As the overcrowded SUV segment heats up, Audi decides to up the game by releasing a new contender in the “sports utility coupe” segment to take the Mercedes GLE Coupe and the BMW X6 head-on. The all-new Audi Q8 is based on a shared platform that’s underneath everything from the VW Touareg and the Audi Q7 to the Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga.
Upfront, the Audi Q8 displays a face vaguely similar to that of the latest Audi A8 sedan. The front grill gets a silver frame that gets integrated to the LED Matrix headlamps and bumper. At the side, the massive C-Pillar and the sloping roof gives it the SUV-Coupe appeal. The tail lamps are connected by an LED light bar. The dimensions of the Q8 SUV is the same as that of the Q7 but the wheelbase measures almost 3 metres. This liberates more room on the inside than its direct competitors, Audi says. The boot is cavernous at 608 litres which can be increased to 1755 if you fold the seats down.
The design of the interior is not an entirely new as it has lifted some traits off the new 2019 A8 sedan. There are two screens on the centre console for the infotainment and climate control systems and another one right behind the steering wheel instead of the gauge cluster. The Audi Connect key can be used to lock/unlock the vehicle, and start the engine over a smartphone.
The Audi Q8 is powered by a 3.0-litre TDI engine that uses a mild-hybrid system and produces 286 hp. The power is channeled to all four wheels through an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and Audi Quattro AWD system. The 0-100 kph run is dealt in 6.3 seconds. Other engine options will join the lineup in early 2019 which include a less powerful version of the 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel and a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine that produces 340 hp, the latter shared with the new VW Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne.
Expect the petrol model to come to the UAE, KSA and other GCC countries by the end of the year.