Audi has taken the wraps of its updated Q8 SUV at the ongoing Munich motor show. The makeover comes five years after the Q8 first went on sale in 2018, and sees only light cosmetic updates, along with new features.
This new Q8 is not to be confused with the Q8 e-tron that was unveiled last year. While both sit on the same Volkswagen Group MLB Evo platform and share the Q8 name, they have differing roots. The Q8 seen here is the facelift of the Q8 that launched in 2018 as an answer to the coupe SUVs from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. On the other hand, the Q8 e-tron is essentially the facelift of Audi’s first EV, which was called simply the e-tron. Audi decided to add the Q8 name to the e-tron during its makeover since the company had decided to use the e-tron moniker across its EV portfolio.
Thus, the Q8 and the Q8 e-tron are not the same SUV with only powertrain differences. They differ quite noticeably in their dimensions too, with the Q8 being larger than its e-tron sibling all-round, including a larger wheelbase; the Q8's measures in at 2,995mm and the Q8 e-tron, at 2,928mm.
Audi Q8 exterior design
At the front, the updates to the Audi Q8’s style are limited to the headlights, bumper and grille area, and are very subtle in nature. The grille remains the large trapezoidal unit, but with new octagonal apertures and ‘L’ shaped inserts, which on the S line exterior package and the SQ8 version, are prominent with a differing paint shade. The bumper air intakes are reshaped too.
The biggest change to the facelift would be the new headlights, which are now HD Matrix LED units with a laser as an additional high beam. The headlight unit has digital daytime running lights and various selectable light signatures, and constitutes 24 LEDs and a high-power laser diode, which has a blue ambient light telltale incorporated into the headlight unit.
And as with all new Audis, the new 2D logo now adorns the Q8 and has the model, derivative, and technology identifier embossed into the B-pillar. The rear, too, remains largely the same as its predecessor, but now with digital OLED rear lights with four selectable light designs that work in conjunction with the headlights. The digital OLED tail lights also light up when vehicles from behind come within two metres of the stationary Q8. There are also five new wheel designs offered.
Audi Q8 interiors and features
The inside of the new Q8 is virtually identical to the outgoing car, with only cosmetic changes in the seat upholstery with different stitching and inlay patterns, and new interior colour schemes.
Feature-wise, Audi says the Q8 gets an expanded app store and has listed third-party music apps, Spotify and Amazon Music, as those that are now built in. Driver assistance systems have also been improved upon, from updates to the 360-degree camera to Audi's virtual cockpit now displaying lane-change, distance, and other warnings, along with any vital information, in full HD.
The rest remains as before, which means the Q8 continues to offer kit like Audi’s twin MMI touchscreens, four-zone climate control, a head-up display, seat heating, ventilation and massage, and a Bang & Olufsen hi-fi system. Four-wheel steering also continues, as does steel and optional air springs, while four-wheel-drive is standard across the range.
Audi Q8 engine and gearbox
Internationally, the petrol and diesel engine lineups remain the same – the diesel range begins with the 45 TDI powered by a 3.0-litre, 231hp, 500Nm V6 and the 50 TDI, which uses the same motor, but with power upped to 286hp and 600Nm of torque. The petrol lineup starts with the 55 TFSI powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine that puts out 340hp and 500Nm of torque. All these units are coupled to an 8-speed tiptronic auto, quattro four-wheel drive, and a mild-hybrid system.
The sportier SQ8 makes use of 4.0-litre V8 pumping out 507hp and 770Nm of torque and coupled to an 8-speed tiptronic auto, and quattro four-wheel drive. The SUV can also be configured with a torque vectoring sport differential and electromechanical active roll bars that are powered by a 48-Volt super capacitor.
Audi Q8 India price and launch
Audi already seels the Q8 in India, so the facelifted model can also be expected to be headed here, and will likely continue to be a full import. The existing Q8 is priced between Rs 1.07 crore - 1.43 crore (ex-showroom) in India, and the facelifted model can be expected to see a slight step up.