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MOTORING, SPORT & ENTERTAINMENT AUDI Q8


LIVE 24-SEVEN


It’s not exactly what you would call subtle, and you’ve probably already made your mind up about the car in front of you already, but surely that’s the point of the all new Audi Q8, which I collected from the team at Birmingham Audi in Solihull last week.


Particularly in one of the more stand out colours – Dragon Orange for example, you take an extra second to stand there and take it all in before climbing inside. Audi themselves have not held back on their thoughts of the new range topper, the line used in the advertising campaign against a backdrop of a full symphony orchestra is “It makes a bit of an entrance”.


My car was the 50 TDI – (or 3.0 diesel with 286PS in old money), good for a 144mph top speed and 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds. This engine will likely account for a vast majority of UK sales, combining a nice balance between performance, economy and everyday usability. It’s the same engine as in the Q7 as is the quattro all-wheel drive system and slick 8 speed auto gearbox. You also get the brilliant air suspension as standard. The engine line up is completed with a 45 TDI (231PS) diesel and a 55 TFSI (340PS) V6 petrol which will be along very soon.


It’s not a cheap car, but neither is it out of bed given the segment it competes in either. S line trim prices start at just over £65,000 or £83,000 for the fully loaded Vorsprung edition (which is like going onto an online configurator and ticking every option box going). You can throw a blanket on offerings from Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW when it comes to price differences for these big SUVs.


Audi’s 48-volt mild hybrid tech is also a standard feature which means the engine can switch off and coast at cruising speeds, while recuperation and start/stop technology pushed the combined MPG to just over 35 in my time with it, which, given the not inconsiderable weight and size of the Q8 is impressive and where it starts to pull away from the competition.


The big, bold and futuristic feature lines and coupe silhouette make this car really stand out from the crowd and make it instantly recognisable. As said at the top of this piece, boring and reserved it is not, with a stand back and admire LED lighting display when you lock and unlock the car and wheels available up to an enormous 22 inches in size. Despite the nomenclature it is actually smaller all round than the Q7, 66mm shorter and 35mm lower, but 27mm wider. Despite the smaller dimensions and coupe styling, any concerns over interior space can be dismissed straight away, there is plenty of head and leg room for rear passengers over 6ft.


Inside, the cabin is pretty much exactly the same as an A7 or A8, with lashings of brushed metal, leather and gloss black paneling and certainly not left wanting in terms of its fit, finish or practicality, though the ambience created is highly desirable and clinical, helped no end by the dual screen center display on which almost all of the Q8’s controls are operated from.


Once you hit the road, the Q8 rides very well, better than say an A7 even on those huge wheels, with the air suspension damping the disruption caused by the UK’s less well-kept roads. I left the drive select function in comfort, it’s not a rapid car and aggressive gear changes and sensitive handing seem a bit unnecessary, this seemed to hit the cars sweet spot.


I found the Q8 a capacious and very refined cruiser whose frugal (for its class) engine and very comfortable ride eat up the motorway miles during long journeys. With a comfortable, sophisticated and tech filled interior, if you are in the in the market for a high-riding premium 4x4 you could do far worse than the Q8.


To book your own test drive in the amazing all new Q8 please contact Birmingham Audi on 0121 746 5500 listers.co.uk/audi/birmingham


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LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


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