The production Audi Q8 that debuted at the Audi Brand Summit in China this June will arrive in India. It will slot above the Audi Q7 as the four-ringed brand’s flagship Q model.
The launch was confirmed by Rahil Ansari, Head, Audi India, in an interview with The Economic Times last week. “The Q8 will also come to India,” Ansari said, in addition to the new generation A8. He didn’t reveal when the launch is planned, but expect 2019 as the year. Production of the Q8 at the Volkswagen Slovakia plant in Bratislava (Slovakia) commenced just last week.
The Audi Q8 is pitted against the BMW X6 that started the very segment and the Mercedes GLE Coupe. Combining the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe and the versatility of an SUV, it is the first Q model from the pen of design chief Marc Lichte.
With the wedge-shaped headlamps and the imposing Singleframe in an octagonal form, the Audi Q8 is the new face of the Q family. A wide mask connects the upright radiator grille featuring six vertical chrome fins to the headlamps. Strongly contoured air intakes add to the aggression of the front fascia.
On the sides, the Audi Q8 sports 22-inch wheels. Here is where the fact that it sits 66 mm lower than the Audi Q7 becomes apparent. The coupe-style roofline ends in a long roof spoiler, which takes us to the rear. Like the latest Audi A8 and Audi A7 Sportback, a full-length light strip connects the tail lamps, accentuating the SUV-coupe’s width.
Inside, there’s a striking similarity with the latest aforementioned full-size saloon and executive coupe. Clear and simple horizontal design gives a generous sense of space. Of course, the biggest highlight here is the digitalisation. Complementing the high-res 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster, there are two more displays in the front. The 10.1-inch upper display is for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system, while the lower 8.6-inch display is for managing the HVAC as well as comfort functions and text input.
Currently, the Audi Q8 is available to order in Europe in only the 50 TDI engine model that uses the 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel mill (286 PS/600 Nm) with the 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and the quattro permanent AWD system. This engine comes with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for enhanced efficiency as standard.
The Audi Q8 may arrive in India in the 50 TDI engine model at launch. Expect prices to start well over INR 80 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) in that case.