Q8 is a stretched Q7 SUV with more presence and posing appeal.

Static photo, Colour: Dragon orange

Audi will be upping the numbers game for its local SUV range next month, as the German brand introduces its Q8 to South Africa.

The Q8 is a sloping roofline version of the Q7, with coupe-like styling for those who willing to sacrifice some luggage space volume for a vehicle that looks more graceful when viewed in its profile.

Developed to compete with other large sloping roofline SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe and BMW X6, Audi has managed to develop a vehicle which has the required presence and more luggage space than either of those aforementioned rivals, at 605-litres.

Beyond the purposeful exterior, there is a typically sophisticated Audi cabin architecture, with dual touchscreens anchoring the cockpit. These stacked screens (10.1-inches top, framed by an 8.6-inch display below it), offer all infotainment menus, functions and entertainment whilst a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation binnacle keeps the driver equally informed of what their Q8 is doing on the road.

To ensure that any media relayed through the Q8’s cabin is of the best possible quality, Danish audio engineering specialist, Bang & Olufsen, designed a 23-speaker sound system with specific acoustic profiling to match this new Audi’s interior.

At launch there will be only one model, the Q8 55 TFSI, priced at R1 388 000. Powered by a turbocharged 3-litre V6, it also features mild-hybridization, capable of energy harvesting. Peak output for this Q8 55 TFSI is 250kW, supported by 500Nm of torque.

Engine output is apportioned to all four wheels via Audi’s renowned Quattro drive system, featuring a self-locking centre differential and shifting via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Performance claims are brisk for a vehicle weighing 2095kg, with 0-100kph in 5.9 sec and a top speed of 250kph. Overall efficiency is classified at 9.1l/100km.

Most potential Q8 owners might never consider taking their luxury all-wheel drive SUVs off-road, but there is 254mm of ground clearance available to cater for that eventuality. Audi’s adaptive air-suspension system also greatly increases the cornering capability of Q8, by resisting body roll, and improves its towing ability by 800kg. Those Q8s which ride on only steel springs are rated to tow 2700kg, whilst the air-suspended Q8s can haul a 3500kg trailer.

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