The Audi Q8
For a automobile that made little to no sense on paper, the BMW X6 has completed fairly nicely for itself since arriving in showrooms ten years in the past.
The idea of a sporty, coupe SUV would possibly initially have had loads of observers scratching their heads, however the X6’s 410,000-plus world gross sales since, have confirmed that it’s a profitable one.
So maybe it’s not a lot of a shock that Audi is becoming a member of this area of interest mannequin class with this new Q8, however simply why it took so lengthy.
In any case, Mercedes has its comparable GLE Coupe and Land Rover its Vary Rover Sport, so clearly there’s loads of potential for the sportier SUV.
This Q8 actually seems to be instantly completely different to the bigger seven-seat Q7.
Though based mostly on the identical underpinnings, it’s decrease, shorter and wider than the Q7, with a noticeably extra hunkered-down and squat look, helped by the massive wheels (21in on the usual S Line mannequin or 22in on the higher-spec Vorsprung).
We prefer it, particularly the frameless home windows and the silver grille on some variations and it lacks the macho and aggressive look of the X6 which simply offends some.
Initially there’ll simply be the one engine selection of a three.Zero-litre turbo-diesel with 286bhp badged because the 55 TDI and fitted with a small 48-volt delicate hybrid system.
Able to the Zero to 60mph dash in simply 6.three seconds and onto a 144mph high velocity, it’s actually fast sufficient for what isn’t, in any case, a small automobile.
Though official common gasoline economic system and emissions figures have but to be launched, they’re anticipated to be round 44.1mpg and 168g/km respectively.
Throughout our time with the automobile, we returned 38.6mpg, respectably excessive on condition that we had the air con your complete time.
Already confirmed for early 2019 are a lesser 231bhp three.Zero-litre turbo-diesel and in addition a three.Zero-litre turbo-petrol with 335bhp (badged as 45 TDI and 55 TFSI) and don’t be shocked to see a plug-in hybrid model throughout 2019 both – though given all the present anti-diesel rhetoric, we might have most well-liked a hybrid mannequin to be launched instantly.
On the highway, what first strikes you in regards to the Q8 is its excessive degree of refinement. Street and wind noise are stored nicely insulated from the cabin and whereas the engine is actually audible at occasions, it’s by no means that intrusive.
Including to that practicality is a good 605 litre boot
The experience high quality is great and regardless of the Q8 being an enormous automobile, it stays fairly flat when cornering and turns in nicely.
Though we’d like some extra suggestions about what the automobile is doing via the steering wheel, it’s extremely unlikely that house owners will throw this automobile round that usually, merely to its barely imposing width. It’s honest to say that it doesn’t [start itals] really feel [end itals] all that large on wider roads, however you’ll be able to by no means absolutely escape its dimensions.
You possibly can by no means actually escape its weight both. At 2.1 tonnes, it truly weighs greater than the bigger Q7, thanks largely to the mild-hybrid system on board right here within the Q8.
Clearly the usual Q8’s dealing with will give Audi some room to manoeuvre with any future S or RS fashions, however there’s an non-obligatory four-wheel steering system for a extra dynamic really feel on the pricier Vorsprung trim degree.
Then once more, prospects are rightly certain to be fairly demanding for the Vorsprung fashions given that it’s going to imply an eye-watering £18,000 premium or so over and above the S-Line.
Total although, we undoubtedly assume that Audi’s engineers have met their goal to construct a sportier various to a Q7.
Okay, so it’s not going to fret many sports activities automobiles down a rustic highway, however it undoubtedly has a extra concerned really feel than its greater brother and as a end result offers the motive force rather more confidence on the wheel too.
Audi Q8 costs will vary from £65,000 to £83,000
The Q8 actually seems to be instantly completely different to the bigger seven-seat Q7
Serving to that confidence is the Q8’s glorious inside and driving place.
With top and attain adjustment on the steering wheel and top adjustable entrance seats, it’s straightforward to discover a good place with a great view of the highway forward over the bonnet.
The one design factor of the inside that we’re not totally satisfied about are the sprint extensive air flow louvres.
They home the standard vents for the motive force and entrance passenger, however the sample continues throughout the sprint and to us it seems to be a bit odd.
Construct high quality although, as you’d anticipate from an Audi, is outstanding and there are two principal touch-screens, with the higher one coping with the sat nav, infotainment and different controls and the decrease one coping with the air flow and different components such because the seat heaters and Drive Choose mode swap.
Each screens have haptic and acoustic suggestions and are fairly intuitive and simple to function on the transfer.
The Q8’s glorious inside and driving place is great
There’s an enormous quantity of area inside too, each entrance and rear. One six foot grownup can simply sit behind one other with legroom to spare and whereas decrease than a Q7, headroom within the again seats isn’t sparse both.
Including to that practicality is a good 605 litre boot (1755 litres with the rear seats down) and sliding rear seats are an possibility – though fairly why they’re not commonplace on a £65,000 automobile is anybody’s guess.
The SUV Coupe market is an open objective so far as critics are involved, however it’s laborious to argue with the BMW X6’s historic gross sales success we talked about earlier and the identical is true for the potential fortunes of this Q8.
When mixed with the Q7, Audi expects the Q8 to account for a 3rd of gross sales.
With about 6000 Q7s leaving UK showrooms annually, that offers a tough gross sales expectation of 3000 models per yr, which at £65,000 every isn’t any small change for Audi’s revenue margins.
And, odd although the idea of a SUV Coupe is perhaps, as a better-looking, sportier and better-driving various to the Q7, there’s lots to this proficient Q8 to love.
Audi Q8 can go from Zero to 60mph dash in simply 6.three seconds
The Audi Q8 Q8 has a excessive degree of refinement
Mannequin: Audi Q8
On sale: July/August
Worth vary: est £65,000-£83,000
Engine: Turbo-diesel – three.Zero-litre
Energy: Zero to 60mph in 6.three seconds, 144mph high velocity
Common gasoline economic system: est. 44.1mpg
CO2 emissions: est 168g/km
Rivals: BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, Vary Rover Sport