Due for its European market launch in the third quarter of 2018, the all-new Audi Q8 has been unveiled as the new flagship model of the Audi SUV range.
The Q8 is said to be wider, but shorter and lower than the Q7 (despite a respectable 25 cm ground clearance) which as a result offers more interior space than its direct competitors, namely the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, with a “longer interior”, more headroom and a whopping 1,755 litres of trunk space.
A lot of the Q8’s design points to the original Audi quattro – with a sloping roofline that flows to the inclined D-pillars and muscular shoulders above the rear wheel arch.
HD Matrix LED technology will be available as an option, on top of the standard LED headlights. Unlike the plastic strip slotted between the rear lights of the Toyota Harrier we reviewed recently, the one on the Q8 does light up.
Also inspired by the original Audi Quattro, a black surface underlays this strip. What’s also really cool is that Q8 owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions for their own viewing pleasure from the outside of the car.
It wouldn’t be an Audi if it didn’t come with an intelligent all-wheel drive system. Power is distributed 40:60 between the front and rear axle and when required, power will be transferred to the axle with the better traction to haul the car.
As for the mechanical bits, no specific engines and output figures have been released but they will all be equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The suspension with damper control is standard, but if you’re feeling a little generous, optional extras include an adaptive air suspension with controlled damping and all-wheel steering.
Nearly every function of the Q8 can be accessed via two large displays. The upper 10.1-inch display is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system while the driver uses the 8.6-inch display below for air conditioning, convenience functions and text input.
The instrument cluster is fully digital too; and can be switched between two to three views to complement the head-up display. Also offered are the Audi connect key to allow the driver to start the engine and lock the car using a smartphone and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.
Among the driver aids offered, one highlight is the remote garage pilot which will be available in 2019. It is able to guide 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 on their smartphone.