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Audi tweaks its flagship Q8 SUV. Image by Audi.

Audi tweaks its flagship Q8 SUV
Mildly altered looks and some new tech for Q8 line-up.
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2023-11-08: First drive: 2024 Audi Q8

What's all this about?

It's facelift time for the Audi Q8, the German company giving its grandest SUV slightly different looks, new colours and trim materials, and a bit of extra technology.

Ah, right! So this is the electric artist formerly known as 'e-tron', then?

Umm, no. Although we can see how you'd be confused, seeing as Audi slapped a 'Q8' badge on the erstwhile e-tron electric SUV during its facelift and update earlier this year.

Oh. So which model is this, again?

'Just' the Q8, no e-tron. It's the rakish coupe alternative to the seven-seat Q7. Or a German take on the Lamborghini Urus, if you will.

OK, so what has changed here?

Not much, if we're honest. Visually, there's been some very minor tweaking of the Q8's features enacted, with a different shape Singleframe grille incorporating either teardrop or L-shaped vertical inlays, depending on which trim grade you go for. Optional packs can clothe that 'mask' which surrounds the grille and headlights in high-gloss black, if you want, while bigger air intakes, revised exhaust-pipe exits, and a choice of new designs of 21- to 23-inch alloys are provided. There are also three fresh metallic paint finishes available for the big Audi SUV, which are Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue and Chili Red.

Is that it?

Pretty much. Although, tech-wise, you can now option up the Q8 with HD Matrix LED headlight technology if you so wish, as well as Audi's 'laser light' system for even greater night-time road illumination. And oncoming main-beam-flashing, presumably, given how people react to modern, bright headlights these days. There are also OLED lamp clusters at the back of the vehicle.

What about the interior?

Some new upholsteries will be part of the online configurator, while Audi has bolstered the Q8's infotainment system with over-the-air updating capability and the option to now use third-party apps, like Spotify or Amazon Music, while travelling onboard the SUV. Also, the surroundings display for the advanced driver assist safety systems, presented in the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, is rendered in full HD quality.

Right, but there must be some new engine and chassis choices, then?

Right, but there must be some new engine and chassis choices, then?
Er... nope. Steel-sprung suspension with adjustable dampers is the standard Q8 set-up, with the option to upgrade to adaptive air suspension if so desired - if you go for the SQ8, this gets its own bespoke tuning with a sportier emphasis. All models are quattro all-wheel drive, natch, and they also all come with the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission - again, the SQ8 gets its own map here, as befits its high-performance nature.

You keep mentioning the SQ8, but where's the RS Q8 got to?

Oh, so you DO remember the Q8, after all! Anyway, for now, there's no mention of the RS Q8, so your fastest model is the SQ8. Bearing in mind this has a 507hp, 770Nm biturbo 4.0-litre petrol V8 that can fling the not-inconsiderable mass of the coupe-SUV at the horizon in the order of 4.1 seconds for 0-62mph, the absence of an RS Q8 isn't the major drag you might think. The SQ8 obviously looks more aggressive inside and out than the regular Q8s, but not overtly so; think aluminium door mirrors, different surround for the Singleframe grille, bespoke alloy wheel designs, that sort of thing. If you don't need the shattering power of that V8, though, the rest of the Q8 line-up is made of 3.0-litre V6s with mild-hybrid fuel-saving assistance technology. Choose from the 45 TDI (231hp/500Nm), the 50 TDI (286hp/600Nm) or the 55 TFSI (340hp/500Nm), and you'll enjoy 0-62mph in anything between 5.6 and 7.1 seconds, along with a top speed of 140- to 155mph (the latter electronically limited); the TDIs, obviously, are the diesels, the TFSI is the sole other petrol after the SQ8.

What about prices and specs?

No word on the former, although Audi UK has confirmed that the revised Q8 and SQ8 models will go on sale here from October, with three main trim grades - S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung - joined for a restricted period of time only by the Launch Edition.



Matt Robinson - 6 Sep 2023


2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.

2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.2024 Audi Q8 facelift. Image by Audi.









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