Audi will kick-off 2020 with a bang with the launch of its range-topping Q8 SUV. In an interview with PTI, Balbir Dhillon, head of Audi India, disclosed that the Q8 will launch on January 15, 2020. The company's flagship SUVwill be brought to India as a full import and hence will be subjected to all the duties and taxes. This means we can expect the Audi Q8 prices to start at Rs 1 crore (ex-showroom).
The Q8 for India will likely get only a petrol engine, keeping in mind Audi’s wait and watch approach for diesels in the BS6 era. The Q8 55 TFSI that is powered by a 340hp, 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine is expected to be the version that'll come to India. Internationally, the Q8 line-up also includes the 50 TDI diesel that gets a 286hp, 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, and the SQ8 that uses a 435hp/900Nm, 4.0-litre, mild-hybrid, turbo-diesel V8 engine.
The Q8 will be the first from the list of ‘new look’ Audi SUVs for India, best identified by the massive grille at the front. The India-bound new Q3 and updated Q7 will also sport this new styling treatment. The Q8 differentiates itself with a coupé-like roofline and frameless doors. Other stand-out design features include flared wheel arches, and international markets get the option of 22-inch wheels (the largest ever to be offered by Audi straight out of the factory). The Q8 also gets full-width tail-lights and distinctive LED headlights.
On the inside, there are many areas inspired by the interior of the new A8. The dashboard is dominated by Audi’s latest dual-touchscreen control system, first seen in India on the new A6. The upper unit is a 10.1-inch screen that controls the infotainment and navigation functions, while the lower 8.1-inch screen controls the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. This layout gives the dashboard a minimalist look.
When launched in India, the Audi Q8 will rival the likes of the Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne and the upcoming BMW X6 which is also expected to be launched in 2020.