All posts in “Audi Q8”

Audi SQ8 TDI Review

In the wake of the diesel-gate scandal, public scrutiny of Diesel engined passenger vehicles has been intense. It seemed that the diesel engine had been condemned. Both Porsche and Bentley have taken the decision to remove high-performance diesel engines from their ranges. Governments have also moved to make diesel ownership less attractive. It made us wonder whether there was a future for the diesel engine. Clearly, Audi thinks that there is with the announcement of the Audi SQ8 TDI!

Audi has re-geared its range in response to the changing markets. It now offers more petrol alternatives in segments traditionally dominated by diesel. The benefits of a diesel engine have always been superior economy and low-down torque. These qualities are being replicated in with a growing number of clever hybrid models. Using electronic motors, most manufacturers have been able to increase power and performance across the rev-range while also boosting efficiency.

Audi’s SQ8 TDI uses the best of both worlds; a twin-turbocharged, 4.0 litre V8 power unit with mild hybrid technology. The 48-volt system powers an electronic compressor which fills the turbo gap in the same way as Audi’s petrol units. Power is rated at 435 hp and a barnstorming 900 Nm of torque. All told, this makes the SQ8 a very quick machine. Power is routed through an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. Audi quotes a 100 km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h.

The technology does not take away from the fact that the SQ8 is still powered by diesel. After all, there are downsides. Despite Audi’s best intentions, the sound is industrial, not sonorous. Those quad-exhausts put out a consistent rumble, not a bad sound (and definitely indicative of the supreme pulling power) but it is unable to compete with similarly powered petrol engines. As a result, the SQ8 TDI lacks in the dramatics department. That said, the sound is subtle, something which might appeal to the type of buyers Audi hopes to attract.

The chassis is also helped technology. The SQ8 TDI is a near 2.5 tonne SUV. To control that weight and the new turn of pace, Audi has made air suspension standard all round. Options fitted to our test vehicle included all-wheel steering, the rear sport differential and electromechanical active roll stabilisation. The latter is particularly interesting, carried over from the Bentley Bentayga, the anti-roll bars actively decouple in a straight line to allow a more compliant ride. The combination of features makes for a well-controlled ride.

Audi SQ8 TDI Review

The Audi drive select system allows a variety of different settings from comfort through to dynamic modes. As with most setups these days, we found individual mode to be the best of all. Being able to isolate the characteristics, combining a comfort chassis setup with dynamic steering in traffic on a country road, gives the SQ8 an impressive range of skills. Our one criticism is that Audi’s drive select function can be a little difficult to navigate, buried in the central infotainment system. Switching between settings requires diverting your attention away from the road. At times, individual buttons might seem to provide greater accessibility.

No amount of chassis wizardry can help the SQ8 TDI escape the fact that it is a very heavy car, not much suited to narrow mountain roads. The combination of torque vectoring systems and all-wheel steering gives the SQ8 a fair run into the corners with little body roll. Grip is available but is limited by the laws of physics! Truth be told, most SQ8 TDI owners will use their vehicles on the highway or in the city. The majority won’t see this as a limitation.

The SQ8 TDI is instantly recognisable from the outside. Traditional Audi S-badge traits are present. These include a set of silver, brushed aluminium-effect wing mirrors, quad-exhaust pipes, larger wheels and a lower stance. The single-frame grille gets the same silver colouring applied to the frame. It is the traditional blend of subtle changes which are important to the overall feel of the car.

Interior comfort is typical of Audi. Very few changes have been made over the rest of the range. This is for good reason. The Audi interior works very well with comfortable seats incorporating air conditioning, heaters and massage functions. It has a head-up display and plenty of space in the rear. The only noticeable addition comes in the form of optional carbon fibre trim.

The Infotainment system is superb. The digital dashboard is clear with two views and information customised to preference. The traditional dual disks can be replaced at the touch of a button to reveal a full-sized sat nav screen. This frees the central display for something different.

Audi SQ8 TDI Review

The Audi SQ8 TDI will be available in Europe, Australia and Taiwan only. Demand dictates that Audi will not sell the SQ8 in other markets. German pricing starts from 102,900 euros and grows considerably, once you add some of the must-have options to the list (rear wheel steering, electromechanical active roll stabilisation).

Diesel is alive and kicking at Audi. The SQ8 TDI is proof of that. If you are after the fastest diesel-powered luxury SUV on the market then it is the best option.

ABT Audi Q8 Adds Power and Aero Package

ABT’s package for the Audi Q8 has arrived. Due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 in a few weeks time, the ABT Audi Q8 adds power and style through a subtle aero package. The display car is built upon an Audi Q8 50 TDI, although the parts will work for other engine variants in the range.

The ABT body kit consists of a front skirt add-on with a front blade and air inlet panels, rear skirt add-on and fins, an ABT rear wing and an ABT emblem set. Small parts but they set the ABT Audi Q8 apart from the standard model. All of the additional parts are available in a glossy black finish.

The Audi Q8 50 TDI gets an ABT Power boost. The German company installed an ABT Engine Control (AEC) unit boosting power from the 3.0 litre TDI from 286 hp up to 330 hp. Torque increases from 600 to 650 Nm. ABT have carried out some work on the suspension too. The ABT Level Control module allows greater control over the electronic air suspension.

ABT supply wheels for the Q8 too. This show car features an ABT Sport GR set. They measure 10 x 22 inches with a concave base, finished in matt black or gloss black with diamond polishing. Alternatively, ABT has revealed a 23-inch version of the same wheel design. Personalised interiors are also possible.

For some reason, the press release makes constant reference to James Bond with ABT reminding us that they modified an Audi 200 quattro for the film “The Living Daylights” in the 1980s. ABT think this might be the perfect car for 007, do we agree?

Audi Q8 – Official Details are Finally Announced!

The brand new Audi Q8 has finally been unveiled this evening. The launch event for the Q8 took place in Shenzhen in China, the home of the biggest Chinese technology companies. If anything, thats an indication as to Audi’s target market!

There are no surprises when it comes to shape. The Audi Q8 gets design language carried over from the A8. Among the standout features are the frameless doors which allow a coupe style look and the long roof spoiler. At the front, the single frame grille gets and octagonal design with six vertical chrome fins. The side profile clearly displays the trademark quattro blisters while the rear gets the integrated light strip which is now standard Audi issue.

Two headlight technologies will be available on the Q8. Both are LED, with the optional HD matrix LED headlights offering 24 individual LEDs. With a cd value of 0.34, the designers seem to have done a pretty good job of creating an efficient design.

The bodywork makes use of the Audi Space Frame concept. It is a blend of aluminum and steel components. Steel accounts for 14.4 percent of the body-in-white, cast aluminum 15 percent, aluminum plates 23.7 percent. All in, the Audi Q8 weighs 2,145 kilograms (4,728.9 lb).

In terms of size, the Audi Q8 measures 4.986 metres in length, 1.995 millimeters in width and 1.705 metres in height. Compared to the Q7, it is 66 millimeters shorter and 27 millimeters wider. Compared to the competition, the Q8 is slightly longer than, for example, the GLE Coupe and around the same height. It sits slightly narrow by comparison.

The rear tailgate is electrically powered as standard with a foot gesture option available on request. 605 litres of space are on offer which increases to 1,755 litres with the rear backrests folded down. The space the Q8 offers is class leading.

Audi Q8 Studio Photos

Quattro is standard. It uses a mechanical centre differential to transfer 40 percent power to the front and 60 percent to the rear. When struggling for grip, the Q8 has the ability to transfer power to any axle to optimise traction.

From an engineering viewpoint, the five-link front and rear suspension systems are constructed largely of aluminum. Audi offer three suspension options. The standard is a version with damper control. Optionally, an adaptive air suspension can be chosen. It includes controlled damping across four modes with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The most expensive option incorporates the all-wheel steering system. All three systems feature a progressive steering rack. Audi drive select gives seven different driving profiles.

Like most in this segment, the Audi Q8 gets off-road credentials. Ground clearance, the the adaptive air suspension systems is 254 millimeters. On slopes in excess of 6 percent, Audi’s hill descent control is available with the MMI system displaying the tilt angle.

The Audi Q8 sits on 19 inch wheels with options up to 22 inches available from launch. Being the bling sits a set of six-piston brakes with fixed aluminum calipers.

Audi Q8 Studio Photos

From launch (which will take place exclusively in Europe for the time being), the Audi Q8 will have one option. The 3.0 TDI with mild hybrid system is familiar and has been a feature of the A7 and A6 models we drove recently. The systems uses a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter. A battery underneath the luggage compartment floor stores 10 Ah of electricity allowing the Q8 to efficiently coast between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph) with the engine switched off.

The first model is the Q8 50 TDI which uses a 3.0 litre TDI unit. It generates 286 hp and delivers 600 Nm of torque, enough for a 100 km/h sprint of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 232 km/h (144.2 mph). A smaller 3.0 litre diesel Q8 45 TDI will follow with 230 hp and a 3.0 TFSI gasoline-engine Q8 55 TFSI with 335 hp next year. The later will form the basis of the Asian and US model ranges. All engines will get the eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.

One thing point to note is that Audi fit the Q8 with a double-layer windshield as standard with the option of acoustic glass at an extra cost. The A7 and A8 are supremely quiet machines, the Q8 is likely to share these qualities despite it’s obvious disadvantages.

Inside, three trim levels will be made available; Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Leather seating is standard across the range with leather seats in all three versions. The top version benefits from Valcona leather. An optional S line sport package adds S sport seats with integrated head restraints, rhombus pattern and S logo. Four seat versions are available in total. All versions also include open pore wood or alluvium inlays.

The Q8 gets the familiar split upper and lower MMI touch response display from the A8, A7 and A6. The upper display uses a 10.1 inch screen for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system. The lower 8.6 inch display allows the driver to manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as comfort functions and text input.

MMI is where Audi excels. The system incorporates features such as natural language voice control which uses locally stored information together with intelligent cloud-based information to understand most voice commands. MMI navigation plus comes as standard.

Audi Q8 Studio Photos

Key features include the new LTE Advanced standard. The navigation system includes intelligent destination suggestions based on previous journeys. It is supplemented by information calculated online by navigation provider HERE. HERE uses real-time data from the Car-to-X services to ‘swarm’ intelligence from the Audi fleet. The Audi virtual cockpit is also standard with a high-resolution 12.3 inch display. It gets two views – classic and navigation – with a third Audi virtual cockpit plus option offering a sport look soon after launch.

For the ultimate in technology, Audi offer the Audi Connect key which allows access to the car from an Android smartphone. This will allow you to lock and unlock the car and start the engine remotely as well as to change the position of the drivers seat, set the air conditioning and program navigation details.

Audi also makes available its range of assistance systems in four bundles. The Tour assist package includes adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, an active accelerator pedal and emergency assist. The City package bundles five systems including crossing assist, Audi pre sense 360, exit warning and lane change warning. The Park plus package (available after launch) includes manoeuvring assist, curb warning, (remote) parking pilot and remote garage pilot. The final package is dedicated to towing.

Audi will build the Q8 at its Bratislava plant with the first cars hitting the European markets in July 2018. Twelve colours will be available including dragon orange and galaxy blue, two of its latest colours.