Audi pulled off a pretty neat trick updating its flagship Q8 SUV. How do you differentiate an automotive brand’s flagship from the rest of the model lineup? It’s imperative to balance significant brand identity clues with distinctive touches that signal the flagship’s specialness.
The Audi Q7 three-row mid-size SUV packs sufficient luxury for many buyers, so Audi needed to add unique features to the Q8 to provoke desire and loosen budgets. The most significant changes in the 2024 Audi Q8 are in exterior styling, blending boldness with elegance, to use Audi’s terms. Audi rolled out additional standard driver assistance technology in the Q8, but the drive trains carry over unchanged for the Q8 and the sporty SQ8.
The 2024 Audi Q8 styling changes emphasize the existing roofline slope, frameless doors, and broad wheel arches. The Q8’s octagonal front grille incorporates new design features, including L-shaped sections on the Q8 with the S Line style option and on the SQ8.
New large air intakes located on both sides of the lower fascia support the aggressively shaped grille aperture. With the performance-focused SQ8, Audi includes a honeycomb grille across the front surface of the air intakes. The SQ8 also has a restyled front lip spoiler and a new rear diffuser.
In contrast to the nearly invisible exhaust outlets on the Audi S5 Sportback, the Q8 pipes are hard to miss, with parallel pairs of oval-shaped exhaust tips on each side under the bumper. The four substantial pipes convey a clear message if you’re driving behind an Audi Q8 or even stopped in traffic.
Audi’s options list for the Q8 allows buyers to style the vehicle further. The Black Optic package, for example, uses high-gloss black to frame the surround mask for the new grille, side window trim, and front and rear fascias.
Audi makes liberal use of lighting technology with the 2024 Q8. High-intensity Matrix-design headlights with digital daytime running lights form the top corners of the front grille. Buyers can also select HD-Matrix LEDs with Audi laser light and digital daytime running lights with four front-light signatures. Select Q8 trims can include digitalized OLED rear lamps to choose one of four rear light signatures.
For 2024, Audi added adaptive cruise assistance with lane guidance, remote start, and Audi app store access via Audi Connect to the Q8’s standard equipment. The adaptive cruise assist function can display lane change warnings, intersection assistance, and traffic light information, all in easy-to-read-at-a-glance full-HD image quality.
The base Q8 engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged TFSI V6 that pumps out 335 horsepower and a maximum of 369 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive and an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, the Q8 can do 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. SQ8 models sport a 500 horsepower, 4.0-liter turbocharged TFSI V8 that draws on a maximum 568 lb-fit to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat.
If the Audi Q8’s new lighting technologies and exterior design elements speak to you, the 2024 flagship models are scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms in the U.S. early in 2024.
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