Test Audi Q8: How Audi conjures a QP from an SUV

Audis Q-Herd has developed splendidly. In the past 14 years, the SUV family has grown to five members, two more are already announced. The youngest offspring is the Q8, a stately all-wheel-drive that wants to record it above all with the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

To construct a nearly five-meter-long passenger car, in order to then curtail the space behind the passengers sitting behind by a strongly sloping roof, seems at first absurd. But since fashion-conscious people have been for decades in tight dresses, pants or jackets to look chic, this phenomenon is at least explainable. The fact that SUV coupes are urgently needed to ensure individual mobility, can not be argued, but some people like them and can afford them.

Although the Q8 has only been on the market for a few months, it has quickly earned respect in its vehicle genre. With 2268 German new registrations last year, he is hot on the heels of the X6, which founded the subsegment of SUV coupes ten years ago. Since the Kraftfahrtbundesamt does not separately identify the Mercedes GLE Coupé in his statistics, one can only guess how the two Bavarian opponents have beaten against the Swabian adversary. In terms of drive options, Audi emancipated itself this spring from the model of its Stuttgart counterparts with just one version and, like BMW, offers three engines, of which two are six-cylinder diesel engines at Audi.

Although six inches shorter and four inches flatter than a Q7, the Audi Q8 seems more powerful than its counterpart. This is not only due to the large wheels (21 inches with winter tires, the 22-inch test car in summer), but also on the front, where the chrome frame of the single-frame grill still features a particularly beaded plastic Frame is surrounded. The windows on the four doors are completely without frame, which gives the open car a certain airiness and underpins the desired Coupé character.

If you look at the massive body with the measuring tape to deal with, reveals why the Q8 despite similar dimensions so quite a different look than the Q7. Its waistline (measured on the B-pillar) is only 2 centimeters higher than that of the Q8, but the height of the side windows (measured above the door handle), however, varies considerably. At the front there are 3 centimeters and at the back even seven. It goes so powerful downhill with the Q8 roof. The good news is that the passengers in the back do not perceive this as a special restriction of headroom.

The width of the cabin gives the passengers a pleasant freedom of movement. Just below the edge of the window, a space of 1.50 meters between the door panels can be measured at the front, while the rear is only an inch lower. Individually displaceable rear seats with the possibility of tilt adjustment of the backrest also offer space for individual comfort needs of the passengers. The legroom there is thanks to almost three meters wheelbase for adults more than adequate. More than 600 liters of luggage swallow everything, the loading edge is 78 centimeters not higher than in much smaller SUV.

Analogous to the interior design of the A6 and A7 models, the Q8’s virtual cockpit contains three monitor units, the upper one of which is centrally mounted for navigation, communication and entertainment, the lower one for air conditioning and other comfort devices. The 4-zone climate control of the test car appears to be quite cheap with 800 euros extra, comparing this amount with 1470 euros, which is required for the “comfort key including anti-theft alarm and towing protection”.

After all, the key can store hundreds of vehicle settings. LED matrix headlights are additionally mounted for 1690 euros, the very high-contrast head-up display for 1390 EUR. Recommended, because very comfortable, side stable and back-friendly are the “S” sports seats plus, which hit with 1100 euros to book. These and other amenities drove the price of the vehicle to 113 490 euros.

From the virtual cockpit, an information tsunami floods the driver, making it impossible to discover the desired function at first glance and while driving in the depths of the menus. The adaptive voice control can help. Fortunately, the haptic feedback of the buttons can be set in three stages, so that one does not rely on an optical signal for triggering the respective function. If you connect your mobile phone, you will get a friendly hint when getting off that it should not be forgotten in the vehicle. An unexpected nervousness was demonstrated in the test car of the belt tensioners, who often put on the reins of the restraint system while standing and without apparent cause.

2220 kg is to be the curb weight of the Q8, but it is very unlikely that the copies in circulation reach this ideal value. If, as in the test car, the list of optional equipment includes 40 items, it can be assumed that the actual vehicle mass tends to 2400 kilograms. With 286 hp and 600 Newton meters of torque, the car therefore does not appear over-powered. As dynamic as its appearance may seem, it sometimes seems so difficult to breathe into the colossus that sporty appearance that the brand reclaims for its products.

This overall impression changes little by changing into the different driving modes, although there is nothing to criticize the always sovereign and highly comfortable driving impression. The standard air suspension contributes to this, as well as the first-class noise insulation, which creates a relaxing distance to the traffic outside for the inmates surrounded by wood, chrome and leather. When maneuvering there is an amazing clarity. One means of avoiding the feeling of bulkiness and being able to drive overland is the all-wheel steering system (+1150 Euro).

It is undeniable that a more than 2.2-tonne five-door car can not drive with 6.6 liters of fuel over 100 kilometers. The manufacturer’s specification should therefore not be relevant for the practice. However, the 8.8 liters achieved in the test are a respectable value for a vehicle of this type. To make sure that it also works properly with exhaust gas purification, Audi has significantly increased the AdBlue tank compared to the Q7. The standard mild hybrid with the 48-volt vehicle electrical system also serves to increase efficiency and improve recuperation power during overrun. The automatic start-stop system repeatedly showed a certain indecision as to whether switching off or running the V6 would be the appropriate situation-appropriate measure.

Conclusion: The high level of optics, acoustics and comfort that the Audi Q8 represents makes the success of the well-situated clientele plausible. The modern cockpit concept creates attractiveness for technology lovers and interior flexibility a high utility value. More enjoyment through more powerful drive could offer Audis proven four-liter V8. It is quite possible that the qualities of this Q-pés will cost Q7 approval, but it is also clear that the price will not make it a mass phenomenon on German roads.

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