New 2019 Audi Q8 first drive review
Audi’s biggest, baddest SUV leaves no tech on the table
Steering lacks feel
The Chinese consider 8 to be a lucky number. Eight is also important in music theory; many scales are written in eighth notes. In Audi-speak, 8 means flagship, like the A8 and the R8. The German firm just added a third and final pillar named Q8 to its armada of range-topping models, and Digital Trends traveled to the vast Atacama Desert in Chile to check it out.
Unveiled in June, the Q8 won’t go on sale in the United States until the end of 2018, so it’s too early to say what it will and won’t come standard with. Audi hasn’t released pricing information, either, but we speculate it will start in the vicinity of $70,000. When it lands, it will compete in the same segment as Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport, the Maserati Levante, and the Porsche Cayenne. Buyers will also inevitably compare it to swoopier rivals like the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
Interior and tech
The design of the Q8’s interior makes sitting behind the wheel feel like taking a chair in a cockpit, especially with a desert as a background. Film crews could film a sequel to Mad Max in this scenery. The widespread use of straight lines bolsters that effect.
Audi added a thin, elegant strip of chrome trim to the top part of the dashboard to emphasize the Q8’s sense of width, and installed genuine metal trim to frame the center console. Every part within the driver’s line of sight or touch feels like it belongs in a luxury car, and we found no egregious signs of cost-cutting. The Q8 upholds Audi’s reputation for making quality interior by feeling every bit as nice as Porsche’s latest Cayenne.
Audi’s newest infotainment software, which we’ve previously called one of the best systems in the business, re-appears in the Q8. It’s built around a 10.1-inch touch screen with haptic feedback, meaning it emits a little vibration to confirm you’ve pressed an icon. We like the shallow menus that facilitate the task of finding a setting, and we love the drag-and-drop function. Why doesn’t every car manufacturer offer this? You can move an icon around on the screen by pushing down on it for about a second, just like on a smartphone or a tablet, and set favorites.
Audi developed an application that lets owners remotely lock or unlock the car, set the climate control, program a destination into the navigation, and even adjust the seats.
Buyers seeking smartphone integration won’t be disappointed. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility both come standard, and Audi developed an application that lets owners remotely lock or unlock the car, set the climate control, program a destination into the navigation, and even adjust the seats. Called Audi MMI Connect, the app works with both Android and Apple devices……
The Q8 is the first chapter in a book that will later include high-performance SQ8 and RS Q8 variants, both with V8 power. We’re not there yet. The standard Q8 comes with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. It sends its power to the four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. The 40/60 front-rear torque split endows the Q8 with rear-biased handling in normal driving conditions.
In comparison, the BMW X6 offers a 300-horsepower straight-six as its base engine. Walk across the street to the Land Rover dealer and the base Range Rover Sport brings a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 to the table. Over at Porsche, the Cayenne kicks things off with a 335-horsepower V6.
The Q8 is in the same ballpark as its rivals in the performance department. It’s important to remember those 335 horses need to move about 4,700 pounds, but in spite of the altitude of the roads we’re on the Q8 manages to feel respectably quick off the line, especially with the drive mode selector switched to dynamic. Model-specific suspension settings help it deliver a more engaging driving experience than the Q7 it’s based on, though we wish the electromechanical steering rack offered more feel. It enters a corner with stride, shows a surprising level of lateral grip, and exits it with aplomb thanks to a thick lump of torque available across nearly the entire rev range.
Our test car came with the optional air suspension, which helps bring out the full scope of the Q8’s personality. One minute, we were in the Andes mountains climbing up, up, and away with the Q8 buttoned down in dynamic mode. The next, we were driving by Chilean llamas on a rough dirt road that felt like the type of surface automakers replicate on their test tracks to test the longevity of their suspension systems.
Full Review https://www.digitaltrends.com/car-reviews/2019-audi-q8-review/
Forfatter: CAR TV