The 2019 Audi Q8 takes on Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, and others.
New features include a mild hybrid system and an adaptive chassis package.
Will Ingolstadt’s offering answer the call for consumers who want a functional SUV?
The SUV category is currently the biggest and best-selling segment in the global automotive industry. The market is overflowing with choices from crossover-based compact SUVs to body-on frame juggernauts. But in the realm of luxury SUVs, only a fool overlooks the 2019 Audi Q8.
The 2019 Audi Q8 is not only Ingolstadt’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6. Further yet, it is engineered to steal the thunder from the Range Rover Sport and Maserati Levante. As expected from Audi, the Q8 is oozing with good looks and sophisticated technology.
Stand Out Design
The Audi Q8 is wider yet shorter than the seven-seat Q7. It was penned to revive the iconic design elements of the original Quattro rally car. Viewed from the side, the dramatically sloping roof line mimics the elements of a two-door coupe. The lowered stance, rear arches, and wider track is further evidence to this. It even comes with frameless doors. When was the last time you saw this in an SUV?
The front styling is impressive as well. The biggest highlight is the octagonal single-frame grille with six vertical chrome struts. The slim LED headlights and aggressive air intakes hint at the SUV’s sporting apprehensions. That includes the 20-inch five-spoke wheels and chrome embellishments on the window surrounds, roof rails, and exhaust tips. This adds a premium touch to an otherwise sporty and dynamic design.
The new Audi Q8 is strictly a five-seat affair. It offers ample amounts of headroom even in the sloping rear quarters. It may only seat five adults, but the rear seats can adjust and fold, revealing 67.5 cubic-feet of usable cargo space. A luxury SUV that performs like a sporty car but is practical to live with? The 2019 Audi Q8 seems to fit the bill.
Forget those gas-guzzling V8 motors. The new Audi Q8 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that generates 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. This motor is paired with an eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel drivetrain. But unlike other Quattro systems, the Audi Q8 is equipped with a purely mechanical drivetrain with active torque distribution. This means the system provides a 40:60 torque split, front to rear, during normal driving.
The system transfer powers to the axle with the best traction when the going gets tough.
It also comes with Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology and a 48-volt belt alternator starter or BAS system. Power comes courtesy of a 10Ah battery in the rear cargo floor, and enhances the start/stop system to save fuel. With all this technology, the Audi Q8 can accelerate to 60 mph in only 5.6 seconds. This is impressive given the Q8 will tip the scales higher than the seven-seat Q7.
In order to keep weight down, the body and chassis consist largely of steel and aluminum. For example, the roof, floor, side panels, suspension, and door sills are all aluminum.
Strong, Athletic Legs
The 2019 Audi Q8 comes standard with an adaptive damping suspension. You can easily change the characteristics (depending on the road conditions) through the Audi Drive Select system. Controlled electronically, the adaptive damping suspension has regulated shock absorbers and coil springs located at the five-link front and rear axles.
Ticking the option box for the Adaptive Chassis Package includes the adaptive air suspension. This adds an all-road and off-road mode apart from the standard comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual settings. Also included is four-wheel steering which enhances maneuverability as a result.
The off-road mode includes electronic stabilization and hill descent control to further increase traction.
No Audi is complete without a tech-filled and sophisticated interior. The instrument console features the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit high-resolution display. It even comes with a heads-up display with navigation and lane guidance. The center of the dash is home to a pair of touchscreens. The larger, upper screen displays satellite navigation and the infotainment system. The lower, 8.1-inch screen shows the comfort and climate settings.
Even the switch to operate the panoramic sunroof looks expensive and well-made.
Ambient music comes courtesy of a Bang & Olufsen premium 3D sound system. Higher trim models receive a more powerful Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced sound system with 19 speakers and a 19-channel BeoCore amplifier. Best of all, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trim levels.
The 2019 Audi Q8 can be yours for a starting MSRP of $67,400 for the Premium trim. By comparison, the Premium Plus and Prestige models run $71,400 and $76,550 respectively.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.