No one thought that the whole SUV coupe craze would catch on to the extent that it has, but here we are ten years after the introduction of the first BMW X6 with Audi’s challenger, the Q8.
Combining an extra dose of style with high-riding practicality, the Audi Q8 joins the SUV coupe mini-segment a little late to the game, but it packs a technological punch where rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6 are yet to be updated.
Now the flagship of the Audi Q family, here is a handful of the 2019 Audi Q8’s defining features.
Technological tour de force
Digital displays dominate the Audi Q8’s interior, with two 10.1-inch and 8.6-inch screens making up the central infotainment system while a mammoth 12.3-inch display housing Audi’s virtual cockpit sits in front of the driver. Almost all functions are operated using the two touch-responsive screens in the centre, with the top screen handling infotainment and navigation while the lower one organises the climate control system and convenience functions.
The Q8 also features an intuitive virtual assistant that responds to commands like: “I am hungry” by suggesting restaurants nearby.
At the moment, Audi will only sell you a single-specification, petrol-powered Q8. The Q8 55 TFSI exists on its own until later this year when a diesel offering is introduced for the same $128,900. The Q8 55 TFSI features a 3.0 V6 engine that produces 250kW and 500Nm which is sent to all four wheels, par for the course with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
A 48-volt mild-hybrid system also helps the engine in circumstances of hard acceleration and start-stop traffic, aiding the Q8’s 5.9-second 0 to 100km/h time.
In addition to gifting the Q8 a number of design features from the luxury-limousine A8 sedan, the Q8 also uses its styling to hark back to the Ur-quattro Audi icon.
Pumped rear guards combine with a single-piece trim that bridges the two taillights like the old, while frameless doors allow for a raked rear roofline which evolves into a rear spoiler.
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The Q8 joins the already-established Q7 in the top-tier of Audi SUVs. Offering similar dimensions like an equal three-metre long wheelbase, the Q8 differs only by being wider (1995mm), lower (1700mm) and shorter overall (4986mm) in comparison.
Of course, in comparison to the wagon-style Q7 the coupe Q8 concedes luggage space to its load-lugging sibling, but 605 litres and then 1755 litres with seats down is still more than enough for two golf bags. A power rear tailgate with foot-activated gesture control is standard too.
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The upside of a $128,900 (before on-road costs) asking price is that there are quite a few options available as standard. The exterior is flanked by the S line exterior styling package including 21-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, adaptive suspension, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, electric seats in Valcona leather, front seat heating and ventilation and Audi virtual cockpit all offered as standard.
An $11,000 Premium package adds 22-inch allows, air suspension, Bang & Olufsen sound system and ambient lighting package among other additions, while a full leather package also exists for $8,900.
The Q8 is on sale now, to be joined later this year by a Q8 50 TDI diesel version.
Click on the gallery at the top for more photos of the 2019 Audi Q8