Audi’s Q8 is the new face of the Q family, and it’s now available to order in the Middle East. The largest of the Ingolstadt marque’s ‘Q’ range of SUVs, it’s also the most luxurious and deeply tech-laden. Eager to see for ourselves, Passions Arabia’s Danah Alansari (with the Q8, above) joined Audi Middle East for two days of desert-bashing and road-miles in Oman.

Versatile, sporty, elegant: the dimensional and space concept The Audi Q8 brings together the best of both worlds – the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé and the practical talents of a large SUV. The generously dimensioned interior with variable luggage compartment, state-of-the-art operating and suspension technologies as well as intelligent assistance systems make the Audi Q8 a composed companion for business and leisure. A powerful, yet efficient 55 TFSI with mild hybrid system producing 250 kW (340 hp) provides the dynamics implied by the muscular design. With the permanent quattro all-wheel drive and a ground clearance of up to 254 millimeters, the SUV coupé can keep going when paved roads end.

“Very stable and smooth on even the roughest of terrain, the Q8 delivers a sense of stability rare amongst even the largest and most accomplished of today’s SUVs. Its 360°comfort adds to the driving experience, boosts driving confidence, and keeps passengers happy – all at the same time!”

Style-defining: the octagonal Singleframe The imposing Singleframe in octagonal design is the calling card of the Q8 and also the new face of the Audi Q family. Six vertical chrome struts give the radiator grille a dominant appearance. The crossbars are recessed and finished in dark gray. A wide mask optionally finished in a contrasting color connects the Singleframe to the distinctive headlights – a reminiscence of the Ur-quattro. The spoiler, which is pulled towards the front, and the large, strongly contoured air intakes additionally highlight the self-assured look.

“Why choose a sports coupe or a family-sized SUV when you can have them in one? The Q8 is the perfect combination of both styles. From its slender lights to its 22-inch wheels, the Audi Q8 combines the luxury and sportiness of coupe with the practicality of large SUV. Packaged with plenty of high-technology and refined luxury, the new Q8 delivers elegance, comfort and a spirited drive.”

Digital character: the daylight running light signature For the headlights, Q8 customers can choose between two versions, both in LED technology. From a distance the two-piece luminaires look very flat. Integrated into their upper section are the daytime running lights and the low beam, among other functions. The high beam is positioned underneath, darkened and offset to the back. In the optional HD matrix

LED headlights, each high beam comprises 24 individual LEDs. They illuminate the road dynamically and precisely while excluding other road users from the cone of light. They also serve as the cornering light.

“When your route planning involves mountain trails, off-roading or business trips through the urban jungle… the Q8 has it all! Comfort is a given when driving thanks to the custom power seats and the entertainment systems.”

Extremely smooth and fast: the transmission The Q8 is paired standard with an eight-speed tiptronic that shifts fast and smoothly. A torsional vibration damper, which acts based on engine speed, largely compensates vibrations due to the engine’s work cycles to allow efficient driving even in the low-rev range from 1,000 rpm. When coasting and rolling out, a clutch in the central transmission opens and interrupts the power connection. With its electric oil pump, the tiptronic can engage the gear required for restarting while coasting with the engine switched off. Special ventilation allows off-road use.

“With the same ground clearance as the Audi Q7, the Q8 adds a touch of sportiness to the elegant. Under the hood is a 340 hp supercharged 3.0 litre engine with seven driving modes to suit every one of your moods.”

Sporty and robust: the suspension Responsive on narrow country roads, composed on the highway and robust off-road: the suspension of the Audi Q8 also combines the best characteristics from various worlds. Five-link suspensions are used at the front and rear so that longitudinal and lateral forces can be handled separately.

“Of course, the Q8 doesn’t only have a driving appeal… it has 54 colours options, with Dragon Orange (above) being exclusive to Q8. You can also customise your own colour.”

Simplicity rather than complexity: the interior design The interior of the Audi Q8 is a luxury lounge. The central element is the top MMI touch response display. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off. When active, its simple, easy-to-understand graphics symbolize the digital precision of Audi and the high level of integration between architecture and operating concept: simplicity replaces complexity. All fundamental lines originate from the large display, for example the continuous air vent strip with integrated chrome fins and an elegant aluminum-look strip.

“Technology is at the forefront in the Q8.  A 360-degree camera, cellphone system complete with signal boosting and a wireless charger, traffic sign recognition and four-zone automatic air conditioning are just the beginning of a very long list of the latest tech from Ingolstadt and beyond.”

New concept: touch displays instead of switches The operating concept in the Audi Q8 needs almost no buttons or knobs. It focuses on two high-resolution touch displays. This allows the brand to demonstrate how it transfers its uncompromising quality claim to the digital world. The graphical user interface is so clean that information can be gleaned quickly. As on a smartphone, the menu structure is flat and easy to understand, and includes freely configurable favourites and start screens.

The Audi Q8 is available for pre-order in Kuwait at Audi Kuwait with prices starting from 24,910 KWD