Audi unleashes its flagship SUV

Audi has launched a flagship SUV to South Africa, promising that the all-new Q8 brings the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé melded with the practical talents of a large SUV. Add a generous cabin in every respect, a variable luggage compartment, state-of-the-art operating and suspension technologies and intelligent driver assistance to make Q8 a 'composed companion for business and leisure'. 

Powered by a 250kW 500Nm direct petrol injection turbo petrol V6 with 48V lithium-ion battery belt alternator starter mild hybrid assistance, the launch model Q8 55 TFSI quattro tiptronic is good for 100km/h in 5.9 seconds and a 250km/h top end, it can sip 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres and emit 207g/km CO2, while that MHEV tech enables long dead engine coasting from 22km/h to reduce consumption by up to 0.7l/100l. Q8 55 TFSI will be joined by a 45 TDI turbodiesel mid-year 2019.

Q8 of course packs quattro permanent all-wheel drive, progressive steering, and hill descent control, while damper control is also standard. Options include all-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension that adapts ride height by as much as 90 millimetres. Add 20 inch cast alloy wheels, HD Matrix LED headlamps with dynamic turn, range control and a washer and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

5 meters long, 2 meters wide and 1.71 meters tall and riding on a 3 metre wheelbase, Q8 is wider, shorter and lower than the Q7 to beat its direct competitors in most interior dimensions from length to headroom., while a three rear seat system can slide forward and backward and its backrests folded down, while luggage space can be upped to 1,755 litres.

Boasting Audi’s latest progressive design language with an octagonal grille face, an elegantly sloping roofline, short overhangs and quattro wheel arch blisters to accommodate up to 22-inch wheels, Q8 hints at the legendary rally Ur-quattro back in the day in twelve colours.

Driver assistance comes via among others, adaptive cruise control with infrared pedestrian and animal identity; navigation and traffic sign functionality, active lane assist with pre sense front turn, emergency assist if the driver is inactive, pre sense and a 360 degree display.

Audi Q8’s luxury lounge cabin boasts easily understood twin screen MMI infotainment with voice, gesture, touch and multifunction steering wheel interface, while the system blends into the cabin when off and also brings a 3D effect as part of an ambient lighting package in the dark and there's a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. Three S line packages add the likes of 22” wheels, adaptive air suspension and 4-way lumbar support seats.

The Audi Q8 55 TFSI quattro tiptronic costs R1.38M with Audi’s 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway plan, inclusive of all taxes.