2018 Audi Q8 Coupe

Make a date with Audi Q8

09 June 2018

AUDI has unveiled what it calls a coupe version of its Q7 SUV range, which is expected to cost from about £65,000 when it arrives here soon.

Although hardly a low-slung sleek coupe in reality, it aims to strike a more sporty stance than the large Q7, making it a rival to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

It may also take some sales from the recently-introduced Range Rover Velar, which truly is a streamlined coupe.

Unlike the seven-seat Q7, the incongruously-named Q8 offers as few as four seats in total – with just two individual ones in the back – although a three-abreast bench seat is offered as an alternative.

Shorter than the Q7, although still longer than the BMW and Merc, it is wider and lower than the Q7, which makes it look more firmly planted to the ground.

Audi says that several design cues are taken from the original Audi Quattro, including the distinctive front grille, and inside there is a strong accent on touch screens and high-tech navigation.

Initially the only model on offer will be a three-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel with a power output of 285bhp.

It will come in S line specification with 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, a 0-60mph acceleration time of 6.3 seconds and a 145mph top speed.

This will be followed in late summer by a flagship Vorsprung edition with luxurious Valcona leather, dynamic all-wheel steering, larger diameter wheels, a head-up windscreen display and an even more sophisticated sound system.

There will be an unusually wide choice of a dozen different body colours, plus variations on the grey-versus-colour theme for wheel arches and so on according to the trim level.

There will also be a 335bhp V6 petrol option next year, plus a 230bhp turbodiesel alternative, all of which will come with mild hybrid technology.

Four wheel drive will be standard throughout the range and there will be a choice of traditional tiptronic eight-speed auto shifters or a seven-speed dual-clutch arrangement.

Four wheel steering will be a feature, plus adaptive suspension that offers half a dozen variable settings to change the firmness, ride height, steering and engine responses between comfort and sportiness.

As is to be expected with such expensive SUVs, the Q8 is awash with technological and electronic gizmos, including no less than 40 driver assistance systems.

The vehicle has 25 sensors onboard that control virtually every aspect of its operation, plus adaptive cruise control, driver alertness monitoring, and even trailer guidance for reverse-towing without embarrassment at camp sites and gymkhanas.

Luggage space can be extended by sliding the rear seats fore and aft, from 605 litres to 1,755 litres ultimately with the seats folded flat.

Naturally, the tailgate rises and lowers automatically using the key fob and can be controlled by simply placing the key-holder’s foot beneath the rear bumper on some models.

Due here initially in July, the Q8 will be made alongside the Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg models in Bratislava, Slovakia.