Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 25 Oct 2019
Sometimes something unique, bold and extraordinary emerges from the shadows. Something which captures a sense of style, grandeur and space-aged design. This can certainly be said for the new Audi halo SUV, the Q8.
What is it?
While I previously perceived the brand image set out by Audi to be of a more conservative approach, the Q8 is reminiscent of the brand’s focus towards implementing more striking designs. Eight has always been an important number for the Audi brand, starting with the ultra-luxurious A8 business saloon, then the R8 Supercar and now this, the ultra-chic large Q8 SUV.
The new flagship SUV is a preview of some of Audi’s next-generation SUVs, and I think you’d agree, it looks absolutely smashing.
Sublime Ride Quality
The Q8 rides on the VW Group’s MLBevo platform, one which it shares with its Q7 sibling, as well as the Bentley Bentaya, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. It’s this solid base which forms the underpinnings of what is a truly executive, elegant luxury SUV.
Powered by an impressive 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol motor shared with its S4 family member, the 55 TFSI that I spent time with produces more than ample power, with its ability to carry almost 2-tonnes of weight with ease. Its peak outputs of 250 kW and 500 Nm are directed to all 4 wheels via an 8-speed automatic (Tiptronic) transmission. Options such as all-wheel-steering help make for its very planted and dynamic handling. Despite the performance nature of the motor fitted to this Q8, it’s clear that the Audi engineers have produced a vehicle focused on sheer business class refinement.
The dash of the takes centre stage of the show, with the implementation of multiple high-definition displays. A total of three display screens feature, the first display screen is in place to utilise air-conditioning and vehicle-related controls, while the instrument cluster remains Audi’s high tech virtual cockpit (still on of the best around) and finally the main multimedia screen is large and even makes use of a special capacitive touch screen panel.
Using the system is straight forward, and I must say, I rather like its modern “push-in” capacitive display abilities. Of course, every major media source is supported, and if optioned, even a Bang & Olufson sound system is available which is simply the business.
Space Meets Design
The Audi Q8 is classed as a coupe-SUV or Premium SUV Coupe. Despite its coupe design language, this flagship SUV manages to offer impressive overall cabin space. There really is plenty of interior space and a lot in the way of comfort even when four adult occupants are travelling within the vehicle.
While the Q8 rivals the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne Coupe, for instance, Audi have done a great job of packaging in order to produce a vehicle which is stylish and practical all at the same time.
SA Pricing, Warranty & Verdict
The Audi Q5 55TFSI starts at R1 388 000 (October 2019), with our test unit coming in at R1 613 227 as specified. All Audi Q8 derivatives come with a 5 -year/100 000 km Audi Freeway (maintenance) plan.
For me, the Q8 represents Audi’s own unique sense of designing luxury. It brings with it some style-inspired excitement, which I first felt with the likes of the R8 by being beautifully unique. I personally love its bold approach and insight into further products from the brand following this outlook.