At this point, local engines have not been confirmed by Audi SA, but we can expect a range of diesel and petrol V6 powerplants in different states of tune to fit under the company’s new naming convention, in this instance 250kW 3.0l V6 petrol denoting the 55TSI and a 210kW 3.0l V6 turbodiesel being the 50TDI variant.
These are the models that will be introduced in international markets such as the UK, so are likely to be destined for our shores too.
While there is no talk of an SQ8 with the 4.0l twin-turbo V8 engine from the SQ7, considering the sporty market that the model is pitched at, I have little doubt that a petrol propelled RSQ8 (with 485kW) will come along as the flagship model to take on the likes of the BMW X6M and Range Rover Sport SVR. There will also likely be a duo of less powerful 3.0l V6 diesel and petrol engines offered at a later stage once the initial hype has abated. Transmissions will come in the form of a seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic unit for the diesel, while the petrol will be equipped with a conventional eight-speed torque converter automatic.
All models are said to use 48V electrical technology, which also signals the possibility of a hybrid-powered version at some point in the model’s life cycle, which means it will be an even more popular proposition for big hybrid markets such as the US and China.
Boasting plenty of aluminium components used on the five-link front and rear suspension, the model will more than likely be more agile and dynamic than its Q7 sibling, while this will also reduce the overall unsprung mass of the car although no official weight figures of the car have yet been divulged.
A host of autonomous driving modes, like in the A7 and A8, will be offered in the Q8 in varying levels. This could arguably be the first model in the segment to bring this comprehensive level of the technology to market, but whether SA-bound models will have the full suite or a specific level due to legislation and infrastructure remains to be seen.
The Audi Q8 sets out to be the most advanced model in its segment but the new X6 and GLE coupe are expected in 2019. Pricing should be comparative to its rivals, which means we can expect a starting price north of R1.2m when it arrives in SA towards the end of 2018.