Skip to main content

2024 Audi Q8 SUV flagship updates exterior and lighting technology

New features help differentiate Audi's flagship from the rest

2024 Audi S Q8 in Waitomo Blue left front three-quarter view on pavement near the ocean shore - European Model Shown..
Courtesy Audi USA / Audi USA

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.

2024 Audi Q8 55TFSI in Sakhir Gold driver cockpit view taken from above drivers headrest - European Model Shown.
Courtesy Audi USA / Audi USA

The 2024 Audi Q8’s updated design

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.

2024 Audi Q8 55 TFSI in Sakhir Gold interior back seat view from the drivers side -- European Model Shown.
Courtesy Audi USA / Audi USA

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.

2024 Audi Q8 55TFSI in Sakhir Gold left front three-quarter view - European Model Shown.
Courtesy Audi USA / Audi USA

New lighting and added technology

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.

2024 Audi S Q8 in Waitomo Blue right rear three-quarter view in a city roadway between commercial buildings - European Model Shown.
Courtesy Audi USA / Audio USA

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.

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
Audi hits milestones and meets goals for Audi Power Unit for 2026 F1 racing season
Audi started work in 2022 to be ready for 2026
Audi Formula Racing GmbH CTO Stefan Dreyer talking with an engineer at one of th Audi Power Unit test benches.

Audi Formula Racing GmbH recently announced that it has achieved its goals and met significant milestones on the Audi F1 Power Unit for the 2026 Formula 1 racing season. Working at a dedicated facility in Neuburg, Germany, the Audi team reports the complete F1 Power Unit running on a test bench. It runs simulated races based on F1 tracks, such as Singapore and Las Vegas.
Why the Audi Power Unit matters

In 2026, the Stake Kick Sauber F1 team, which currently uses Ferrari engines, will become an Audi factory works team. Audi established a separate business unit, Audi Formula Racing GmbH, to develop the hybrid power unit for the next-gen Formula 1 racecar. Working in private but in compliance with FIA F1 Rules and Regulations, Audi has been developing the Audi F1 Power Unit since 2022.

Read more
The Audi R8 electric successor: Everything we know so far
Audi's highest-performance car will be electric
The second generation Audi R8 GT produced 620 horsepower.

Audi manufactured the last Audi R8 in March 2024. With the brand's V-10-powered supercar now relegated to automotive history books, car collections, and future high-end car auctions, anticipation is building for the next R8.

Audi has not made a definitive statement either about bringing the R8 back, but there are a few things we can all count on. Regardless of what it's called, the next Audi supercar will not have a petroleum-fueled V10 engine. With Audi walking away from gas cars, Audi's highest-performance car will be electric.

Read more
2025 Audi Q8 RS and Q8 RS Performance: Unleashed powerful SUVs
One of these cars holds the record as the fastest SUV at the Nürburgring.
2025 audi q8 rs and performance parked on a helicopter landing pad with mountains in the background

Audi unleashed its two most powerful gas-powered SUVs, the 2025 Audi Q8 RS and Q8 RS Performance. Adding two additional layers of potency to the already mighty Audi Q8, the RS variants offer choice to those willing to pay the extra price. The Q8 RS Performance is not a track car but see below for its record-setting run at one of the most famous circuits in the world.
Why the Audi Q8 RS and Q8 RS Performance matter

The Audi Q8 RS and the new-for-2025 Q8 RS Performance are both products of Audi Sport GmbH. The Audi Sport division is responsible for high-performance road cars, custom vehicles, and most motorsports. Audi Formula Racing GmbH handles the Audi Formula One team, which will begin competing in 2026.

Read more