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2019 Audi Q8 First Drive Review

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2019 Audi Q8 First Drive Review

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, Chile — Selection is sweet, even when a few of these decisions appear to make no sense in any respect on paper. For 2019, Audi will supply its model-new Q8, yet one more selection for private luxurious consumers in search of a sporty crossover. Contemplating the success of coupe-formed utility automobiles just like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, regardless of the very fact they they virtually utterly lose the utility facet of a so-referred to as sport utility vehicle, it is shocking that it took Audi so lengthy to pen an entry into the phase. And the Audi Q8, in contrast to its rivals, retains a principally flat roofline, which suggests consumers will not need to sacrifice as a lot of the ‘utility’ a part of the game utility equation.

However what concerning the ‘sport’ facet of this SUV? Audi representatives cite the Land Rover Vary Rover Sport as a possible rival for its new Q8. Contemplating that Land Rover has discovered round 20,000 consumers for the Sport in every of the previous three years, that is not a nasty bogey for Audi to focus on.

All the Q8’s rivals are extra about maintaining appearances than blitzing a race monitor, however it’s apparent that a sporty, trendy tackle the SUV method resonates with consumers in America. So it is sensible in at this time’s market to supply the Q8, regardless that it is not likely very sporty, and has much less utility than the associated Q7.

2019 Audi Q8 profile
Audi Q8 front2019 Audi Q8 rear

A part of the rationale is that on this phase, styling is of utmost significance. Audi designers drew inspiration for the Q8 from the unique Quattro Coupe from the Nineteen Eighties. The styling hyperlink is most obvious within the type of blistered fender arches in any respect 4 corners. These blisters bulge out over non-compulsory 22-inch wheels (19s are standard) and provides the Q8 a muscular stance that is strengthened by the vehicle’s imposing width. The Q8 is 2.6 inches shorter than the Q7, however principally shares the identical wheelbase. It is roof can also be about an inch and a half decrease to the bottom, which once more helps emphasize the vehicle’s seventy nine-inch width, which is over an inch wider than the Q7. On the rear, an extended, horizontal, blacked-out panel separates intricate taillights and in addition harkens again to the previous Quattro.

And so long as it is sporting a monotone palette, we think the Q8 appears awfully good in individual. However it does not actually ooze type the identical method because the X6 and GLE Coupe. European Q8 consumers who select Audi’s S Line trim degree will get a singular set of grey exterior accents, together with a kind of masks across the Q8’s large octagonal grille. It isn’t but clear if this two-tone scheme will come to America, however even when it does, our recommendation is to skip it. As an alternative of providing a extra premium look, we think the grey accents cheapen the seems of the Q8 in the identical means a stripped-down base-mannequin financial system car is cheapened by unpainted plastic bumpers. Take a look at the video under to see what we imply.

There’s an general sense of sci-fi meets trendy know-how contained in the Q8. Giant swaths of shiny black plastic adorn the Q8’s interior. These appear to be trendy interpretations of the panels used within the “Star Trek: The Subsequent Era” tv collection. Two stacked LCD touchscreen panels make up the middle of the sprint. These screens supply haptic suggestions — which means they produce the feeling of a bodily click on to verify digital button presses — which helps make them really feel a bit extra like conventional buttons and dials. The Audi Q8 interior represents the way forward for sci-fi previous come to life, and fortunately all of it works fairly darn nicely in the actual world.

The underside LCD display is positioned to fall proper on the driver’s fingers, assuming his or her hand is resting atop the shifter. It is from this decrease panel that the car’s local weather features are accessed – within the case of the Q8, there are 4 particular person local weather zones, one for the driving force, one for the passenger, and two for the rear seating area — nevertheless it’s additionally a panel that may acknowledge handwriting for navigation inputs. An higher panel measuring 10.1 inches throughout is the primary show of the Q8’s MMI expertise. Maps, audio, and different infotainment features show on this panel, which can also be contact delicate.

One distinctive feature that makes MMI far more consumer pleasant than some competing techniques are shortcut icons that may be added in a row throughout the decrease LCD panel. These shortcuts can embrace something from a ceaselessly used GPS vacation spot to the telephone variety of a good friend or member of the family. We discovered the system principally intuitive to make use of, as soon as we found out that a strong press was required to make choices and get any useful haptic suggestions.

Audi Q8 interiorAudi A8 gaugesAudi Q8 interior detail

One main limitation of Audi’s MMI know-how — and this is applicable to any infotainment system that requires a robust connection to the Web — is that lots of its most helpful features did not work out within the Atacama Desert the place we traveled to test the Q8. This being the case, we could not actually test Audi’s pure language voice management. In principle, you will get updates on the climate, and even inform the system that you simply’re hungry, which might immediate the system to provide you ideas for close by eating places. In fact, in case your driving is usually confined to extra developed areas — and it very probably can be — you will take pleasure in all the advantages of MMI.

Audi’s Digital Cockpit know-how is standard within the Q8. As an alternative of a standard gauge cluster, the digital dashboard is configurable to point out all types of helpful information, our favourite being an enormous, brilliant map with GPS driving instructions. An elective head-up show additional reduces the necessity for the driving force to maneuver their eyes from the street.

Wanting previous all of the shiny LCD screens, the remainder of the Q8’s interior is clear, with easy strains and excessive-high quality supplies. A chrome strip runs the size of the sprint, and although it will appear to be interrupted by the HVAC vents, it is cleverly stays straight regardless of the place the vent is pointed. Taken as an entire, the Q8’s interior has a critical idea-car vibe, and it is approach nicer inside than its rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Land Rover. In case you’re into excessive-tech interior furnishings, the Q8 provides them in spades.

The heated, cooled and massaging entrance seats of our test car have been pretty perches on which to observe the beautiful desert panorama fly by. The rear seats are roomy sufficient for 2 passengers of above-common peak to get good and cozy. Because of the 5-seat, two-row configuration, Audi has managed to permit fairly a little bit of fore/aft motion for the second row. Leg room is greater than enough, and since the roofline does not swoop down too radically, our six-foot, two-inch test driver had no hassle with headroom, both.

Audi Q8 shifterAudi Q8 interior detailAudi Q8 rear climate controlsAudi Q8 MMI

A turbocharged V6 engine would be the solely powerplant out there at launch in America. Shared with the Q7, it places out 335 horsepower and 325 pound-ft of torque and sends that energy via an eight-velocity automated transmission to all 4 wheels. A forty eight-volt battery permits Audi to combine its delicate-hybrid know-how, which is able to recovering power that may in any other case be misplaced to braking and reuse it to assist energy the vehicle.

The V6 powerplant usually feels as much as the job of shifting the large four,seven hundred-pound SUV round, however, on our drive route that briefly crested 15,000 ft in elevation, there have been occasions that the turbo mill was left huffing, puffing, and forcing the transmission to carry gears for an uncomfortably very long time. Whereas most house owners won’t ever really feel the consequences of that type of elevation, the turbocharged V6 simply does not have the sort of muscle to make the heavy Q8 any extra enjoyable to drive than the household-targeted Q7. It is merely enough for a vehicle of this price and positioning within the market.

Thankfully for energy junkies, we already know a extra highly effective SQ8 is on the best way. And if even that is not sufficient for you, know that the upcoming Lamborghini Urus additionally shares the identical platform because the Q8.

Audi’s Drive Choose controller has moved from a dial on the console to a few arrow-formed buttons under the decrease LCD display. We discovered these buttons awfully fiddly to work with, particularly when trying to vary modes whereas shifting. It is virtually inconceivable to seek out the small buttons with out shifting your eyes from the street, after which it’s a must to examine one of many LCD screens to see which mode you’ve got chosen.

Audi Q8 driving

We discovered the Consolation mode to be a reasonably good all-round setting for the Q8. Dynamic mode alters the ratio and provides weight to the steering, and if the vehicle is fitted with non-compulsory air dampers, it additionally companies up the suspension. It is a noticeable change between Consolation and Dynamic, and it is enjoyable to play with the settings, however actually, the Q8 is not a sports activities car and isn’t going to drive like one. A default Auto mode senses the street and screens the driving force’s habits, and usually falls someplace between Consolation and Dynamic in its settings.

Quattro all-wheel drive is standard within the Q8, and may ship as a lot as 70 % of the car’s energy to the entrance wheels, and as much as eighty five % to the again wheels. In case you go for the air suspension system, you will additionally profit from 4-wheel steering and the power to boost the suspension utilizing Off-Street and Allroad settings. And sure, we did drive the Q8 off-street, via snow, and even via a water crossing deep sufficient to the touch the underside of the Q8’s undercarriage. It is an SUV in any case, and even when zero house owners will ever put its off-street features to the test, it is good to know they’re there, proper?

Audi Q8 driving in the desert

And that just about sums up the 2019 Audi Q8. The world doesn’t want one other coupe-like 4-door crossover. However in contrast to a few of its rivals — BMW X6, we’re taking a look at you — the Q8 does not sacrifice the majority of its utility for the sake of favor. And we think that is a superb factor, even when the X6 has been a gross sales success for BMW. The Audi Q8 one way or the other manages to mix type and utility in a singular method, providing a extra sensible selection for fashion-acutely aware consumers who nonetheless need or want a useable again seat and cargo area.

We will hardly consider that it took Audi 10 years to hitch BMW on this phase of the market, however now that they are right here, we’ll grudgingly admit that we think Audi’s going to promote fairly a couple of extra Q8 crossovers in America than the A8 sedan that has simply as a lot know-how, is extra snug and is dynamically superior to drive. And that is superb, as a result of, in any case, selection is sweet. Now, consumers can select between coupe-like crossovers from all three of the large German luxurious manufacturers. And of these three, the Audi has probably the most know-how, probably the most trendy interior, and even the healthiest dose of practicality. Whether or not or not it has sufficient fashion to draw consumers on this phase, although, is what is going to finally be the deciding think about its success.

– 2019 Audi Q8 First Drive Review –

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