Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Audi Q8 style and power

Published:Sunday | July 19, 2020 | 12:11 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator
A truncated roof separates it from the slight larger Q7.
A truncated roof separates it from the slight larger Q7.

Since 2018, with the release of the Audi Q8, the company is adamant that it wants a place in the mid-size luxury crossover coupe market. BMW was the first company to do so in 2008 with the X6, and Mercedes Benz followed suit with the GLE Coupe in 2015. This is your favourite SUV with a truncated roof, which gives the vehicle a coupe-type effect.

At the front is a large octagonal grille that takes up about 60 per cent of the front fascia. Throughout the body are design cues with remnants of the Audi Quattro rally car from the 1980s. This is most evident when looking at the rear end of the vehicle.

While this two-row SUV is smaller than the Q7, it is still very roomy, especially for rear-seat passengers, who have 40.2 inches of legroom and a backrest that can recline. Even with the fasting roofline, there is enough headroom for a six-footer to feel comfortable. A small peeve of mine is that the rear windows don’t go all the way down. Nonetheless, with rear a/c vents and a panoramic sunroof, it is going to be hard to feel claustrophobic in this vehicle. The passengers at the back also have the option of controlling their climate to ensure that they also get a personalised feel.

Sitting in the driver’s seat, it is clear that chief designer Marc Lichte put a great deal of thought where comfort is concerned. The leather is soft, and the seat can be configured in every way imaginable. There is a four-way lumbar support and the option to add adjustable side bolsters. They are filled with air bags that can be inflated to ensure that the back of the seat has a snug fit. This means that when going around corners at moderate or fast speeds, the driver won’t slide around in the seat.

The creature comforts continue with a sliding armrest that covers a small storage area, with two USB outlets for cell phones.

Perhaps the most intimidating feature in the Q8 is the display of technological superiority with the knob-less MMI system, three touch screens, and an enlarged 12.3” virtual cockpit, which has a fully digital instrument cluster. Everything is touch based and works in synergy with each other. There is also the option to input handwriting if you are using a navigation system. In all, it works very intuitively with haptic feedback, and it is safe to say that, with this technology, Audi has future proof the Q8 for years to come.

The Q8 comes with a robust V6 engine that pushes out 340bhp, which ensures that it can drive with the best of them. The acceleration comes on fast and aggressive even in Auto mode, and the faster it is driven, the firmer the steering gets. The eight-speed automatic transmission ensures that the driver can find the right gear for any situation as it puts 60 per cent of the power to the rear and 40 per cent to the front. This can also vary based on the road conditions. With the multiple driving modes and the air suspension, there is an obvious change when the vehicle shifts from Auto driving mode to Dynamic: the vehicle is lowered and the steering is stiffened.

The driving comfort can also be adjusted with the modification of the suspension in the menu system. This will adjust the height of the vehicle as well as how the suspension reacts to the surface, which can be firm or comfortable. It can also be raised, if the vehicle is heading off road, and lowered, if persons are loading items into the trunk. The suspension guarantees that this vehicle gives a smooth ride over any surface, and the 285mm tyres ensure that here is no body roll even when going around corners at high speeds.

Additionally, there is an option for all-wheel steering, which allows the driver to turn the rear wheels as well, giving the vehicle a turning radius similar to the smaller Q5.

The Q8 does not fail to impress as it looks robust and drives in a similar manner. For me, the interior is the biggest selling point as it goes all out to ensure that the driver and passengers are comfortable. Almost everything is configurable – from the height of the suspension to the mood lights.

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Price of tested model: $14.2 mil

Price Range/Options: Starting at price is $16.95 mil, Highest spec $20.995m

Engine: 3litre 6 cylinder, 340bhp

Transmission: AWD

Body Type: mid-size luxury SUV coupe

Competition: BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe.

Standout features:

360-degree cameras

Adaptive air suspension

Panoramic glass sunroof

Vehicle provided by ATL Automotive Ltd, 1876-754-0013. Email: sales@atlautomotive.com, atlautomotive.com