high beam is positioned underneath, darkened and offset to the back.
Audi says 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 (approx 61 miles).
At launch, the Audi Q8 is fitted with a 3.0 TDI (Q8 50 TDI). It generates 282 bhp and delivers 442.5 lb-ft 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 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. A smaller three-litre diesel (Q8 45 TDI) and a 3.0 TFSI petrol-engine car (Q8 55 TFSI) will follow early next year.
The transmission of forces is provided by an eight-stage tiptronic. 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 Audi Q8, which is manufactured at the Bratislava plant, will be launched in the UK in summer 2018.