Marcus De Guzman / Audi | June 06, 2018 12:21
Audi's flagship crossover revealed with mild hybrid tech, all-wheel steering
After countless spy photographs and a myriad of teaser sketches, Audi has officially revealed their all-new flagship crossover, the Q8. Billed by the company as 'versatile, sporty and elegant', the 2019 Q8 serves as the company's most luxurious crossover that combines practical versatility and the beauty of a coupe-inspired design.
First revealed as a concept during the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the flagship crossover features the brand's new styling direction. Taking inspiration from the original concept, the Q8 features a muscular and sharp exterior that exudes sophistication and sleekness. But perhaps the most striking features on the Q8 are the octagonal Singleframe front grill, sporty front bumper and the tapered LED headlights.
Also worth noting are the massive 22-inch alloy wheels, flared wheel arches, LED light strip taillights, tailgate-mounted spoiler, and contoured D-pillars. To further emphasize the Q8's off-road look, Audi painted the spoiler, wheel arch trims, door trim strips and diffuser in a constrasting hue.
In terms of size, the Q8 measures 4.99 meters long, 2.00 meters wide and 1.71 meters tall. It also has a generous 3.00 meter wheelbase which makes for a spacious cabin. Compared to the three-row Q7, the Q8 is shorter, wider and lower. With only two rows of seats, the Q8 can easily carry loads of cargo. Fold the second row seats down and Audi claims it is capable of carrying 1,755 liters worth of luggage.
Step inside and the Q8 features an array of monitors and displays. Instead of having traditional buttons placed on the center console, Audi did away with that and instead installed a dual touchscreen system. The upper screen controls the car's on-board infotainment and navigation systems while the lower screen manages the Q8's climate control, convenience functions as well as text input systems.
There is also the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit intstrument and multi-info display that can show navigation, points of interests, rev counters and infotainment functions. A heads-up display can also be specified which can show important information like current speed, navigation, lane-keep assist guidance among others.
On top of those other features are the following in-car amenities: MMI navigation, LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Bang & Olufsen audio system, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree around-view camera system.
Under the hood is a 3.0-liter TDI V6 that is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive quattro system. It produces 286 PS along with a gut-pulling 600 Nm of torque. This allows the Q8 to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. Come 2019, a detuned version of the 3.0 TDI V6 will be available as well as a gasoline-powered 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that generates 340 PS.
Besides the engine itself, the Q8 also comes with a mechanical center differential. This allows it to send power to both the front and rear axles at a ratio of 40:60. When the need arises, the center diff can send more power to the axle with the most traction to keep the crossover mobile. Speaking of going off-road, the Q8 also comes with a 254 mm ground clearance and adaptive air-suspension that can adjust itself depending on off-road conditions. All-wheel steering is also available on the Q8 which allows the rear wheels to turn as much as 5 degrees for better cornering.
The Q8 also benefits from a mild-hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48V electrical power supply. With it, the crossover can recover energy while braking. It then converts that to stored energy which the car can use under heavy acceleration. The system works via a lithium-ion battery pack and a belt alternator starter. The Q8 can even coast on its own with the engine turned off along with a start-stop range that begins at 22 km/h.
The 2019 Audi Q8 will be made in Bratislava, Slovakia. Sales of the new flagship crossover will begin in Europe in Q3 of 2018.