Make me an in­stant ex­pert: What do I need to know?

The Press - - Drive -

Call­ing the Q8 a five-seater coupe ver­sion of the Q7 is tech­ni­cally ac­cu­rate, yet it doesn’t re­ally paint the full pic­ture.

This is a less prac­ti­cal, more af­flu­ent-look­ing five-chair al­ter­na­tive, loaded with giz­moes and wrapped up in a fan­tas­tic de­sign. The nu­mer­i­cal des­ig­na­tion shows it’s on the top rung, yet home of­fice de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep the A8 as the ul­ti­mate tech­nol­ogy leader means Q8 is less ful­somely equipped than the large limo.

Not too dif­fer­ent from the con­cept pre­sented to the world just 18 months ago, at 4.9 me­tres long, with a 2.9m wheel­base, and just 5mm short of be­ing 2m wide, it’s a big sucker. Along­side Q7, it is a bit lower and 66mm shorter and 27mm wider. The small­est wheels are large 20-inch­ers with 21s and 22s as $4000 plus op­tions. Over­all, it’s ex­ud­ing real pres­ence.

Audi loves link­ing its new prod­uct back to the epony­mous Ur Quat­tro coupe of the 1980s that put this brand on the world map through ral­ly­ing. Blis­tered wheel arches, some char­ac­ter lines and the red-fringed black el­e­ment that links the rear lights are ties to the leg­end.

It’s not all look­ing back. That bold front is a first look at the new Q car face.

Though not the ab­so­lute tech­nol­ogy flag­bearer, Q8 none­the­less de­liv­ers a crossover/ SUV il­lu­mi­na­tion fea­ture first, with full-laser head­lamps and tail­lamps. The in­te­rior fea­tures the su­perb knob-less MMI sys­tem from the A8. The ac­tive and pas­sive safety fare is ful­some yet au­ton­o­mous fea­tures are less ad­vanced than the A8.

Call it a coupe ver­sion of the Q7 if you want, but that doesn’t tell the whole story about the Q8.

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