4 design elements that set the 2019 Audi Q8 apart from the crowd

The 2019 Audi Q8 SUV made its official debut yesterday after we saw it in Geneva a year ago. We didn’t get too much detail on the mechanical specs, but we do know it will be a mild hybrid, likely with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 for its main motivation. A new starter/generator and 48-volt electrical system will provide power for what Audi claims are ‘long coasting phases with the engine deactivated.”

The main piece of news is the Q8’s styling, Audi calling it the “new face of the Q family.” That includes the grille, the rear light bar, the big wheel arches and more. Let’s take a look, piece by piece.

Audi’s Q8 debut car shows less chrome than it’s other SUVs.

1. The new grille

Audi added two sides to its formerly hexagon grille for the Q8. Everyone knows octagons are way cooler anyway. Designer Sascha Heyde says “it’s the first eye-catching element,” that people see, and that’s true. It’s shorter than the current version on the rest of the Qs, the bars are farther apart and the verticals are more prominent. The new grille looks chunkier, more cartoony maybe, but not bad though. The bezel is thicker, making it look like the grille is protruding from the nose of the car. That emphasizes the SUV-as-coupe philosophy.

The sloped rear end evokes the Bentley Bentayga.

2. The rear end

In back, the taillights connect via that black piece, which designers say emphasizes the width of the vehicle. The actual light fixtures are way more stylized than the ones on the Q7 as well. Surely that will trickle down to the rest of the lineup. It’s all very symmetrical and clean-looking with the twin reflectors and dual exhaust below.

Again, there looks to be a lot Bentayga in the styling

3. The roof

“The roofline is supposed to be a coupe, but it’s different from a normal coupe roofline.” –Sascha Heyde, Audi design

Heyde says it also offers more headroom than a “normal” crossover coupe, and that’s true. Where the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe’s rooflines slope to the rear fascia, the Q8’s extends while only dipping slightly, more like the Bentayga and Urus. In fact, as far as coupe-like SUVs go, this is one of the better-looking ones.

The 2019 Audi Q8 has a ton of new stuff, which, like the lighting package, will eventually trickle down to the rest of the SUV lineup.

4. The cabin

Inside, it’s all new and all screens in the Q8Infiniti has something similar, a screen for nav on top and another screen for climate and radio below. It’s not a bad system — keeping the navigation within view at all times is a good feature. Also, it’s easy to poke at the buttons when your hand is resting on the gearshift (when it should be on the wheel). Additionally, the Q8 gets Audi’s new-ish Virtual Cockpit system that is fully customizable and puts everything, including the navigation, in the gauge cluster. If you’re under 40 and not averse to screens, you’ll like this interior.

We’ll have more details on the new Audi Q8 as we get them, along with a first drive in the near future, so stay tuned.

 

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