One of the most exciting cars in Audi’s pipeline is the Q8. The Audi Q8 will immediately become the brand’s sportiest SUV and it will also be its flagship SUV, sporting a higher starting price than even the Q7. However, considering how much car you get, we reckon the Q8 is actually a bargain.
Pricing, specs and options have just been announced for the U.S. market and the Audi Q8 seems to be one of the better deals in the brand’s lineup. With a starting price of $67,400, the Q8 undercuts both the Audi A7 and A8, while boasting the same levels of luxury and technology.
The niceties on the as-standard Audi Q8 Premium (its base trim level) are as follows:
- Standard Q-design three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles.
- Standard three-zone automatic climate control or available four-zone.
- Standard panoramic sunroof adds light to the cabin.
- Standard leather seating surfaces and available leather dashboard.
- Standard heated eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment.
- Standard gray brown fine grain ash natural inlays or available eucalyptus lava brown inlays.
- Standard interior lighting package or available interior lighting package plus adds mult-icolor ambient light.
It also gets a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment screen as-standard with another 8.6-inch touchscreen underneath it to be used for climate controls. This new dual-touchscreen MMI setup is the very same one that comes as-standard on the A7 and A8, despite the Q8 costing less.
Obviously, bumping up to Premium Plus ($71,400) or Prestige ($76,550) trims gets you even more goodies, such as Valcona leather multi-contour seats with ventilation and massage functions, dual-pane glass, a heated rear seat and a heated steering wheel. However, the base-level Q8 is still heavily equipped.
As for its engine, it will only have one option in America, the same 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 as found in the Audi S5. In Audi Q8-guise, it makes 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. According to Audi, the Q8 3.0T can reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, which isn’t too shabby at all for a large SUV. This seems like the right engine choice for the Q8 in the ‘States. While the 3.0 TDI is a great engine, it doesn’t seem as at home in an SUV designed to be a bit sportier than the typical family hauler.
The Audi Q8 will also be a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) as-standard. So it will get a 48-volt electrical subsystem and a BAS (Belt Alternator Starter), the latter of which is sort of an electric motor that connects to the engine’s crankshaft via belt-drive. The BAS is capable of powering the crank with the engine off, thus allowing the Q8 to cruise at high-speed with the engine shut down. It can also act as the starter motor on anything other than cold starts. A normal pinion motor handles cold start duty.
Also, the Q8 comes with Quattro as-standard in the U.S. and it’s proper, mechanical Quattro with a Torsen diff in the middle, not the new Quattro Ultra system that’s mostly front-wheel drive, like you’d find in the Audi A4 Allroad. This is real-deal Quattro. Torque split is 40:60, front-to-rear, under normal circumstances but can send more torque to whichever axle has grip in real-time. It can also use electronic torque control to any wheel using individual brake application.
The Audi Q8 will ride on adaptive dampers as-standard equipment but an optional adaptive air suspension is available through the Adaptive Chassis Package, which also comes with rear-wheel steer. We’ve used this package before on the Q7 and it’s well worth the extra money.
To celebrate the first year of the Audi Q8, an available Year one package includes 22-inch Audi Sport 5-V-spoke star design anthracite wheels with all-season tires, a black optic exterior kit with roof rails and black Singleframe, S-line bumpers, fender badges and door sills, and red brake calipers. In that spec (pictured up top), the Audi Q8 looks downright cool. While we didn’t love the Q8’s design right away, it’s growing on us and, in Year One spec, it looks awesome.
We can’t wait for the Audi Q8 to go on sale and we especially can’t wait to drive it.