Is the Audi Q8 the most advanced SUV in the world?
I started my weekend out with the Q8 in a dark Parking lot at PP-Autotreff in Switzerland.
I had a key and was told to press the unlock button, I would immediately notice the car I was told, so I did and indeed, I was greeted by a futuristic lightshow from the future! The Audis lights do a "Welcome Home" dance when pressed.
This might be just a gimmick, but as gimmicks go, it is an impressive one - and you can customize the dance too.
Anyway, lightshow over I got in the cars "CABIN", I used the quotation marks because I don't think calling it a "CABIN" does the Audi Q8 any justice, its more like a cockpit, the sort of thing you would see from machines with names like "The super Typhoon Mega Kill Raptor of Death F-6900".
The first thing I noticed was the lack of protruding buttons, in fact the only ones I could find were on the steering wheel to control things like the voice control, radio and missiles.
There's a touch screen in front of you and two in the middle, one acts as the MMI (Audi Multi Media Interface) and the other underneath it is a renaissance tablet that can do many things, like control your bum temperature, control the Advanced Hydraulic system (it comes with like 10 modes or something) and a writing pad for you to write the address you want to put into the GPS.
After I had been cruising on the highway for about 30 minutes, I went over the white line slightly, however the steering wheel gently pulled me back into the middle of the lane. I had completely forgotten, this car came with the black magic art of lane assist. But it isn't a stupid system you have to switch on like in BMWs, where you have to supply your mothers birth certificate, in order to access cruise control. The Audis lane assist is just on the moment you switch on cruise control. It can be deactivated, but doesn't have to be reactivated when you need it, its part of the super intelligent cruise control package.
Well, I say super intelligent, but the cruise control was actually quite annoying. This is the scenario: There I am in the overtaking lane, cruising at 126Kph on the highway, (With a speedo adjustment, this would equal about 119Kph in real time), overtaking somebody going exactly 122Kph in the slower lane, when suddenly the Audi recognizes that the off ramp on the right has a speed limit of 60, so it starts beeping at me like a fire alarm in a stripclub! I had about a split second to react before it slammed on the breaks, there was nothing in front of me, the Heads Up Display warned we were going to die, the tailgating Audi behind me narrowly missed rear ending me. It was very unpleasant, I also couldn't figure out how to switch the "automatic speed limit thing" off, so I switched the whole system off and drove the car with my hands and feet.
Other than cruise control that was programmed to self destruct, this car is a technological wonder of the world. It is the first SUV on our planet to have laser headlights, or as boring people call them " Matrix Laser LED projectors". It has rear wheel steering, it has heated and cooled seats (cooling is an option) for all four seats. It has an intelligent AWD system that makes the turning circle smaller than a VW Golf and it has a 286HP Twin Turbo V6 Diesel engine. This engine is quite old by now, but Audi has added some pedantic german engineering in there and given it a tiny battery that allows this mammoth car (nearly 3 tonnes!) to switch its engine off and run only on the hybrid battery in ECO mode and on flat surfaces.
That gives this car an MPG of... not great, but very good if we're comparing it to ships, or the death star.
Would I buy one? Nah, I personally would wait for the inevitable RSQ8 to come out which will probably have Audis Twin Turbo V8.
If you're a visual person, I worked a whole week on editing this car review on YuTube, so please watch it and if you enjoyed reading this, join my tribe.