Road Trip - - ROAD READY -

We have en­coun­tered cam­ou­flaged ver­sions test­ing on Namib­ian and South African roads, seen var­i­ous spy shots, and have been sent nu­mer­ous teaser im­ages, but last month the Q8 flag­ship SUV coupé from Audi has at last been of­fi­cially in­tro­duced, to be re­leased here at the end of 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to In­gol­stadt, the Q8 com­bines the spa­cious­ness and er­gonomics typ­i­cal of an SUV with the el­e­gant body line of a four-door coupé. At 4,99 me­ters long, two me­ters wide and 1,71 me­ters tall, it is wider, shorter, and lower than its Q7 sis­ter­model, but with a wheel­base of nearly three me­ters, it of­fers a spa­cious in­te­rior and a 1,755 litre lug­gage com­part­ment.

With its im­pos­ing Sin­gle­frame grille in oc­tag­o­nal de­sign, the Q8 is the new face of the Q-fam­ily, with nu­mer­ous de­tails echo­ing the de­sign lines of the Ur-qu­at­tro. With up to 254 mm of ground clear­ance, short over­hangs, qu­at­tro drive, and hill des­cent con­trol, the Q8 can keep go­ing when paved roads end. Its pow­er­ful 3.0 TDI en­gine de­vel­ops 210 kw and 600 Nm of torque, and with mild hy­brid tech­nol­ogy (MHEV) this is good enough for a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6.3 sec­onds and a top speed of 245 km/h.

Mated to an eight-speed tip­tronic trans­mis­sion, the 48-volt main elec­tri­cal sys­tem can re­cover up to 12 kw of power and feed it back into the bat­tery. This can re­duce con­sump­tion by up to 0,7 l/100 km. Ex­pect it to land in South Africa at around R1.3 mil­lion.

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