The all-new Audi Q8 is large and in charge! This vehicle rides elegantly smoothly and makes you feel like a million dollars.
It's not surprising though when you look at the price tag. The Audi Q8 brings together the best of both worlds – the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé and the practical talents of a large SUV.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
The generous interior with variable luggage compartment, state-of-the-art operating and suspension technologies, as well as intelligent driver assistance systems make the Audi Q8 an ideal companion for both business and pleasure.
Versatile, sporty and elegant
I found the SUV to be sporty, elegant yet versatile as I loaded up the boot space for a leisurely sojourn. The Q8 exudes sporty dynamics and upscale prestige like no other SUV from the brand with the four rings.
It’s 4.99 meters long, 2.00 meters wide and 1.71 meters tall, making the SUV coupé wider, shorter and lower. With a wheelbase of nearly 3.00 meters, it offers a spacious interior that beats that of its direct competitors in most relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom. There is plenty of boot space. You decide how much you require.
New presence for the Q family
The radiator grille stands upright and together with the spoiler, that has been drawn toward the front and the large, highly contoured air inlets, accentuates the self-confident look. A narrow, high-gloss black element with an integrated light strip extends between the rear lights.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
This is a feature of top Audi models, accentuating the width of the Q8. It creates an independent light signature day or night. Strong contours and athletically tight surfaces convey a feeling of power, sophistication and the special dynamics of permanent all-wheel drive.
Sporty driving experience
With as much as 254 millimetres of ground clearance, short overhangs, Quattro permanent all-wheel drive and hill descent control, the Audi Q8 can keep going when paved roads end. Audi offers the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as an option, with either comfort or sport setup.
It adjusts the ride height depending on the driving situation and the driver’s preference by as much as 90 millimetres. Once seated and ready to go, you feel that power as you press on the accelerator. The Audi Q8 is very responsive, gives a smooth ride and when you need to stop, this is also done with ease. You are in total control.
The new Audi Q8 55 TFSI is equipped with a six-cylinder spark-ignition engine with three litres of engine displacement and direct injection that produces 250 kW. In the wide rpm range from 1,370 to 4,500 revolutions per minute, it develops a maximum torque of 500 Nm.
Thanks to the turbocharged petrol engine, the Audi Q8 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
The Audi Q8 55 TFSI consumes between 8.9 litres to 9.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. This obviously depends on individual driving habits and styles and could be >9.5l per 100km if you are going to go off the beaten track.. Standard capacity of its fuel tank is 85 litres.
Inside the Q8
The interior of the Audi Q8 is a luxury lounge. You might think you are in a limo. Easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of architecture and operation. All elements refer logically to one another, from the flat air vent strip to the wide console on the centre tunnel bearing the Tiptronic selector lever.
In the dark, the contour light traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlight for the three-dimensionally lasered Quattro badge above the glove compartment. Even the entry-level seats are covered with leather.
Sensitive and concise
Nearly every function can be accessed via two large displays in the centre console. The upper 10.1-inch display is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system. The driver uses the 8.6-inch display below that for heating and air conditioning, convenience functions and text input, the latter with his or her wrist resting comfortably and ergonomically on the selector lever.
Operation is swift and simple: A tactile and acoustic click confirms when a finger activates a function. In addition to all this, the natural language voice control turns the Audi Q8 into an intelligent dialogue partner.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
The standard Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 23 speakers, yes 23, brings the 3D sound with its height information to the front seats as well as to the rear. A truly fascinating listening experience.
Driver assistance systems
Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys – the Audi Q8 supports and relieves its driver in many situations. Audi offers a number of assist systems separately. The Audi Q8 comes standard with parking aid plus with 360-degree display (surround-view cameras) which makes it stress-free to manoeuvre in and out of parking spaces. The night vision assist improves difficult visibility after dark. It uses an infrared camera to detect pedestrians and larger wild animals at great distances and marks them with a yellow frame in the Audi virtual cockpit.
The Audi Q8 has just about every imaginable equipment that comes standard. Over 50 in fact. The drive was excellent ad what you expect from the German marque with the four rings. Power delivered when you need it, especially for overtaking. Brilliant Bang and Olufsen sound. Cutting edge innovation. The central driver-assist controller continuously computes and adjusts the car’s systems to its surroundings using a myriad of sensors, cameras, lasers and even ultrasound. Twelve colours to choose from including the Dragon Orange, which is exclusive to the Q8 range. Welcome to the 8th dimension.
The Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro Tiptronic will be priced at R1,388,000 standard with the 5-year/100,000km Audi Freeway plan and inclusive of all taxes.
Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on .
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