Audi is updating the flagship of the Q family with a sleek new design and upgraded technology. The revised exterior aesthetic with new front and rear bumpers underscores the strong character of the SUV coupé. For the first time, Audi is equipping the Q8 with HD Matrix LED headlights, including a laser as an additional high beam on top-spec models. These headlights feature digital daytime running lights and selectable light signatures. Digital OLED rear lights with four selectable rear light designs complete the expanded light offering. New wheels, colours, decorative inlays, and seats with contrast stitching highlight the car’s top position among the Q models. UK sales begin on October 10 with prices to be confirmed in due course.
With its expressive new design, the revised Q8 is a sporty, elegant SUV coupé from the brand with the four rings. The short overhangs and long wheelbase make for sporty, muscular proportions that can be accentuated with distinctive exterior colours and wheels.
The unmistakably powerful and upright Audi Singleframe with an octagon design now features vertical inlays, which makes it clear at first glance that the Q8 belongs to Audi’s top models. The self-assured appearance of the Q8 is underscored by the new prominent air intakes, which are neatly integrated into the lower section of the front bumper, and new tailpipes.
On Black Edition and Vorsprung models striking new accents frame the Audi Singleframe, the trim on the side windows, and the front and rear bumpers, whilst the Singleframe mask is finished in high-gloss black.
The innovative headlights featuring HD Matrix LED technology and an additional laser light (Vorsprung spec only) as well as the digital daytime running lights positioned on the upper horizontal edge give the Q8 an even more self-assured expression. In conjunction with the digital OLED rear lights, which are available for the first time in the Q8, the premium-class character of the model becomes even clearer. At the rear, an LED light strip together with black high-gloss trim and integrated Audi rings links the digital OLED rear lights across the entire width of the car.
The Audi Q8 bears Audi’s new, modern corporate identity. Specifically, this is the new two-dimensional rings that debuted in the Q8 e-tron. Instead of chrome, the new four rings come in contrasting white (S line) and dark grey (Black Edition and Vorsprung). The B-pillar now also bears the model and derivative.
To further underscore the character of the Q8, three new finishes are available. Audi Sport GmbH offers Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red, all as metallic finishes. Five new alloy wheel designs are also introduced with sizes ranging from 21 to 23 inches depending on specification.
As part of the model update, Audi is also expanding the range of apps. For the first time, passengers can use popular apps from third-party providers (for example Spotify or Amazon music). Regular software updates and a constantly expanding range of apps make for even greater individualization of the infotainment system. A store with a market-specific app portfolio expands the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3). In terms of driver assistance systems, the surroundings display in particular has received a significant upgrade. The Audi virtual cockpit displays a lane change warning, other road users (trucks, cars, and motorcycles) distance warning, intersection assist, and traffic light information online in stunning full HD quality.
The range opens with the 50 TDI quattro, powered by a 3.0-litre six-cyinder diesel engine that generates 286PS and an impressive 600Nm of torque, which extends over a plateau between 1,500 and 3,000rpm. From a standing start, the Audi Q8 50 TDI accelerates from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 150mph.
The Audi Q8 55 TFSI features a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection that delivers 340PS. It delivers a maximum torque of 500Nm in a broad engine speed range from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. With its turbocharged petrol engine, the Audi Q8 55 TFSI accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. It reaches its electronically governed top speed at 155mph.
The V6 engines in the Audi Q8 work together with an eight-speed tiptronic, quattro permanent four-wheel drive, and the mild-hybrid system, which can achieve a fuel-consumption advantage of up to 0.5 litres per 62 miles in customer operation. Its key components are a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that supplies power to the Q8’s 48V main electrical system. When decelerating, the BAS recuperates up to eight kW, which feeds into the battery. Between 34 and 99mph the Q8 can coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator. After braking, the BAS restarts the six-cylinder quickly and efficiently. The start–stop begins as low as 14mph.
The new SQ8 TFSI takes performance to another level – it impresses with a redesigned spoiler on the front bumper as well as a sporty underride guard at the front and a prominent diffuser at the rear. The Singleframe stands out with vertical L-shaped inlays in a sporty colour scheme. The larger air intakes feature honeycomb grilles across the surface.
As part of the product upgrade, the SQ8 TFSI now runs on the established 4.0 TFSI with 507PS and 770Nm of torque with fast-shifting eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. With this engine, the SQ8 TFSI accelerates from 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds, with an electronically governed top speed of 155mph. With its firing order of 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8, the 4.0 TFSI provides a distinctive sporty and sonorous sound.
At low to medium loads and acceleration speeds – from 160 to 250Nm and between 950 and 2,500rpm with a maximum torque requirement of 145Nm – the cylinder-on-demand system deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 in the upper gears by shutting off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The switching process takes just milliseconds and goes virtually unnoticed by the driver. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points in the active cylinders shift to higher load, which boosts thermal efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders follow, essentially with no losses, like gas springs. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the deactivated cylinders reactivate immediately. To achieve the sporty sound, there is an exhaust flap on each tailpipe that modulates the sound depending on load and rev speed.
Specification for the UK market
The new Q8 line-up comprises three core specifications in the UK: S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung. To coincide with the market introduction, an exclusive Launch Edition specification will be available in limited numbers sitting between Black Edition and Vorsprung on Q8 and SQ8 editions. Equipment highlights across the range include Matrix LED Headlights with dynamic indicators, Valcona leather upholstery and heated front sports seats, MMI navigation Plus, Audi virtual cockpit, adaptive air suspension, parking system plus with 360 Display and cruise control.
Stepping up to Black Edition brings additional equipment such as the black high gloss package with black Audi rings, door mirrors in anthracite black and 22-inch Audi Sport 10-spoke Y-style wheels in black metallic. Polished oak inlays and a three-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel are also added the the cabin.
Flagship Vorsprung specification brings a wealth of additional comfort and convenience features, chief among which includes a panoramic roof, all-wheel steering, HD Matrix LED headlamps with Audi Laser Light and a B&O premium sound system. Inside, an extended leather pack, front super sports seats with electric memory and massage function, heated rear seats, four-zone climate control, head-up display and power close doors further enhance the cabin.
The high-performance SQ8 line-up comprises two trim levels: Black Edition and Vorsprung. S-specific exterior styling and 23-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels mark out the SQ8 models; standout equipment includes adaptive air suspension, quattro all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, park assist pack and S adaptive air sports suspension.
Inside, electrically adjustable front super sport seats with S embossed logo in Valcona leather are standard, along with a raft of comfort and safety features such as Audi virtual cockpit plus, keyless-go, head-up display, B&O premium sound system, four-zone automatic climate control and three-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel in perforated leather.
Sales of the enhanced Q8 and SQ8 model line-ups will begin on October 10 with first customer deliveries due in the first quarter of next year.