Ever since the Porsche Cayenne proved it could make a large SUV with a sporty feel, every luxury brand has followed suit. Audi has had an SUV for years, but only risked encroaching on its cousin’s territory in 2018 with the launch of the Q8. He took the top position of the brand, but it gave him a lot of charisma.
Like James McAvoy’s characters in the movie Split, the Audi Q8 can transform into cars with completely different personalities at the push of a button. At the same time it fulfills several roles within the Audi line. At R$699,990, the Black Performance edition shows this multifaceted side of the model.
What’s most impressive about the Audi Q8 is its size. It doesn’t look as big in photos as it does in person and behind the wheel. They are about the same size as German sausages compared to the cheesy Brazilian sausages you find in a big butcher shop in Brazil.
At 4.99 m long, it is only 25 cm shorter than the Volkswagen Amarok. The 1.99 m width makes it 5 cm longer than its truck cousin, but the 1.70 m length makes it just 9 cm longer than the Q3, Audi’s smallest SUV. In other words, the steps of a juggernaut, but the proportions of a sports car: long, wide and low.
Addition is an amazing look. The Q8 looks like a strong car, not in the sense of durability, but in the sense of ridership, power and sportiness. The front end with a large front grille integrated into the headlights gives a sharp look that makes anyone pass by when they see an Audi in the rearview mirror. But the reduced rear and well-tilted glass give it a good coupe mark.
Couple that with stylish integrated headlights and it’s easy to see why the Audi Q8 continues to impress on the street despite being a car that’s four years old. Well that this model tried in Dragon Orange also helped a little to keep the spotlight on it. The Porsche Cayenne doesn’t attract much attention anymore.
Part of this generous ratio creates two effects on Audi Q8: many indoor spaces and movements of older people. Of course, it won’t have seven seats like the Q7, but the five passengers that fit in the Q8 will be very well taken care of. The SUV has room on all four corners and no one will complain about it.
Up front, electric adjustments for everything from the seats to the steering wheel and mirrors. In fact, the seat and steering wheel move away to facilitate entry. It has no memory for the passenger seat. At the back, the seats slide on rails and have a lever to adjust the backrest, but it is poorly placed and not very visible.
The wider size of the Q8 is obvious when you notice that the center console is so wide it can easily fit a person sitting there. It is long and divides the cabin into two private zones for the driver and passenger. The advantage is that there are many places for garbage arranged around there.
In the back, even when there is a tall driver, the rear passenger can cross their legs. I am 1.87m tall and sat behind my driving position. There was a lot of leg room, but also the bedroom, despite the Q8 being like a coupe. It’s strange that such a new car has ash trailers on the rear doors – maybe because of the Chinese market.
And everything about it is big: the steering wheel is bigger than it should be, the gearshift knob too, the screen and even other buttons. Unfortunately, the screens deserve a lot of attention. The instrument panel is very complete, with good definition and quick menu changes, which is not the case in all models with a digital cluster.
The multimedia center is a reference in terms of ease of use and speed of navigation. The cool thing is that its screen and air conditioner need to be pressed like a real button to work (outside of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay). This helps to be sure about where you click. Even noise is similar to physical confinement.
On the air conditioner screen, the Q8 has several shortcuts and gestures that can be used to control the system more quickly. Simply drag the temperature bar to a specific location to select a level, or pinch two fingers together as if you were dragging an image to adjust the temperature. big.
But the Audi Q8 is not just about the screen. It is packed with technology and pampering to delight the passengers. The most interesting of all is the night vision, which allows you to see people at night through the instrument panel even in very dark regions and in places where the lighthouse cannot reach.
It has automatic tests that work efficiently and accurately, like the lane keeping system. The list of standard items also adds torque converter, 360° cameras with 3D capability, traction and stability control, six airbags, autonomous emergency braking, traffic alert, four-zone digital air conditioning and keyless entry.
The trunk opens electrically, but not just the lid: the lid that hides your groceries and bags can also be opened electrically and works so quietly and subtly that you don’t even notice it’s open or closed. It is also worth mentioning things like helping in the garden, blind spot alert and headlight washer.
If until now some of the personalities of the Audi Q8 converge in the same direction, behind the wheel everything changes depending on the selected mode or driving style. Under the hood sits a 3.0 V6 engine with 340 hp and 51 kgfm of torque managed by an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In Efficiency mode, the Q8 is the master of economy and silence. He swallows gear like he’s a McDonald’s guy after a booze-washed ballad. Rpm lives low and silence in the cabin reigns. At these times it exceeds 7 km / l, which was the average obtained during tests involving the city, highway and other routes.
In Comfort, the Q8 is more restrained when it comes to swallowing gears, but it remains quiet, peaceful and elegant, with hardly noticeable changes. This is an excellent combination for long journeys and roads. Since the SUV is well soundproofed, you’ll have a car that rolls like a magic carpet in a predictably quiet manner.
It’s a real mile cruiser. Too bad the driving position is a little bad. It’s an SUV, so it’s longer than average. However, the cabin construction and large steering wheel make you sit lower than an SUV. It is a game of two opposing sides fighting to no end. But the seat is comfortable, at least.
It should also be noted that the accelerator has an annoying delay in any driving situation. You step in and the Q8 takes a few seconds to process that you want to leave. There is that feeling of: “let’s go, son”. But he never refuses fire, being a very strong car in acceleration.
Also important is the start system, which turns off the engine almost to a total stop. The Renault Kwid does it too, but the Q8 has a high level of smoothness that makes the process of starting and stopping the engine so seamless that this is one of the first starting points that even tiresome drivers won’t turn off. Because they don’t even recognize him acting.
And it is precisely in Dybamic mode that he shows his streak of games. The V6 roars loudly, accelerates hard and keeps you glued to the seat. Can you understand how a two-ton (2,270 kg) SUV reaches 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds? In a straight line, it hits with all the power and speed of a compact hatchback.
The weight issue is shown when cornering. The Q8 has plenty of mass to handle and throws all of its weight into corners making the front end feel a little squeamish at high speeds. But the quattro’s traction can make the Audi go around a corner faster than it should without making the tires squeal. It’s good in cornering, but it limits easily.
It is less fast and faster on a winding road because it is a big and heavy car. If it were electric, it would have a lower center of gravity because of the battery and could handle this power better. In that case, the Porsche Cayenne still has a few lessons to teach its cousin.
The steering is heavier than average, leaning towards sports, despite passing little feedback from the pavement. However, because it is fast and agile, it makes maneuverability and movements at high speed something completely refined. This means that, despite being large, the Q8 can change trajectory as quickly as a peppered compact hatch.
Another thing is suspension. It is good for well-built roads and streets. But the Q8 is an SUV that doesn’t like potholes or bumpy roads. It complains of incompleteness, it hits dry and makes noise when hitting a hole. It behaves similarly to a typical German sedan on potholes, although leans more than it should in corners.
Big, elegant and beautiful, the Audi Q8 still manages to have the Wow factor even after four years on the road. It’s supposed to be sporty, but it’s not on the same level as the Porsche Cayenne. But there is no problem with that: after all, whoever wants a Cayenne, go to a Porsche – or to a Lamborghini after the Urus.
The footprint is different: do you want a comfortable car to drive many kilometers without getting tired? Audi is like that. Do you like to abuse acceleration and make sharp turns? The Q8 does well in this task too, despite not being benchmarked. It’s many models in one, many Audis in one. And yet it is outside the standard of a typical brand, as it looks like an American SUV.
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