The upgraded Audi Q8

Audi is updating the flagship of the Q family with a more pure design and upgraded technology, adding more to an already striking package.

The upgraded Audi Q8 Photos by Audi AG

The revised exterior aesthetic with new front and rear aprons underscores the strong character of the SUV coupé. The optionally available S-line exterior package caters to customers who desire more sportiness. For the first time, Audi is equipping the Q8 with HD Matrix LED headlights, including a laser as an additional high beam. These headlights feature digital daytime running lights and selectable light signatures. Digital OLED rear lights with four selectable rear light designs complete the expanded light offering. New wheels, colors, decorative inlays, and seats with contrast stitching highlight the car’s top position among the Q models.

Revised, generous, striking: the exterior design
With its expressive design, the revised Q8 is a sporty, elegant SUV coupé from the brand with four rings. With its clean shape, generous surfaces, and clear volumes, the Q8 paints a dynamic picture. The short overhangs and long wheelbase make for sporty, elegant proportions that can be accentuated with distinctive exterior colors and wheels.

The unmistakably powerful and upright Audi Singleframe with an octagon design now impresses with vertical inlays. They are arranged in a teardrop shape in the base exterior and designed in the shape of an L in the S-line exterior package and the SQ8 TFSI1. This makes it clear at first glance that the Q8 belongs to Audi’s top models and clearly differentiates it from the A models. The self-assured appearance of the Q8 is underscored by the new prominent air intakes, which are clearly integrated into the car’s basic architecture.

Audi Q8 rear lights

Audi has systematically reduced the decorative elements for an even more puristic design. In order to distinguish the base version, S line exterior package, and S model at first glance, the front bumper area, door attachment trim, and diffuser in the base model come in contrasting colors that underline the robust off-road look. New for all Audi Q8 units is an exhaust system with premium-quality, visually appealing tailpipes. Aligned even more closely with the SQ8 TFSI1, the S-line exterior package stands out with its clearly accentuated side air intakes in the front bumper.

The Singleframe is sure to impress with its independent color scheme. The optionally available Black and Black Plus optics packages set striking accents in the exterior around the Audi Singleframe, the trim on the side windows, and the front and rear bumpers. What’s more, the Singleframe mask comes finished in high-gloss black.

Audi Q8 in the wild

The innovative headlights featuring HD Matrix LED technology and an additional laser light as well as the digital daytime running lights positioned on the upper horizontal edge give the Q8 an even more self-assured expression. In conjunction with the digital OLED rear lights, which are available for the first time in the Q8, the premium-class character of the model becomes even clearer. At the rear, an LED light strip together with black high-gloss trim and integrated Audi rings links the digital OLED rear lights across the entire width of the car.

The Audi Q8 bears Audi’s new, modern corporate identity. Specifically, this is the new two-dimensional rings that debuted in the Q8 e-tron. They are visually impressive through their greater precision. Instead of chrome, the new four rings come in contrasting white and black; as part of an optional package, the white of the rings is replaced with a dark gray that still looks like high-gloss black. In the Q8, the B-pillar now also bears the model, derivative, and technology identifier.

A new kind of individualization: headlights and rear lights
High-intensity LED headlights light up the road in the Q8 as standard; Matrix LED headlights are available as an option. HD Matrix LED headlights with the Audi laser light are also available, which work with 24 LEDs and a high-power laser diode each and are immediately recognizable via a blue ambient light incorporated into the headlights. The laser light becomes active starting at 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and significantly increases the high beam range. New for the top-of-the-range headlights are digital daytime running light signatures. They give the Q8 its characteristic and unmistakable appearance by allowing the user to select one of four individual light signatures via the MMI. It's not just the expanded range of functions in the headlights that is novel - their design is also fresh. The higher positioning of the daytime running lights gives the Q8 more visual width and also creates a flowing, formal connection between the headlights and the Singleframe. For the first time, the Q8 also features large digitalized OLED rear lights (OLED = organic light emitting diode) as an optional extra, which also feature four digital light signatures in conjunction with the headlights.

Similar to the Audi A8 and Q5, the digital OLED rear lights in the Q8 incorporate a proximity indication feature that works in tandem with the assistance systems. When vehicles from behind come within two meters (6.6 ft) of the stationary Q8, the control units trigger the activation of all the digital OLED segments. Additional functions include dynamic turn signals as well as various coming home and leaving home sequences.

Audi Q8 Interior

Decor, Colors, Wheels: The right equipment range for every taste
With the latest product upgrade, Audi has once again refined the equipment range for the Q8. The seams on the seat trim in the base model now come as standard in a contrasting gray color. There are also nine decorative inlays available to choose from. Adding to the available options in the equipment lineup are wood fine-grain ash natural silver for the standard model, Carbon twill matt, and Aluminium linear silver grey for the Q8 featuring the S line sport package, as well as for the SQ8 TFSI1. To further underscore the character of the Q8, three new finishes are available. Audi Sport GmbH offers Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red, all metallic finishes. But customers can look forward to additional new features in more than just finishes. For the wheel range offers customers a choice of five new wheel designs, with sizes ranging from 21 to 23 inches for a clear advantage over the competition.

As part of the model update, Audi is also expanding the range of apps. For the first time, passengers can use popular apps from third-party providers (for example Spotify or Amazon Music). Regular software updates and a constantly expanding range of apps make for even greater individualization of the infotainment system. A store with a market-specific app portfolio expands the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3). In terms of driver assistance systems, the surroundings display in particular has received a significant upgrade. The Audi virtual cockpit displays a lane change warning, other road user's (trucks, cars, and motorcycles) distance warning, intersection assist, and traffic light information online in stunning full HD quality. In addition to the store for apps and the new surroundings display, the product upgrade also expands the standard equipment for the Q8; 20-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, park and high beam assist, and the convenience key, among other features, now come as standard.

Audi Q8 Four Rings

The right choice for every situation: the powertrains
The range opens with the 45 TDI quattro, a three-liter diesel engine that has 170 kW (231 PS) of output and delivers an impressive 500 Nm of torque, which extends over a plateau between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. From a standing start, the Audi Q8 45 TDI accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph). This engine is followed by the 50 TDI quattro, a more powerful version with 210 kW (286 PS) and 600 Nm of torque. The large SUV accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 241 km/h (150 mph).

The Audi Q8 55 TFSI features a six-cylinder Otto engine with three liters of displacement and direct fuel injection that delivers 250 kW (340 PS). It delivers a maximum torque of 500 Nm in a broad engine speed range from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. With its turbocharged gasoline engine, the Audi Q8 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds. It reaches its electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

All V6 engines in the Audi Q8 work together with an eight-speed tiptronic, quattro permanent four-wheel drive, and the mild hybrid system, which can achieve a fuel-consumption advantage of up to 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers in customer operation. Its key components are a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter (BAS) that supplies power to the SUV coupé’s 48V main electrical system. When decelerating, the BAS recuperates up to eight kW, which it feeds into the battery. Between 55 and 160 km/h (34 and 99 mph), the Q8 can coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds when the driver takes their foot off the gas. After braking, the BAS restarts the six-cylinder quickly and very conveniently. The start-stop begins as low as 22 km/h (14 mph).

The market launch of the Audi Q8 - with its revised design, innovative lighting technology, and more extensive range of equipment - will be in September/October 2023. Prices for the 45 TDI quattro start at 86,700 euros, while the 50 TDI quattro costs 89,700 euros. The 55 TFSI quattro will cost 89,900 euros, while the SQ8 TFSI1 starts at 119,500 euros.

Mathias Haegglund Code Collector, Globetrotter, and Occasional Gamer.