Audi Q8 2020 - A Coupe version of the Q7
The new Audi Q8 is a coupe-styled SUV crossover, based on the highly impressive Audi Q7. Audi has really gone to town with the Q8 and has fitted it with a brand-new cabin design, the latest Audi technology systems and safety features. Most of these are not found on the current Q7. Audi has pushed the boat out, making the Q8 the new Flagship SUV model in their range.
Where the Audi Q8 differs from the Q7 is that it is strictly a 5-seater SUV, unlike the Q7's 7-seater layout which is down to the coupe sport styling of the Q8. What Audi has done is create a car in line with the BMW family of the X5 and X6, the X6 being a coupe version of the X5 as well as Mercedes's Coupe-SUV crossovers. The coupe-styled SUV is becoming increasingly popular amongst buyers thanks to there striking looks, practicality and performance levels. They give you the best of multiple driving experiences so it's pretty hard to ignore them and you'll want a test drive.
The new Audi Q8 is available in three guises, Q8, SQ8 and RS Q8 with the Q8 being the standard style model and the RS Q8 being the full-fat power machine, with around 600bhp. Each level of Q8 also has a selection of trim ranges to choose from, with the standard Q8 having the biggest selection. The trim range starts with the entry-level S-Line up to the top-spec Vorsprung. There is a choice to suit most buyers and also enough optional extras to make your new Q8 more personalised.
For this review, we will be focusing on the standard Q8, not the sportier modelled SQ8 and RS Q8, but I may touch on certain areas and will thoroughly review these at a later date.
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Engines, Power and Performance
There are two engine choices to choose from with the standard Q8 and a single-engine choice for each of the sportier models SQ8 and RS Q8 giving a total of four engines. All variations of the Audi Q8 come with Quattro AWD as standard, to help maximise grip and performance.
The Audi Q8 is available with either a petrol or diesel engine. The petrol is badged the 55 TFSi and is a 3-litre turbocharged V6 developing 340hp and 500Nm of torque. This is paired to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and will hit 0-62mph in 5.9secs and go on to a top speed of 155mph.
The diesel is badged 50 TDi and is a 3-litre turbocharged V6 unit again paired with Audi's eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. It develops 282hp and 600Nm of torque and is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 6.3secs and climb to a top speed of 152mph.
The two sportier versions, the SQ8 and RS Q8, have the more powerful engines. The SQ8 is equipped with a 4-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine developing 429hp and a massive 900Nm of torque. To help the SQ8 get the most of all this power the engine is coupled to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission for smooth and responsive gear changes. The SQ8 is capable of hitting 0-62mph in just 4.8secs, and Audi says that the diesel engine is the most powerful diesel engine currently available on the European market.
The RS Q8 is fitted with a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 which eeks out an impressive 600hp and 800Nm of torque. It will propel this 2.3 tonne monster from 0-62mph in just 3.8secs which is getting into supercar levels of performance.
Each Q8 engine also features Audi's 48V mild hybrid unit (MHEV) to help recover energy when you are decelerating and help with efficiency, by allowing the engine to "switch off" and "coast" at speeds between 34mph and 99mph.
Each Q8 comes with adaptive air suspension as standard which is then adjusted electronically through the Audi Drive Select system, where there are 7 different driving modes to choose from (Auto, Comfort, Efficiency, Dynamic, Off-Road, All-Road and Individual).
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the Q8 is arguably one of the finest in any of the Audi models. Each trim level comes with a wealth of the latest Audi technical features and assists. The cabin feels luxurious and well-built, with an abundance of top-quality materials used throughout.
Some of the standard equipment featured across all trim levels is the Audi Virtual Cockpit, with a colour 12.3-inch digital instrument display which is fully customisable by the driver. There is also Audi's dual-screen MMI infotainment system which is one of the best on the market. It is a 10.1-inch full HD touchscreen on top, supporting the primary functions such as 3D sat-nav, radio and smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is then a smaller 8.6-inch full HD touchscreen where the climate control and driver assists are controlled from.
Other standard features include; heated and fully electronically adjustable front seats, voice recognition, Audi Connect with a 3-year subscription included and a 10-speaker Audi premium sound system.
As you move up the trim levels, you get even more luxury features and assists such as; Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, a panoramic glass sunroof, 4-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded premium Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Q8 is available where just about any feature you can imagine all put together in a high-class cabin as good, if not better than any other in its class range.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Audi Q8 is a large SUV, and you will not be disappointed with the amount of space you get when you climb inside. In the front, there is more than enough headroom and legroom to satisfy even the tallest of occupants. Given that the Q8 has a coupe-style sloping roofline, there is a surprising amount of headroom in the back. Even with the panoramic sunroof, tall adults will still find ample space. Legroom is equally generous if not quite as good as in the sister Audi Q7 but should allow plenty of room to get comfy and relaxed.
There are various storage compartments throughout the cabin, including a generous central storage cubby under the armrest, cupholders, decent sized door pockets and glovebox.
The boot is large and practically shaped, with a capacity of 605 litres which rises to a spacious 1755 litres with the rear seats folded down. One cool feature is the standard-fit air suspension, which means you can lower the ride height at the rear to make loading your boot with heavy items easier.
The Audi Q8 has a plethora of advanced safety features; in fact, a total of 39 different driver assists are available. As a result of these features, the Q8 received the top 5-star rating from the Euro NCAP safety tests. Some of the standard driver/safety assists included across all Q8 models are; front and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera, lane departure warning, cruise control with speed limiter and Audi Pre-sense plus.
The Audi Q8 is a fantastic car with sublime looks and styling combined with one of the best quality interiors on the market in this class range. If you're thinking of buying a sporty SUV which offers luxury, performance and power, then the Audi Q8 could be the car for you.