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Flagship Audi Q8 SUV aims to meet demands for personality, utility

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-28 10:38
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Representatives from FAW-Volkswagen Audi attend the launch event of the flagship Q8 SUV on Friday at the Kubuqi Desert in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo provided to China Daily]

FAW-Volkswagen launched Audi's flagship Q8 SUV on Friday at the Kubuqi Desert in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The new vehicle is expected to drive the German brand into the new premium era in its largest market.

"There is no any single market in which we have more Audi fans than China," said Marco Schubert, president of FAW-Volkswagen's Audi sales division. "Therefore, we listen to Chinese customers' exact demands and make changes accordingly.

"We are moving into the new premium era, where customers have higher expectations to own an iconic vehicle that combines personality and utility. The brand new Audi Q8 is our answer," he added.

The model, available in five variants, is built on the MLB Evo platform, which is shared by Lamborghini's Urus and Bentley's Bentayga, ensuring its sportiness and craftsmanship.

As the flagship model of Audi's Q family, it combines the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe with the practical versatility of a large utility vehicle. It thus boasts sporty dynamics and upscale prestige unseen in other Audi SUVs.

Jing Qingchun, executive vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen's Audi sales division, said the Q8 will form a top-notch trio with the A8 sedan and the R8 sports car, and they will push the Audi brand to unprecedented heights. The model has class-leading dimensions, measuring 5,006 mm in length, 1,995 mm in width and 1,704 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,995 mm.

The Q8 has two engine choices: a 2.0 liter or a 3.0 liter turbocharged engine. It generates a maximum output of 250 kW and a top torque of 500 Nm. It can sprint from zero to 100 km/hour in 6.2 seconds, and the 8-speed Tiptronic transmission offers a much smoother ride.

The class-leading 48-volt mild hybrid system cuts the vehicle's fuel consumption by 0.7 liter per 100 km. The standard luggage space of 605 liters has made it a perfect choice for long-distance travel.

The Q8 has a brand new design language. The vehicle's strong contours and tight surfaces have made it the new face of the Q family.

Six vertical chrome struts give the radiator grille a dominant appearance. The spoiler, which is pulled toward the front, and the large air intakes highlight the vehicle's confident look.

The Q8 also offers a spacious interior that beats its competitors in many relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom.

Thanks to an elaborate sound insulation and sophisticated aeroacoustics, very little exterior sound makes its way inside the SUV. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System ensures the music unfolds exactly how it was recorded in the concert hall.

The Q8 features the MMI touch response system, and nearly every function can be accessed via two large displays. The natural language voice control enables the driver to control the car with verbal commands. It also features a number of driving assist functions including the adaptive cruise assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360 degree cameras.

Jing said the carmaker has received 450 orders for the model since the pre-order started at the Chengdu auto show in September.

"Starting with the Q8, we will offer more and competitive models based on our understanding of the Chinese market and feedback from our customers here in China," Jing said.

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