BMW launched its crossover coupe in 2008, the BMW X6, and Mercedes-Benz followed suit in 2015 with the GLE-Class Coupe. Audi never made a direct competitor but had been planning to once the new bodystyle became a sales success for other brands.
In May 2018, Audi started a cinematic styled miniseries that teases the Audi Q8 in five short episodes. The car made its first full appearance in the fifth episode, presented on a special microsite and shown to the public at the Audi China Brand Summit in Shenzhen.
In September 2018, the Audi Q8 was launched in Thailand approves the first impression: The SUV coupe is powered by a 3.0L TFSI engine with Quattro name Audi Q8 55 TFSI Quattro S Line.
The Q8 was launched in Malaysia in March 2019 where it is powered by a 3.0L TFSI engine with Quattro.
The Audi Q8 is the first SUV model under Audi's new head of design, Marc Lichte, and will introduce a new design language for the brand's SUVs. The grill is larger and now has an octagonal shape, with both vertical and horizontal slats, and the character lines of the Q8 are inspired by the Audi Quattro rally car from the 1980s. The Audi Q8 features full-laser headlamps and taillamps, the first-ever in a crossover or SUV. The interior features the knob-less MMI system, three touch screens and an enlarged virtual cockpit which has a fully digital instrument cluster. Additionally, both haptic and acoustic feedback are provided in response to user inputs.
The Q8 is slightly shorter than the Q7 in terms of both length and height, but is slightly wider. It also has less cargo space than the Q7 due to its sloped roofline, and unlike the Q7, the Q8 is not available with third-row seats. According to the Volkswagen Group's product strategy the Audi Q8 shares its platform with the Lamborghini Urus, among other products.
A performance-focused Audi SQ8 was launched in June 2019 with chassis revisions, and styling and technology upgrades. It features a new 4.0-litre Biturbo V8 mild-hybrid diesel engine with 429bhp and 900Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque. The US model will use a Biturbo V8 with the same displacement (shared with the US-market SQ7), albeit fueled by gasoline/petrol and producing 500bhp and 770Nm (568 lb-ft) of torque; it went on sale in late spring 2020. Performance is sent through the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox to its quattro all-wheel drive system. Euro-spec models have a claimed acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds) with an electronically limited top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph).
The new turbochargers are situated within the “V” of the engine block, which Audi claims creates better engine response. To further reduce the effects of turbo lag, the engine features sequential turbocharging, with only a small charger active at low engine speeds and a larger charger engaging above 2,200rpm. An electric-powered compressor assists the turbocharger when starting and accelerating from lower speeds, compensating for the turbo's lack of boost at low revs by adding extra pressure to the intake to smooths out power delivery.
The compressor is also fed by the same 48V lithium-ion battery pack which supports the SQ8's mild-hybrid system. Comprising a belt-driven alternator starter and regenerative brake system, it can power the SQ8 at speeds of up to 23 km/h (14 mph) and recover up to 8kW of energy under deceleration.
The SQ8 comes with adaptive air suspension and Drive Select dynamic handling system as standards. Advanced suspension package is available as an optional extra, adding four-wheel steering, sport differential and electromechanical active anti-roll bars.
Styling differences include 21-inch alloy wheels, a revised, more aggressive bodykit, new rear diffuser with oval exhaust tips as standard. Larger 22-inch alloys, Matrix LED headlights, red brake calipers and carbon-ceramic brakes are available as optional extras.
The interior features leather and Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, stainless steel pedals, digital instrument cluster and center-mounted screens which control infotainment, heating and air conditioning systems. Voice control, Wi-Fi hotspot and Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support are standard.
Safety technology includes adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, active lane assist and a 360-degree camera. It includes a maneuvering assist system which Audi claims to help soften low-speed parking collisions by applying small steering and braking corrections along with a curb warning system which helps prevent damage to the alloys. Deliveries in the UK started in September 2019.
Now, SQ8 offers a TFSI variant with a 4.0 Twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine delivers 500HP and 568 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-60mph within 4.1 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 250km/h.
RS Q8 (2020–)
The RS Q8 was unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show in November. The engine is shared with the RS 6 C8 and RS 7 4K8, a 4.0 litre Biturbo V8 mild-hybrid petrol unit with 591bhp and 800Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. Like the SQ8, performance is sent through the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox () to its quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi claims 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 249 km/h (155 mph), but the optional dynamic package increases it to nearly 306 km/h (190 mph). A live-link suspension is featured at the front and the rear along with adaptive air suspension standard with controlled damping. The interior features Audi's MMI dual-touchscreen setup with RS specific displays, as well as RS-embossed sport seats in black pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara and an RS leather-covered flat-bottom steering wheel. Styling differences include an RS-specific grille, larger air intakes, bespoke trim strips and an available sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trim. The standard wheels on the RS Q8 are 22-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wrapped in 295/40-series tires, while 23-inch wheels are optional. Deliveries in the UK will start in early 2020.
For the 2021 model year, all Q8s will come with blind-spot monitoring, and the base Premium trim's Convenience package will include a heated steering wheel and a 360-degree parking camera.
|55 TFSI||SQ8 TFSI||RS Q8||45 TDI||50 TDI||SQ8 TDI||55 TFSI e||60 TFSI e|
|Engine||2995 cc V6||3996 cc V8||2967 cc V6||3956 cc V8||2995 cc V6 + 17.3 kWh battery|
|Maximum power||250 kW (340 PS; 335 bhp) @ 5200-6400 rpm||373 kW (507 PS; 500 hp) @ 5500 rpm||441 kW (600 PS; 592 hp) @ 6000 rpm||170 kW (231 PS; 228 bhp) @3250 rpm||210 kW (286 PS; 282 bhp) @ 3500-4000 rpm||320 kW (435 PS; 429bhp) @ 3750-4750rpm||381 PS (376 hp; 280 kW)||456 PS (450 hp; 335 kW)|
|Maximum torque, N · m / lb-ft at rpm||369 lb-ft (500 N·m) @ 1370–4500 rpm||570 lb-ft (700 N·m) @ 2000–4000 rpm||590 lb-ft (800 N·m) @ 2200–4500 rpm||369 lb-ft (500 N·m) @ 1750-3250 rpm||443 lb-ft (600 N·m) @ 2250–3250 rpm||663 lb-ft (900 N·m) @ 1250–3250 rpm||443 lb-ft (600 N·m)||516 lb-ft (700 N·m)|
|Type of drive||AWD (quattro)|
|Transmission||8 speed ZF Automatic (tiptronic)|
|Curb Weight||2070 kg (4,564 lb)||2,345 kg (5,170 lb)||2315 kg (5,104 lb)||2120 kg (4,674 lb)||2120 kg (4,674 lb)||2340 kg (5,159 lb)||2430 kg (5,357 lb)|
|Top speed||130 mph (209 km/h) 149 mph (240 km/h)||145 mph (233 km/h)||152 mph (245 km/h)||155 mph (250 km/h)||149 mph (240 km/h)|
|Acceleration 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h)||5.6 s||4.1 s||3.8 s||7.1 s||6.3 s||4.8 s||5.8 s||5.4 s|
|Fuel consumption /100 km||11.4 / 7.4 / 8.9 L||16.6 / 9.4 / 12.0 L||17.0 / 9.3-9.2 / 12.1 L||7.0 / 6.1 / 6.4 L||7.1 / 6.4 / 6.6 L||7.8 L||2.9 L||2.6-2.8 L|
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