New 2019 Q8 Audi has revealed the all-new Q8, incorporating striking coupé-like styling and SUV practicality into the new flagship-model for the top of the Q range…
Recently revealed at the Audi Summit in China, Audi claims that the all-new Q8 combines the best of both worlds by offering ‘the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé and the convenient versatility of a large SUV’.
Remaining faithful to the dramatic styling of the original Q8 Sport concept that was first revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show (featured in our May 2017 issue), the series production car will come to the UK later this summer.
‘THE Q8 WILL BE LAUNCHED IN THE UK LATER IN THE SUMMER OF 2018…’
Featuring a generously sized interior with a variable luggage compartment, state-of-the-art drivetrain and suspension technologies and intelligent assistance systems that are ideally suited for both business and leisure use, the 2019 Q8 features a powerful yet fuel-efficient 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine with a mild hybrid system.
With permanent quattro all-wheel drive and a ground clearance of up to 254mm (10 inches), the coupé-style SUV can cope equally well with fast road as well as modest off-road use.
At 4986mm long, 1995 mm wide and 1705mm high, the new 2019 Q8 presents a strong presence on the road, although thanks to its coupé-style roof line it appears-much lower than its Q7 sister model. With a wheelbase of almost three-metres, it is 66mmshorter, but 27mm wider, with the distinctive front end, the short rear overhang and the large 21-inch diameter wheels exuding similarly powerful dynamics.
The Q8 offers plenty of interior space for five people, exceeding that of its direct competitors in almost all relevant dimensions, and with its large luggage space, storage compartments and tray areas the Q8 is ideal for longer journeys. The load volume amounts to 605 litres as standard, increasing to 1755 litres with the rear seat backrests folded down.
The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard, and also comes with an electric luggage compartment cover as an option. Guided on rails, it automatically retracts when the tailgate is opened and extends again upon closing.
‘THE Q8 COMES WITH A 286 PS 3.0-LITRE TDI WITH MILD HYBRID (MHEV) TECH…’
The 2019 Q8 shares the progressive design language that Audi first introduced with the new A8, featuring strong contours and athletically tight surfaces that convey ‘a sense of power, sophistication and the special dynamics of the permanent all-wheel drive’.
With the imposing Singleframe grille in octagonal design, the Q8 is the first to feature the new face of the Q family, using six distinctive vertical chrome fins which make the radiator grille appear upright and solid. A wide mask connects the Singleframe to the distinctive headlights while the spoiler, which protrudes at the front, and the large strongly contoured air intakes further highlight the assertive appearance of the Q8.
With frameless doors, the coupé-type roof line stretches along the bodyshell, arching slightly towards the flat sloping, strong D-pillars, which are supported by wide, muscular contours – the quattro blisters, reminiscent of the original Audi Ur quattro – ending in the a long roof spoiler.
The shoulder line stretches the SUV, elegantly connecting the powerful wheel housings, while compact proportions paired with a very low roof and a flat window form the rear end with a narrow, high-gloss black element with an integrated light strip extending between the rear lights.
Also reminiscent of the original quattro, this is now a feature of top Audi models, accentuating the width of the Q8 and creating an independent light signature day or night, while the distinctive rear diffuser has four vertical fins and an integrated tailpipe trim on each side.
Lighting technology and design
The Q8 comes with HD Matrix LED headlights as standard, not only featuring dynamic turn signals front and rear, but also providing an impressive light show while locking and unlocking the car. Q8 owners will also be able to use the my Audi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions and experience them from the outside – a unique feature in this competitive field.
Each Matrix headlight unit consists of 24 individual LEDs, with the two-part lights appearing very flat, as only their top part is visible. They integrate the daytime running light and the low beam, among other functions, while the high beam is positioned underneath, darkened and offset to the rear.
The daytime running light (DRL) signature with digital character comes with a strongly three-dimensional design for the first time, consisting of seven short segments along with two longer ones at the edge of the headlight which shift the visual focus to the outside, highlighting the width of the Q8.The tail light uses a similarly three-dimensional design with its 12 segments – connected by the distinctive light strip which simulates depth.
Colours and materials
The paint range for the Q8 offers 12 colours which underline the striking design, including the latest colours Dragon orange and Galaxy blue. A full-body paint finish extending to the wheel arches is standard while S line models feature-matt grey elements which further increase the effect of the Singleframe, the blade, the sill trim and the diffuser insert. These elements are finished in Titanium black for the Vorsprung edition.
Customers can choose from several colours and configurations for the interior. In S line configuration, the front sport seats with integrated head restraints, an S logo and rhombus pattern are upholstered in leather / alcantara, with the option of Valcona leather available to order. Aluminium inlays are fitted as standard for a distinctive interior contrast.
The high-level Vorsprung specification gains contoured Super Sport seats as standard, upholstered in Valcona leather, with massaging and ventilation functions available as options.
The central element of the interior of the Q8 is the upper MMI touch response display with its black-panel look which almost disappears into a large, black surface of the dashboard when switched off. Simple, easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of the architecture and operation – simplicity replaces complexity. All fundamental lines originate from the large display, for example the continuous air vent strip with integrated chrome fins and an elegant aluminium-look strip.
The slender dashboard and the calm lines with a strong horizontal focus highlight the impression of width conveyed by the interior of the 2019 Q8. With the styling deliberately clean and simple, all elements have a logical connection and harmonise with one another: from the ‘wraparound’– the large arch running from the front doors across the instrument panel – to the operating unit for the light, which is finished in a black-panel look with a touch surface.
Designed as an independent geometric body, the centre console tunnel with its generous area visualises the robust character of the SUV. In the dark, the contour light traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlighting for the three-dimensionally lasered quattro badge above the glove compartment.
Controls and displays
The operating concept in the Audi Q8 needs almost no buttons or knobs. Comprising two high-resolution touch displays, the upper display with 10.1- inch screen is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system while the lower 8.6-inch display is used to manage the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning as well as comfort functions and text input. The driver’s wrist can rest comfortably on the tiptronic selector lever during operation, with the MMI touch response concept allowing fast and reliable operation. A confirmation click can be felt and Heard when a function is selected with a finger tap. Intuitively logical, similar to a smartphone, the menu structure includes freely configurable favourites and start screens.
The natural language voice control also turns the Q8 into an intelligent dialogue partner, with the system processing all questions and commands with information stored onboard and using detailed knowledge from the cloud. As an example, in response to the sentence ‘I am hungry’ the voice control will offer suggestions for restaurants close by.
MMI navigation plus with MMI Touch also includes the Audi virtual cockpit as standard, with its high-resolution 12.3-inch display operating between two views – classic and navigation – from the multi-function steering wheel. After market launch, the Audi virtual cockpit plus will offer a third interface with a particularly focused look.
Vorsprung models will have the head-up display (HUD) as standard, projecting important information, onto the inside of the windscreen, just ahead of the driver.
Infotainment and Audi connect
As standard, the Q8 is equipped with MMI navigation plus, using the new LTE Advanced standard for data transfer. The navigation system offers intelligent destination suggestions based on previous journeys, also drawing on previous experience of driving times and traffic loads. The route is calculated online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic situation.
The phone system in the Q8 is of a very high standard thanks to the Audi phone box and voice-over LTE. The top-level Bang & Olufsen sound system with 23 speakers delivers the 3D sound with its treble information, precisely how it was recorded, to both the front and rear seats.
Drivetrain and suspension
The Q8 is equipped with quattro four-wheel drive as standard, using the purely mechanical centre differential to share drive between the front and rear axles at a ratio of 40:60, although it can also transmit the majority of torque to the axle with the better traction when required.
Precise handling is also achieved by the combination of five-link suspension at both front and rear, using lightweight components made largely of aluminium, while the ratio of the standard progressive steering becomes increasingly direct as the steering angle increases.
In S line specification, the Q8 has 21-inch diameter alloy wheels while 22-inch rims fitted with 285/40 R22 tyres are used on the top-of-the-range Vorsprung-model. Six-piston fixed aluminium brake callipers are fitted at the front.
Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is a standard feature, providing agile handling as well as a high level of ride comfort. With the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, it can be adjusted to four modes, varying the ride height by as much as 90mm(3.5 inches).
Audi drive select allows seven different driving profiles to be selected, including the off-road-mode, where the Q8 benefits from the standard quattro drive, the short overhangs and the large ground clearance – a maximum of 254mm (10 inches) with the adaptive air suspension.
The electronic chassis platform-records the tilt angle of the car and displays this information on the MMI. On steep slopes over 6 per cent, the hill descent control provides automatic braking input, keeping the speed of descent set by the driver at a constant level up to a maximum of 18 mph, allowing the driver to fully focus on the terrain.
A dynamic option for the Q8 (standard for the Vorsprung specification) is the all-wheel steering which can turn the rear wheels by up to 5 degrees. At low speeds, they steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, reducing the turning circle by a full metre and further increasing the agility of the Q8. At high speed, they steer in the same direction as the front axle, maximising stability during lane changes.
The management for the adjustable suspension system and all-wheel steering is integrated into the control unit for the electronic chassis platform, with the system closely interlinked and working with maximum precision in a highly coordinated manner.
Engine: 3.0 TDI with MHEV technology From launch, the Q8 comes with a 3.0 TDI (Q8 50 TDI) with a power output of 286 PS and torque of 600 Nm (442.5 lb.ft.), such that it is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62mph in 6.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 144mph.
The crankcase and cylinder heads have separate coolant circuits, so that the ideal temperature level can be achieved for any driving situation. Cast-in channels cool the pistons with oil while their rings and the wrist pins are designed for minimum friction, and the oil pump is fully variable.
Switchable hydraulic bearings connect the engine to the front subframe. At idle speeds, they eliminate vibrations with soft characteristic curves while during driving they suppress vibrations from the power unit with higher damping to provide highly refined driving charcteristics.
A 3.0-litre TDI diesel with 231 PS (Q8 45 TDI) and a 3.0 TFSI petrol engine with 340 PS (Q8 55 TFSI) will follow early next year.
The drive system in the Audi Q8 uses mild hybrid technology (MHEV) which integrates a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) into a 48-volt primary electrical system. The rechargeable battery is located underneath the luggage compartment floor and stores 10 Ah of electrical capacity.
At speeds of between 34 and 99 mph the Q8 can coast with the engine switched off, but then the BAS restarts the engine quickly and smoothly, with the start-stop range starting as low as 13 mph. During deceleration, the BAS can recover up to 12 kW of energy. In normal operation, this combination of technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 km.
The Q8 employs an 8-speed tiptronic torque converter transmission to provide fast and smooth gear changes, while a torsional vibration damper, which acts based on engine speed, compensates the engine vibrations to allow smooth driving even at very low revs. With its electric oil pump, the tiptronic can engage the gear required for restarting while coasting with the engine switched off. Special ventilation of the transmission also allows off-road use.
Driver assistance systems The Q8 comes with the assistance systems bundled into a total of four packages. The Tour assist package includes Adaptive cruise assist, Efficiency assist and Emergency assist.
Adaptive cruise assist detects lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead, automatically adapting its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit.
Efficiency assist automatically adjusts to the speed limit, reducing the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. As well as predictive information in the Audi virtual cockpit, the active accelerator pedal also provides haptic feedback, supporting economical driving, making use of MHEV recuperation and the intelligent selection of coasting or power, depending on the events ahead. Emergency assist detects if the driver becomes inactive and, after providing a visual, acoustic and haptic warning, the system takes control and automatically stops the Q8 in its own lane, also activating the Audi pre sense and triggering an automatic emergency call.
Five systems provide safety in city traffic. Crossing assist detects traffic crossing in front, Audi pre sense 360° warns against vehicles approaching from the side, and rear cross traffic assist registers approaching vehicles while reversing. Exit warning and lane change warning complete the package.
Park plus assist, which will be added to the range later on, supports the driver during manoeuvreing, using images from the surround cameras to allow precise manoeuvring down to a centimetre, providing a view of crossing traffic and a detailed view of the wheels. The package also includes the (remote) parking pilot, which independently steers the SUV into and out of a parking space while monitored by the driver. The remote garage pilot offers a similar level of convenience; using a laser scanner it can move close to walls and other obstacles such as bicycles in a garage.
It forms part of the plus assist package, which combines all three packages. Trailer assist provides support by automatically steering the combination when reversing a trailer. The driver sets the direction on the MMI touch display and the camera image shows the current and desired reversing angle. Park assist is also available separately to steer the Q8 independently into parallel parking and bay parking spaces – forwards or backwards. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
Night vision assist improves situations with difficult visibility during darkness by highlighting detected persons and larger animals in yellow in the Audi virtual cockpit image.
A high-tech component from Audi is behind all these features: the central driver assistance controller – standard for the Q8 – permanently calculates a differentiated image of the environment. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner, to calculate the signals for the actuating elements to provide the best possible driver assistance.
Designed using the Audi Space Frame (ASF) concept, the body-shell comprises numerous lightweight aluminum and hot-formed steel components. Providing a high level of torsional rigidity it is an excellent basis for precise, assured handling and low-background noise, thanks also to complex sound insulation and sophisticated aerodynamics. A double-layer windscreen is standard.
Hot-formed steel is used for the ultra-high strength backbone of the passenger compartment – their content in the body-in-white is 14.4 per cent–while cast aluminium parts used for the suspension strut towers in the engine compartment and the connecting parts between sills and longitudinal members make up 15 per cent.
The side panel as well as large areas of the floor, the rear wheel housings and the roof consist of aluminium plates, just like the frameless doors, the front wings and the tailgate. They make up 23.7 per cent of the body-in-white.
With the 3.0-litreV6TDI engine, including the complex MHEV technology with lithium-ion battery, the kerb weight of the Audi Q8 is 2145 kg. The frontal area of 2.84 sq.m and a Cd value of 0.34 ensure relatively low-drag.
Summer 2018 launch
The Audi Q8, which is manufactured at the Bratislava plant in Slovakia, will be launched here later in the summer of 2018. In the UK, the S line specification will be equipped with a host of standard features from market launch, ranging from sport-configured adaptive air suspension and MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch to HD Matrix LED headlights. Soon after, an even more comprehensively specified Vorsprung version will join the line-up.
‘THE HIGHSPEC VORSPRUNG MODELS WILL HAVE THE HEAD-UP DISPLAY AND ALL-WHEEL STEERING AS STANDARD…’
Below: Various seating configurations.
Above: Q8 has frameless side windows.
‘COUPÉ-TYPE ROOF LINE STRETCHES ALONG THE BODYSHELL, ARCHING SLIGHTLY TOWARDS THE FLAT SLOPING, STRONG D-PILLARS…’