A real head-turner

Wales On Sunday - - MOTOR WALES - CHRIS RUSSON news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

WHEN Audi launches a halo model it’s bound to turn heads and the Ger­man car maker is pulling no punches with its new Q8.

For Audi, this is where SUV meets coupe and the new model comes with a host of fea­tures that are go­ing to make the Q8 highly de­sir­able.

As the flag­ship of its SUV line up the Q8 blends tech­nol­ogy from the A8 lux­ury sa­loon with the space and abil­ity of the Q7.

The Q8 is a big car – although some two inches shorter than the Q7 it is sig­nif­i­cantly wider and lower and has 605 litres of boot space, ex­tend­ing to a max­i­mum of 1,755.

That puts it in good shape com­pared to ri­vals such as the BMW X6, the Mercedes GLE and the Range Rover Sport with only the lat­ter beat­ing the Q8 on the lug­gage front.

What sets the Audi apart is its styling with a bold front set off by a bold grille de­sign and head­lamps with dis­tinc­tive LED run­ning lights sit­ting above a pair of large air in­takes.

There are also some un­ex­pected de­sign touches such as frame­less doors and the Q8 has a long wheel­base which bodes well when it comes to han­dling.

Ini­tially, Audi is us­ing its 3.0-litre V6 mild hy­brid diesel en­gine de­vel­op­ing 286ps to power the Q8 which gives it a 0 to 60 time of 6.3 sec­onds with a max­i­mum of 152mph and that knocks the op­po­si­tion into a cocked hat.

So does the Q8’s fuel re­turn which of­fi­cially is rated at 41.5mpg with emis­sions of 178g/km – and that is on 21-inch wheels.

We didn’t quite match that on our drives in the Q8 50 TDI qu­at­tro but came close with the car re­turn­ing an av­er­age of 38 to the gal­lon over a cou­ple of 60 mile loops – not to be sneezed at in a car weigh­ing in at more than 2.1 tonnes.

The Q8 has an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion com­plete with pad­dle shifters and there are seven drive modes to go at in­clud­ing two specif­i­cally con­fig­ured for harsh ter­rain, although we didn’t get the chance to try the Q8 off road.

Nev­er­the­less, it per­formed in ster­ling fash­ion and de­liv­ered a splen­did drive with roll kept to a min­i­mum in cor­ners thanks to au­to­matic air sus­pen­sion and a brisk turn of speed avail­able if re­quired.

The width of the car – it’s ac­tu­ally more than seven feet wide in­clud­ing the door mir­rors – is no­tice­able and the ef­fect is com­pounded by the de­sign of the fa­cia which has straight air vent out­lets run­ning across.

In the mid­dle are two dis­play screens con­trol­ling vir­tu­ally all func­tions via touch­screen con­trol. In fact, the only ‘con­ven­tional’ knob is the vol­ume con­trol for the au­dio which can be found on the left hand side of the cen­tre con­sole.

Other than that it’s all high tech in­side and that is car­ried on into the graph­i­cal vir­tual in­stru­ment panel which can be con­fig­ured in a va­ri­ety of dis­plays ahead of the driver.

On top grade Vos­rp­srung ver­sions of the Q8 a head up dis­play is fit­ted but this model was in S line trim, priced from £65,040.

Op­tions such as a 360 de­gree cam­era sys­tem, a panoramic sun­roof and a Bang and Olufsen sound sys­tem took the over­all cost of the Q8 we tried to £76,990 but in this heady league of lux­ury SUVs that is still com­pet­i­tive.

Where the Q8 scores highly is in its looks and the ag­gres­sive ap­proach to styling from Audi is sure to pay div­i­dends for the Ger­man brand.

Vor­sprung mod­els, which in­clude all-wheel steer­ing, full leather trim and 22-inch wheels as stan­dard are priced from £83,040 and that is top dol­lar for a top spec­i­fi­ca­tion car.

The Q8 is due for re­lease at the start of Septem­ber and even­tu­ally the line up will be ex­panded to in­clude a 231ps diesel and a 340ps ver­sion of Audi’s 3.0-litre V6 petrol en­gine.

The new Audi Q8 comes with a host of fea­tures that are go­ing to make this SUV highly de­sir­able

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.