Audi looks to boost its India line-up with the launch of its newest flagship SUV-coupe – the Q8. With prices starting at Rs 1.33 crore (ex-showroom, pan-India), the Audi Q8 has been brought in as a full import, with only 200 units allotted for our market. Though over the past few years only a handful of new models have been launched, the German carmaker is looking to change this
Design-wise, the Q8 is the first SUV-coupe in India to carry the brand's new styling which will also be seen on the India-bound Q3 and updated Q7. Some of the more prominent styling cues on the new Q8 include the massive front grille, distinctive LED headlights, its coupé-like roofline, frameless doors and flared wheel arches. The rear features an angular tailgate and bumper design, but what dominates this area is the full-width tail-lights.
In terms of engines, Audi has introduced the Q8 in only one guise and that's the 55 TFSI – it comes with a 3.0-litre, V6 turbo-petrol engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system making 340hp and 500Nm of torque. The engine is paired to a 8-speed DCT automatic gearbox that sends power to all four wheels. For now, the Q8 will only get the petrol engine, but Audi has opted for a wait and watch approach for diesels in the BS VI era.
Being Audi’s flagship SUV, the Q8 takes inspiration from the new A8 flagship sedan in terms of interior design, layout and features. The dashboard is dominated by Audi’s latest dual-touchscreen control system, first seen on the new A6 sold in India. The upper unit is a 10.1-inch screen for the infotainment and navigation functions, while the lower 8.1-inch screen controls the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The AC vents are also neatly integrated in a strip that runs across the top of the dashboard. All this gives the dashboard and interior layout a minimalist and modern look.
The Audi Q8 is not intended to be a volume product in our market. Rather, its appeal will lie in its exclusivity, as each example will be built-to-spec. Rivals for the Q8 includes the Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne Coupe and the BMW X6 which is also expected to be launched in 2020.