By on June 6, 2018

Audi finally revealed its latest entry in the increasingly popular luxury SUV segment: the Q8. Think of it as a more contemporary take on the Q7. The automaker calls it an expressive new design that serves as “the new face of the Q family.” While we’re all for German manufacturers occasionally drawing outside of the lines, we’re not positive it was a good idea in this case.

No shortage of hype preceded the debut, which tricked many into thinking the vehicle behind the curtain would reveal itself as irrefutably gorgeous. Instead, what we received is an interesting looking crossover that’s certain to be (at least somewhat) polarizing, heralded by dozens of teasers — including an internet-based video drama.

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t bring myself to continue discussing the turd sandwich that was Audi’s promotional miniseries for the Q8. It was only ever going to progress into more and more hateful rants. However, I now fully recommend you watch the series in its entirety, as the ending was dumb enough to prompt a violent laughing fit.

Getting back Audi’s fresh new crossover, which it calls a “four-door luxury coupé,” we’re pretty sure it’ll garner greater appeal in colors that aren’t orange. Some people will probably still hate it, but that could just be a statement on the squashed-SUV segment it’s trying to adhere to. Wider and lower than the Q7 by about an inch, and shorter by 3 inches, the Q8 is a much sportier design. This should partially excuse the added funkiness, but that really only applies to this particular model.

If Audi attempts to import the enlarged matte chrome “Singleframe” grille and honeycomb air inlets across the board, we could have a problem. It’s not that this design isn’t fun, it’s just a little inelegant. It’s too reminiscent of a mainstream CUV that’s trying to be edgy and doesn’t convey a premium aesthetic — at last not from the front.

The rest of the car is much sexier. There are a lot of straight lines mixed with savory curves and that Quattro-inspired black surround for the taillights works nicely. The interior is similarly phenomenal.

Similar in appearance to the A8’s cabin, the Q8’s additional accenting boosts personality without going overboard. While there are a few buttons, two touchscreens handle all of the crossover’s important functions. The 10.1-inch upper display is responsible for Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus and infotainment, while the lower 8.6-inch unit tackles interior temperature and seating comfort.

Speaking of which, you can option in massage seats, four-zone climate control and a Bang & Olfusen sound system. However, the base model should still be exceptionally comfortable for four occupants, with room enough for five. Audi says cargo room with the back seats folded is 62 cubic feet but, since it’s a little shorter than the Q7, overall storage space in the back certainly won’t be as good.

Advanced technologies include Audi Connect Key, which lets Android users unlock and drive their Q8 with their smartphone, as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot, 360-degree cameras and the kind of active safety systems you’d expect to see on the new pinnacle of a luxury automaker’s SUV range.

Not all of these goodies are guaranteed to make it to America. Audi has already said that Traffic Jam Pilot probably won’t come to the United States right away, so we don’t know if the vehicle’s autonomous parking function sees a similar axe.

Other unknowns include the Q8’s powertrain options. Since it’s based on the Q7, we’d expect to see a lot of the same engines, but Audi is committing to nothing beyond the promise of standard all-wheel drive and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The manufacturer says the system adds instant torque and the ability to coast with its engine off for short distances. It also allows the Q8’s stop-start function to activate earlier, saving you some fuel. While interesting, these technologies already exist on several of the company’s models already.

Expect more details closer to the vehicle’s launch date in 2019.

[Images: Audi]

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69 Comments on “Reporting for Flagship Duty: Audi Unveils Q8 ‘Four-door Luxury Coupé’...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Knowing Audi it will probably have the lame turbo 2.0 and 3.0 that turds up the majority of their offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Audi’s 2.0 and especially 3.0t are turds? Get a grip.

      • 0 avatar

        With Quattro, there is always grip :) LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Why am I suppose to get a grip? It’s not like their going to move a car anywhere fast. Why not just get the same turbo 4 in a Hyundai or a turbo 6 in a Ford and spend significantly less money. It’s no better than other 4 or 6 cylinder engines. They still scream “I have an image to project and I can’t afford actual luxury cars so I settle for low end German offerings with the motorcycle engine.”

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Your world must have very, very large motorcycles if the 3.0T is a “motorcycle engine”.

        • 0 avatar
          tinbad

          As someone who owned an Audi with the 3.0T (although it’s supercharged) along many other cars, it is one of the most refined engines you can get today that will outperform any (American) V8 while easily returning double the fuel economy. And they’re actually very reliable too, plenty of 150k+ specimens on the Audi forums with zero problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’d be very impressed if a 3.0T could out perform an LT1 and get double the fuel economy. That would be in Prius range territory good luck with 50-60MPG. Not to mention that 150k isn’t exactly high mileage, that’s break in period for American V8s.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “will outperform any (American) V8 while easily returning double the fuel economy. And they’re actually very reliable too, plenty of 150k+ specimens on the Audi forums with zero problems.”

            Audi/VW people will always be the most entertaining owner’s group.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          Because luxury isn’t just engine size, genius, or otherwise a dodge demon would be the plushest thing ever. is anybody calling out that turd of an interior that hummers have?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            So where are the 2.0T offerings from Rolls Royce and Bentley?

            Luxury may not be *just* engine size or cylinders, but unless you’re going full EV, it is certainly on the list.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Sorry but in the day of turbo 4 cylinders in so many of the cheapest economy cars available, displacement and cylinder count is now more than ever luxury. If you want to go full EV sure I have no problem excluding that. But as far as a car with ICE displacement and cylinder count are the ultimate sign of luxury. Audi even puts badges to show everyone who the cheaparses are on their cars.

            Leave the tiny engine sizes to Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Nissan.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    The awkward horribleness of a Civic front bumper, now available in an Audi.

  • avatar
    BoogerROTN

    One door, two door, three door, four.

    I wonder why nobody at Toyota thought to market the Venza as a coupé.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Same with Acura and the ZDX.

      Venza really dropped the ball with the interior. If they had made the inside as cool and premium looking as the outside I think things would have been different. It probably would have worked better as a Lexus too.

  • avatar
    Rasputin

    –An ugly automobile.
    —–It’s not an automobile, it’s a “utility vehicle.”
    –But it’s a “Coupe”
    —– I hate to paraphrase Whoopie, but it’s not a “coupe coupe,” it’s just a coupe.
    –Jacked up, big wheels, 4-doors, and a B-pillar. It’s not a coupe.
    ——I don’t care what you call it, just buy one of the ugly turds for your trophy wife.

  • avatar
    geee

    Trying to be the Evoque? With a Civic nose? I mean, that nose looks like it came out of the Cars movie series or something. Just ridiculous. This strikes me as a fail that will sell like hotcakes. (No accounting for taste.) Sigh….

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Two words:

    Ugh. Lee.

    It will, of course, fly off the lots.

  • avatar
    jmo

    That mustard color isn’t doing it any favors.

  • avatar
    amca

    Four door coupe SUV is a double non-sequitur.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Mercedes and BMW also call a vehicle with four passenger doors a “coupe” if it has frameless windows; I think this Audi is the first one with a tailgate, however.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        There’s an old technical use of “coupe” for “car shorter than others on that frame”, so I can’t say it’s 100% indefensible.

        I can say I don’t like it and that all the ‘four door coupes’ from German makers are Bad Ideas.

        (I wouldn’t buy an Audi SUV that wasn’t an SQ5, myself.)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wow, just wow. This whole industry is in a nose dive. Bring on the crash, please.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      From your mouth to God’s ear. I’m down to one “car” magazine and I’m letting that lapse as soon as it runs out late this year. This will be the first time since 1989 that I haven’t had a subscription to one (more often 2, and sometimes 3). I’m not down with the “all SUV/CUV/Lifted hatchback called a coupe” crap.

      And Jesus, the prices of new cars today. I feel more and more like and old man.

      • 0 avatar
        nvinen

        I’m just counting down the days until this website changes its name to http://www.thetruthaboutsuvs.com

        P.S. The Audi looks like an old man who has his pants pulled up to his armpits.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        “And Jesus, the prices of new cars today.”

        My Taurus (GL sedan with some options) cost a little under $19k in 1995 (MSRP, as per the original window sticker I still have), that is equivalent to ~$30k today. A new Fusion SE (with far, far more equipment) starts at ~$27k MSRP. I don’t get this “cars cost too much today” stuff. Its called inflation.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Real wages have subsided significantly and have not kept pace. That’s what he is referring too.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Actually, wages and not jobs are what we should be focused on. I’m all for corporate and investor profits, if there’s risk involved, but who’s assuming risk in today’s capitalism? It seems, lately, as if employees and consumers absorb losses to a greater degree than those allegedly “risking” capital. If profits are down, shrink the size of the package, like ice cream for example, make the denim thinner, etc. Cut positions, get rid of full time employees and use temp workers, llegals, etc. Run a business into the ground, set unrealistic pension schedules and get a taxpayer bailout, etc. It’s a race to the bottom. Lower wages and then claim “These are jobs Americans won’t do”, lol. What a tailpipe of a party this is gonna be.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Since when are car manufacturers obligated to link prices to wages? 70-80% of car transactions in the US are used, and the real equivalent to JohnTaurus’ ’95 Taurus today is a Focus, not a Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          Inflation is part of it, I’ll agree. However, running that 19k through the official US inflation calculator maintained by the BLS from Jan 2005 to Jan 2018 that 19K is equivalent to $24,695. It’s very, very easy to spend $30-35k on a relatively modest car these days, and the amount of content they’ve started piling into “economy” cars has raised their prices as well. There’s an argument to be made that the consumer is getting a better car, but I do think it makes them less affordable.

          Also, choosing a car, even if you’re careful, is not an exact science. Sign a 7 year loan on a vehicle that you’re tired of in 3 years and and you’ve got some tough choices to make for sure. I was tired of my leased vehicle and it’s opportunities were not outweighing it’s virtues by year two, leaving me a year to go.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            ” It’s very, very easy to spend $30-35k on a relatively modest car these days”

            Well, I guess if either ‘modest’ is redefined, or we’re spending it all on a badge?

            It’s also very, very easy to get a nice car under $20k, ain’t it?

            (Is even the most base-est Civic really below “modest” by any reasonable standard, for instance?

            You can get a “modest” Kia for under $18k.

            Or a *really* modest one under $14k.)

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I quit reading car magazines a few years back myself, partly because of the writing and partly because of how lame cars have become.

        Back in 2010 (I think) I drew up my own parody of modern SUV/Cuvs, it had a short roof, front end that was angry and 80% fake grille, and tasteless chrome addes to the front.

        I didnt expect Audi (who I used to praise for good tame styling) to make my joke a reality.

  • avatar

    Aside from the black heckblende at the rear and the quilted seats, the rest of this can just go die in a fire.

  • avatar

    Such an elegant coupe esp in that color! It renders me speechless, nothing else to say other than Audi proved again to be the standard of the world when it comes to the elegant understated luxury and especially personal luxury. What a beauty! I am desperately in love hands down!

  • avatar
    watersketch

    It’s an Audi Malibu Maxx!
    Even has the spoiler from the LT version.

    And I mean that as a compliment from someone who loved his 2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx with a 3.6L V6.

  • avatar
    James2

    Anyone else see Hannibal Lecter in that Audi front end?

  • avatar
    Darkdowgow

    Amc wants their designs back

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Am I the only one who thought ‘Isuzu Ascender’ upon seeing that grill?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    They say that beauty is in the eye if a beholder.

    They say one can milk an almond, or cashew, or hemp seed.

    They say a lot of stupid sh!t.

    I say that this an objectively hideous, elephant man-like monstrosity of a vehicle, and that it’s even got Predator Maw Lexus best on the pure, dirty a$$ ugliness when it comes to its front fascia.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    It looks like a Dodge Magnum got squeezed in a trash compactor for a few seconds, I want to stretch it back to it’s original shape.

  • avatar
    ernest

    I never really was fond of Audi’s, but always had to grudgingly admit they built damned good looking cars.

    Don’t have to worry about that caveat anymore, I see.

  • avatar
    ajla

    So, here is what the Audi “flagship” looked like 20 years ago:

    cdn04.carsforsale.com/3/345175/19208612/1048524832.jpg

    I feel like there is some message to be learned here about the breakdown of society.

    • 0 avatar
      Ermel

      Then came the “single frame” grille, and it went downward from there. Although I think the current A8, which this first A8 should be compared to in all fairness, is still a rather good-looking car. I think it says more about the mindset of SUV drivers when they keep getting more aggressive in design.

      But confusing society with SUV buyers is of course forgivable in America, where they seem to have become almost, but not quite, entirely indistinguishable.

      Still, I think it’s a hopeful sign when Audi themselves talk about “the new face of the Q family.” Let that “family” look however hideous its buyers ask for, I couldn’t care less.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Please explain how in the hell the change from a sedan to a crossover as the brand’s flagship = a “breakdown in society”

      Are you one of those people who thinks sedan drivers are “better people” than crossover drivers? (They are the same people)

      The amount of hyperbole and self righteousness demonstrated by car “enthusiasts” never ceases to amaze me.

      – Sedan driver.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        First, you need to relax. Your comments jump to negative conclusions about people’s motives way too often.

        Second, my “breakdown of society” remark was a joke. I thought the (fully intended) hyperbole would make that obvious. It was just my way of saying I don’t like Audi’s styling direction. If you disagree, that’s fine, but I’d like to know what you find attractive about this vehicle.

        Third, my comment had nothing to do with sedan to CUV or any “better people” judgement that you pulled directly from your butt. I was only comparing the traditional “conservative” asthetics that used to be a hallmark of German vehicles to what Audi is releasing with this Q8.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I’m so used to statements like that being sincere, I don’t know what to expect anymore. My apologies.

          We can both agree that this thing is truly hideous. If this is Audi’s reply to people who call their designs boring…. for the love of all things good in this world, I apologize.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    “Coupe?” Jeezus H you-know-who! So sick of this bastardization of that word. Somewhere the Lexus designers are falling down laughing at how they’ve goaded Audi to adopt a hideous grille. Well played Sirs!

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Can’t we please just stop bitching about the alleged misuse of the word “coupé”, which by the way feels much more abused by your American habit of spelling it without an accent and rhyming it with “soup”? (Sorry. I digress. Let me start over.)

    Get over it, people. You won’t stop the industry calling vehicles like the CLA, Arteon, X4, and Q8 “coupes”. That war is lost, just like the one where hackers hoped to establish the name “crackers” for data thieves and system vandals. Didn’t work, so they stopped trying. There’s a lesson to be learned from this.

    Oh, right, about the Q8: Inoffensively enough styled vehicle. Much better than an X6. But what’s that huge octagonal silver thing it seems to be giving birth to?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “That war is lost, just like the one where hackers hoped to establish the name “crackers” for data thieves and system vandals.”

      Actually, definition six is just such a thing.

      “Slang. black hat(def 2).”

      dictionary.com/browse/cracker

      • 0 avatar
        Ermel

        Yeah, but no-one in the media distinguishes between “hackers” (the good guys) and “crackers” (the bad guys) anymore, if indeed they ever did.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    This vehicle makes the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe look positively beautiful…

    And I consider both of those cars to be vomit-inducingly hideous.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    How many vehicles on this platform now?

    Atlas? Cayenne? Bentayga? Q7? Q5?

    There is a reason these all look alike….same bones!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      VAG is the new old GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Ermel

      Atlas is an MQB vehicle.

      Touareg, Cayenne, and Q5/Q7 have always shared platforms. Bentayga and Urus have joined them recently, as well as all the Audi sedans, on the MLB platform. Nothing wrong with that in principle, although I think the Bentayga ought to look less like an Audi inside. At least they’re all vaguely in the same class of vehicle (i.e., fast, “premium”, midsize-in-America SUVs), unlike one certain Cadillac SUV whose underpinnings I understand to be from a Chevy truck :-)

  • avatar
    Yaemish

    This looks the the result of unprotected sex between a Subaru Crosstrek and a Toyota Venza. I had been against late term abortions, but this makes me rethink that stance.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    This is a thinly veiled sales exercise, not a legitimate attempt at flagship design or excellence. The rear is very reminiscent of Lincoln MK crossovers. The front is anything but elegant, comes off as overly busy. I wouldn’t call this ugly, but it’s not really attractive in any way to my eyes.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    This thing makes BMW’s look downright ancient.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Orange? ‘Tis OCHRE!

  • avatar
    St.George

    I kinda like it but wouldn’t buy one.

    I don’t begrudge people that would buy one though, horses for courses and all that!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I wouldnt call this a “coupe”, the roof area and hatchback look too practical for that. If anything its the ine good area about this thing. Makes me think of Audis VW Golf based hatchback from some years ago.

    The front ends a mess, you get randomly tacked on chrome like Mitsubishis recent Outlander, and quite a bit of grille to keep what I assume will be a VW 4 cylinder cool.

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