Audi Q8 | 5 things that make it a technological powerhouse

The Q8 is helping Audi set the correct trajectory for India in 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about it
Audi Q8 is the brand's new flagship
Audi Q8 is the brand's new flagshipAudi Media Center

The Q8 is a very important car for Audi in India. When it was launched in January, it was the first of many exciting cars Audi had planned for India in 2020. It set course for the brand to regain its position as one of the top luxury carmakers in the country. The Q8 was right at the top of the priority list as the A8, RSQ8, RS7 and the Q2 were all launched in the following months. It is a style icon for the brand and also a power-packed flagship SUV, two elements that bode well with the young, affluent and SUV-obsessed audience of India. With only 200 units allocated for India, the Q8 remains very exclusive. So, let’s take a look at five key things that make it so special.

It's the start to the brand's new design language
It's the start to the brand's new design languageAudi Media Center

Lighting witchcraft

Audi’s Matrix LED lighting technology is arguably one of the most sophisticated lighting systems out there. Just like the A8, the Q8 also gets HD Matrix headlamps. The headlamp cluster packs a control unit that basically acts as the brain of the system. The high-beam unit is made up of 25 individual segments. The light-emitting diodes (LED) that work with lenses and reflectors are activated and deactivated or dimmed individually according to the situation, reacting precisely to incoming cars, which it recognizes using a camera. This always illuminates the road perfectly. While the effectiveness of LED headlamps isn’t really proven in Indian road conditions, on clean and well-paved roads, they perform wonderfully.

Those eyes are mighty powerful
Those eyes are mighty powerfulAudi Media Center

Large touchscreens, because it’s 2020

Ten GB of memory, inside a car’s infotainment screen? Yes, Audi has taken infotainment to the next level with its new MMI touch response display. The upper display is a 10.1-inch screen for controlling infotainment and navigation while the lower 8.6-inch display allows managing the climate control as well as comfort functions. Additionally, there’s also a 12.3-inch digital cockpit that displays important drive-related information. Thanks to the screens, buttons are almost eliminated from the centre console. Then there’s also connected car technology. Audi Connect allows the owner and four additional drivers to lock and unlock the car and start the engine using their smartphones. One can store up to 400 preferred parameters in individual user profiles, for example the position of the driver seat, the air conditioning setting or frequently used media and navigation destinations. 10gb memory put to good use.

Not just a cabin, it's a science class
Not just a cabin, it's a science classAudi Media Center

Propelling a 2.1 ton SUV

Just like Volkswagen India, Audi has bid adieu to diesels as well, at least for now in India. What you get in the Q8 is a 3-litre, in-line six cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that pumps 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. All this power is transferred to all four wheels through an 8-speed ZF sourced torque converter automatic transmission and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. There’s also a 48V mild-hybrid system with a small electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. It is used to start the engine, torque-fill during acceleration and switch the engine off during coasting to improve fuel economy. As a result, the combined effort of the ICE and the mild-hybrid system powers this 2.1 ton SUV to a 100kmph in just 5.9 seconds and on to a top whack of 250kmph.

SUV to chase the horizon
SUV to chase the horizonAudi Media Center

At Rs 1.3 crore, you get a LOT of goodies

There’s uncanny focus on ambient lighting in the Audi Q8. The ‘Ambient Lighting Package’ comes as standard in India and that includes six predefined colour profiles and a custom profile that lets you choose from 30 lighting colours for doors, upholstery, centre console, instrument panel and even the illuminated ‘quattro’ logo. What a perfect recipe for diwali celebrations! That said, the Q8 will also pamper you with optional four-zone climate control, power adjustable front seats with memory function, a 10-speaker sound system with subwoofer and of course, plush leather seats.

That said, the driver gets treated with as many as seven drive modes that alter the engine and gearbox characteristics, air suspension settings and the steering feel. If you wish to go off-roading, there’s also a ‘Raise’ setting that increases the ride height to its maximum to tackle the trails without scraping the underbelly.

Can conquer the trails as well
Can conquer the trails as wellAudi Media Center

Safety and assistance features

Audi leaves no stone unturned when it comes to safety. The Q8 comes with 10-airbags as standard, electronic stability control with traction control, ABS with EBD and brake assist and massive 18-inch discs for all the stopping power you will ever need. Then there’s also Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system that smartly distributes torque between the front and the rear axles according to the terrain and the traction.

7th anniversary issue of evo India magazine
7th anniversary issue of evo India magazineEvo India

On paper, the Q8 appears tempting, but how does it feel on the road, especially when it’s up alongside extremely capable siblings like the Audi RSQ8 and the Audi A8? Read our feature on the ‘Power of 8’ in the seventh anniversary issue of evo India magazine.

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